Difference between regular Visa and Super Visa – Canada

This post was most recently updated on November 11th, 2018

Regular visa and a super visa

A visa is an endorsement on a passport that shows that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country. Currently, most visitors to Canada may visit for up to six months when they first enter Canada. Visitors who wish to stay longer must apply for an extension, and pay a new fee.

What is a Super visa?

The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years. The key difference is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years on each entry into Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry visa would only have a status period for each entry of six months only.

Who qualifies for a super visa?

To be eligible for the super visa, applicants must be the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Dependents of parents and grandparents are not eligible for the super visa. They can however apply for a regular visitor’s visa. The Super Visa applicants must also be found to eligible to be admitted into Canada and meet certain conditions. With the parent and grandparent super visa, eligible parents and grandparents can visit family in Canada for up to two years without the need to renew their status.

As of 2011, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the option of applying for a “super visa” to come and stay with their wards in Canada. They also have the option of applying for a regular visa, just as they always have done.

How do I know if I’m admissible for a Super Visa?

There are specific requirements that you must meet to be able to get a super visa.

In Canada, visa officers consider several factors before deciding whether an applicant is admissible. Officers must believe that

  1. The applicant is a genuine visitor to Canada, and
  2. The applicant will leave by choice at the end of the visit.

Visa officers also take the following into consideration:

the person’s ties to his or her home country, the purpose of their visit, the person’s family and financial situation, invitations from Canadian hosts, the overall economic and political stability of the home country. The parent or grandparent must also do the following:

  • provide a letter promising financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who has a minimum income.
  • prove he or she has Canadian medical insurance for at least one year to cover the time he or she will be in Canada.
  • complete an immigration medical examination.

How do you apply for a regular or super visa?

For either visa, your parents or grandparents must submit an application to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate outside Canada where they live. Please remember that the Super Visa application is considered in two parts. There are requirements on both the Canadian and permanent resident who is inviting and the applicant themselves. Both must meet certain requirements to be considered by the immigration officer.

Is the super visa better than a regular visa?

The Super visa might be preferable if you wanted to sponsor your parents or grandparents, but now are unable to because of the 2-year “pause” in sponsorships imposed in late 2011. Also, if you meet the Low Income Cut Off for sponsoring your parents or grandparents (minimum income needed to sponsor, amount depending on your family’s size); if your parents or grandparents are in good health and if your parents or grandparents want to come and live in Canada eventually

The regular visa may be best if your parents or grandparents only want to visit Canada and do not want to live there permanently; you do not earn enough money to sponsor your parents or grandparents; you wish to invite another relative, such as a brother or sister, and not a parent or grandparent.

How long does it take to process a Super visa?

Super Visa processing time is 8 weeks approved or not. Parents are informed within 8 weeks of submitting an application.

How much does it cost?

The cost for a super visa is the same as that of a regular visa – $75 per person for a single-entry visa or $150 per person for a multiple-entry visa.


Super visas are ONLY for parents or grandparents. This visa will allow your parent or grandparent to travel to Canada during the next 5 or 10 years, and allow them to stay in Canada for up to 2 years each time. A regular visa may also be valid for up to 5 years. How long your guest may stay in Canada depends on the border or airport official who admits them into Canada.  Any visitor to Canada may also apply to extend their visit in Canada once they are here.

Visit the website of the Canadian Embassy or Consulate where your parents or grandparents will be sending their application to find out the specific documents that are required for a complete application.  Every Embassy or Consulate has specific instructions. You may also visit Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration’s website at www.cic.gc.ca  for more information.


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