Canada’s super visa attracts 89,000 parents, grandparents
Many parents and grandparents are traveling to different countries in the world to spend time with their younger kin.
This has seen 89,000 parents and grandparents arriving in Canada on super visas, as most of them do not opt for citizenship of Canada. This lets them stay in this North American country for up to two years once and allows them to return home, says Joshua Sohn, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer.
Launched five years ago, the super-visa program was established as a substitute for people who could not make it to the parent-reunification program, which was oversubscribed.
More than 50 percent of super visas recipients till date are South Asians, especially Indians, where analysts aver that there is a tradition of several generations of family living together.
The super-visa program has been a hit with immigrants’ parents and grandparents especially in Metro Vancouver, which houses many South Asians.
Sohn said that this novel idea was the brainchild of Jason Kenney, the former Conservative immigration minister, and Liberals have retained it.
He was quoted by Vancouver Sun as saying that it benefits many parents and grandparents who do not intend to become Canada’s permanent residents. They are wanderers who want the freedom to visit their younger relatives living in different parts of the world.
When it was launched, Kenney said that parents and grandparents who are sponsored tend to depend on health care, which is taxpayer-funded much more than most Canadian citizens when they become its immigrants.
Sohn said that the super-visa program of Canada, on the other hand, requires overseas applicants to pay for private health insurance to cover them during their stay in the country. It is also possible to extend frequent two-year visits over a period of 10 years.
After Justin Trudeau became the Prime Minister of Canada in 2015, he had promised to grant up to 20,000 super visas a year.
Sam Hyman, another Vancouver-based immigration lawyer, said that these super visas came in handy particularly to immigrant families having young grandchildren.
According to Sohn and other immigration attorneys, the super-visa program facilitated the entry of close to 100,000 parents and grandparents to evade the medical and financial risks linked with long travel times from their homeland to their children’s adopted country.
By allowing a senior foreigner to stay in Canada for up to two years, Sohn is the belief that it provides many grandparents of South Asia, China, and other countries the opportunity to continue helping in raising grandchildren while their parents are away at work.