You may want your closest relatives to join you in Canada as a foreign-born Canadian citizen with parents and grandparents still living in your home country. A visitor visa is normally valid for up to six months, but that is insufficient time for your relatives to get to know your family and visit your adopted country.
Can’t you have them stay with you for a longer duration?
Yes, you can. The super visa makes this possible.
It lets parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens stay up to five years per visit. And since it is a multiple-entry visa with 10-year validity, your relatives can also travel to their home country and back many times.
Your parents and grandparents can apply for a super visa from their home country, but certain requirements must be met before they can hope for an approval. One such requirement is obtaining the minimum level of travel medical insurance, also known as super visa insurance.
What is a super visa?
In general, visitors can stay in Canada for up to six months. If they want to stay longer, they must apply for an extension. However, if you are a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, your parents and grandparents can come to Canada as a visitor and stay with you for much longer than six months, without applying for an extension — all thanks to the super visa.
The super visa is a temporary visa that allows the parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens to stay in Canada for up to five consecutive years. It comes with a 10-year validity period and permits multiple re-entries.
What are the super visa requirements?
The super visa is designed specifically for parents and grandparents of a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. Other conditions that must be met.
You must have a signed letter from your child or grandchild that includes:
- an invitation to stay with them in Canada
- a promise to provide you financial support during your stay in Canada
- proof that the Canadian sponsor meets the minimum income requirements
- a copy of their PR card or Canadian passport.
You must have purchased medical insurance (also referred as super visa insurance) from either a Canadian provider or an approved non-Canadian insurer. Your travel medical insurance policy must:
- have a validity period of at least 1 year from the date of entry into Canada
- provide emergency coverage of at least $100,000
- have been paid in full
In addition to these requirements, you must also meet the following requirements to be eligible for a super visa:
- you must submit your application for a super visa from outside Canada
- you must not be inadmissible to Canada
- you must undergo a medical exam
- you must pass a health and security eligibility check.
Can my parents and/or grandparents apply for a Super Visa during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, your parents and/or grandparents can still apply for a super visa. To know more about this and current travel measures and restrictions on entry into Canada, check out the Government of Canada’s website.
What is super visa insurance?
Life has a habit of catching us off guard when we least expect it. Nobody wants to think about getting sick or injured while traveling, but it happens all the time.
If you are visiting Canada and become ill, you cannot expect the Canadian government to cover your medical expenses. Foreigners are not covered by Canada's well-known universal health care system. If you do not have travel medical insurance, you will have to pay for medical or hospital services in Canada out of pocket.
Super visa insurance, simply put, is long-term travel insurance designed for super visa applicants. It guarantees that visitors can cover medical costs if they fall sick or become injured during their stay in Canada.
In fact, super visa insurance is one of the prerequisites for obtaining a super visa. All super visa holders must buy travel medical insurance that:
- has been issued by a Canadian insurance provider or a designated non-Canadian insurer
- provides at least $100,000 CAD in coverage
- is valid for a minimum of one year from the date of entry to Canada
- has been paid in full.
The cost of super visa insurance largely depends on your age, health, and provider. Older people usually pay more for coverage, as do those with underlying health conditions.
What are the minimum required levels of coverage for Super Visa insurance?
The minimum super visa insurance coverage levels are as follows:
- the insurance policy must be valid for a minimum of one year from the date of entry
- it must offer a minimum of $100,000 CAD in emergency coverage.
Is super visa insurance mandatory?
Yes, a super visa is a requirement for obtaining a super visa. All super visa recipients must have super visa insurance. At a minimum, your policy must be valid for one year and provide emergency coverage of $100,000 CAD.
How much does super visa insurance coverage cost?
Like other life insurance products, premium rates of super visa insurance are influenced by many factors. How much you will pay for super visa insurance depends on:
- Your age: Generally, the younger you are when you apply for coverage, the lower the insurance premiums.
- Health and medical history: Insurance providers reserve their best rates for healthy applicants. If you have an underlying health condition, expect to pay a higher premium rate.
- Deductible: A deductible is the amount of money you must pay for covered medical services before the insurer starts paying. The higher the deductible, the lower the insurance cost.
- Amount of coverage: The greater the coverage amount, the more you will pay for the policy.
