Good news for parents and grandparents whose children or grandchildren live in Canada: the maximum length of stay in Canada with the parent and grandparent super visa has been extended from two to five years. Parents or grandparents who do not qualify for this visa or who have planned visits of less than six months can usually apply for an eTA Canada online.
Super visa applied for before or after the extension?
The extension of the maximum length of stay in Canada with the PGP visa took effect on 4 July 2022. This means that all travellers who received the visa on or after this date, may stay for five years, instead of two years. Even in cases where the visa had already been granted before 4 July, it is possible to take advantage of this extension. The issue date of the visa is no longer considered, but the date of arrival in Canada. If you arrive in Canada after 4 July 2022 on a PGP visa issued before July 4, you may still visit your children or grandchildren for up to five years.
Even if you travelled to Canada with the super visa before July 4, 2022, you are still eligible for the longer maximum length of stay. This can be done in two ways:
- The maximum length of stay with the visa is extended to five years if you leave Canada within the previously allowed two-year stay and re-enter the country at a later time. This only applies if you still meet all the conditions of the super visa, and it is still valid long enough.
- Another option is to stay in Canada with the PGP visa you already have and officially apply for an extension from there. However, this will cost another $100, as it requires applying for a new visa type. It also takes an average of 204 days for this extension to be approved.
Strict super visa requirements
The application process of the parent and grandparent visa is more complicated than that of the eTA Canada. As such, the visa is only for visiting your children or grandchildren in Canada. One of the conditions of the PGP visa is that the child or grandchild must be a permanent resident of Canada. To obtain the visa, the applicant must convince a visa officer at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) that he/she is eligible for this Canadian visa.
This requires a number of documents and information. First, you must have a letter of invitation written by the family member you are visiting. This must include a statement that you will be fully financially supported by your children or grandchildren in Canada during your visit to Canada. It is also mandatory to have health insurance that covers at least $100,000 in expenses that is valid for at least 1 year from the date of arrival in Canada. You must be able to show proof of payment of this health insurance for the visa application.
eTA Canada for shorter stays
If you wish to visit your children or grandchildren in Canada, you do not necessarily need to go through the complicated application process of the PGP visa. If you plan to stay with them in Canada for up to 6 months, you can only apply for the eTA Canada. The eTA Canada is valid for 5 years and, like the PGP visa, can be used for multiple trips to Canada. The main advantage of the eTA Canada is the simpler application process with fewer specific requirements and lower costs. Where the PGP visa is only available from $100, the eTA costs only £29.95.
Another big advantage is the fast delivery time of the eTA Canada. Because this electronic travel authorization is applied for entirely online, the application can be forwarded to the Canadian immigration authorities almost immediately after submission. As a result, the average delivery time of the eTA is only 3 days. Before applying for the eTA, always check that you meet all the conditions of this travel authorization.