Every year, approximately 35 million visitors including a wide range of students, businessmen, temporary workers and tourists travel to Canada to share this country’s abundant opportunities and vibrant culture. Depending upon different countries around the globe where you live and your reason for coming to Canada, the entry requirements may vary. In some cases this will mean applying for a visitor’s visa.

While there are many countries whose residents are exempt from these types of visas, if you plan on an extended stay, you’ll need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. You may tend to think that there is a backlog of applicants for this type of special visa. However, eligible parents or grandparents have very bright chances of a fast approval by applying for a Super Visa. This new type of visa has been in existence for over six years (started- Dec 1, 2011) and is already proving to be an extremely popular option that is reuniting families across Canada.

What is a Super Visa?

Current Canadian immigration policy allows visitors to stay for only six months at a time under the multiple entry visa. If a visitor wants to stay longer, they’ll have to apply for an extension which also means paying an additional fee. However, if you are a parent or a grandparent who would like to visit family for an extended stay, then you can apply for a Super Visa. The Super Visa allows you to stay for up to two years at a single stretch without need of any renewal. The application process for this group of temporary residents is a lot quicker. Typically, it may take eight weeks to get a Super Visa. The goal is – to get families together as quickly as possible! The Super Visa also allows multiple visits throughout the duration of the visa.

To be eligible for a Super Visa, you’ll need to provide the following information:

• The person’s ties to the home country

• The purpose of the visit

• The person’s family and financial situation

• A written commitment of financial support from the Canadian child or grandchild who meets a minimum income threshold

• Complete Immigration Medical Examination

• Proof of Canadian medical insurance (very important)

Keep in mind that even if you’re from a country that doesn’t require a visa, (United States, France, Germany and Italy, to name a few) you can still apply for the Super Visa if you wish to stay longer than six months.

What is Super Visa Insurance?

The Canadians enjoy the benefits of a first class health care system that provides full coverage for all of its citizens. Just because the Canadians are covered, it doesn’t mean that visitors will be able to take advantage of the same benefits. In fact, any visitor who needs any kind of medical care will have to pay for it out of his/her own pocket. The only exception would be if that visitor had a traveller’s insurance. With the Super Visa application, this type of insurance policy is a requirement.

An applicant for a Super Visa must submit proof that they have medical insurance. That policy will need to be:

1. valid for at least one year from their date of entry into Canada

2. provide a minimum of $100,000 in coverage

3. covers the person for health care, hospitalization and repatriation (returning to their home country)

Since you have to get this policy in place before applying for the Super Visa, there are refunds available in case you are denied the Super Visa status. This insurance policy should also be issued from a Canadian insurance company which eventually, protects the government and the applicant by making the direct payment process easier. Depending upon the circumstances, you could also obtain Super Visa insurance if you have a preexisting condition. It will depend upon what that condition is and, whether or not is has been stable for 3 to 6 months.

Is Super Visa Insurance Worth It?

Undeniably, at some point in our lives, we’re going to need healthcare. But a major question is – ‘when to buy insurance’ and ‘how much will it cost’? A visitor coming to Canada is not required to purchase insurance; only those applying for a Super Visa need a policy. However, when you consider that an average day in a hospital could cost above $3,000, (not to mention the additional charges to return to your home country) you can see that a medical emergency could quickly wipe out your savings if you aren’t covered by insurance. Then, why take the risk? Visa insurance policies are a low cost way of providing peace of mind to any Canadian visitor. A simple neglect to purchase adequate insurance may sometimes lead to hundreds/thousands of dollars at stake during a medical emergency. But prior to purchasing insurance, it is extremely important to ascertain the medical history of your parents for any pre-existing medical conditions. Your parents can either tell this to your insurance advisor or, you can confirm the same from your parents and convey to the advisor.

As an independent insurance advisor working through Punjab Insurance Agency, I deal with different insurance companies offering plans for Super Visa insurance. I can explain to you in detail, various insurance plan options and coverage that are suitable for your needs and resources.

**Don’t forget to read the next issue about ‘the Points to be kept in Mind before buying Super Visa Insurance’!

Sandeep Ahuja
604-996-6862 sandeepahuja@punjabinsurance.ca