- Offered benefits: Basic super visa insurance does not cover psychiatric or psychological care, eye examination, maternity care, and physical examination. If you want coverage for any of these things, you will have to pay extra.
Can I purchase super visa insurance for my parents and/or grandparents during the COVID pandemic?
Yes, you can buy super visa insurance for your family members during the pandemic. But if your relative is coming from a travel-restricted country or tests positive for Covid-19 on arrival, their entry into Canada will be delayed. This in turn will delay the date on which their medical insurance coverage will start.
What does super visa insurance cover?
Generally, super visa insurance plans cover:
- Hospital accommodation
- Medical services
- Diagnostic services, including x-rays, laboratory tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), etc.
- Prescription medications
- Emergency dental services
- Medical equipment, including crutches, wheelchairs, braces, and slings
- Follow-up medical appointments.
When does super visa coverage begin?
The super visa coverage starts on the date the visa holder comes to Canada. If the traveling plan changes, most providers (if not all) are usually willing to change the start date, provided you inform them on time.
Does super visa insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
Some insurance policies will cover travelers with pre-existing conditions if certain conditions are met. For example, your plan may cover a pre-existing condition if it was controlled and stable in the 180 days preceding the effective date of your policy.
How much super visa insurance coverage should I get?
The law requires you to buy at least $100,000 CAD in coverage — but is it enough? That depends on your medical history, the length of stay, and the level of financial security you desire in the event of an illness or accident.
If you are an older adult, have a pre-existing health condition, or require specific medications, buying more than the minimum amount may be worth it. Typically, you can buy super visa insurance up to $1 million.
Can I purchase super visa insurance on behalf of my visiting family?
Yes, Canadian permanent residents and citizens can buy super visa insurance for their family members. But you can only sponsor your parents and grandparents, not your spouse’s family.
If you sponsor a person’s stay in Canada, you must bear the medical expenses in the event they are unable to pay. In fact, many Canadians buy insurance cover for their family members for this very reason. They want to ensure their loved ones have adequate medical insurance, and not only the mandatory coverage, when they enter Canada.
Are there alternatives to super visa insurance?
If you want a super visa, you cannot avoid super visa insurance. To apply for the visa, you must have at least $100,000 in super visa insurance coverage.
Do I have to purchase super visa insurance from a Canadian insurance company?
You can buy super visa insurance from a Canadian insurer or a designated non-Canadian insurer. Earlier, one could buy coverage only from a Canadian company. But from July 4, 2022 onwards, it is possible to buy insurance from an insurer outside of Canada, as long as it has been approved by the Government of Canada.
Can I get a refund for super visa insurance?
Yes, you can receive a refund in many situations, such as:
- You bought super visa insurance but were denied a visa. In this event, you will likely receive a 100% refund.
- You returned to your home country earlier than planned and did not file a claim during your stay in Canada. In this situation, you will likely receive a partial refund minus administration fee — generally anywhere between $25 and $100 per policy per person.
- You purchased insurance and were issued a visa but decided not to go to Canada for some reason. When you cancel your super visa insurance plan, the insurer will refund the premiums paid into the policy minus administration fee, which can be as high $200-$250 per policy per person.
Does super visa insurance cover dental work or dental emergencies?
Yes, dental emergencies are covered by super visa medical insurance. The coverage limits for dental work and emergencies, however, may vary from one plan to another.
Does super visa health insurance provide coverage for travel to countries other than Canada?
Super visa insurance usually provides coverage for travel to countries other than Canada, provided certain conditions are met. For instance, some policies cover travel to another country as long as it is not your home country, your trip starts and ends in Canada, and the entire trip does not last more than a set number of days.
Since each insurance policy is different, do read the policy terms to find out what is covered and what is not before signing up.
How long does super visa insurance coverage last?
The coverage lasts for one year, and can be bought in one-year increments. If you travel back to your home country and return to Canada again, you will need new coverage.
The super visa is a multi-entry visa specifically for the parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens. The super visa allows holders to stay in Canada for up to five years at a time, and travel back and forth for 10 years.
Super visa insurance, which is basically a long-term travel medical insurance, is a requirement for the super visa. Specifically, you must have at least $100,000 in health coverage issued by a Canadian insurer or a designated non-Canadian provider before you can be considered for a super-visa. This ensures you will not be a burden on Canada’s universal healthcare system if you get sick or injured during your stay in the country.