Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

A Solution to the Closing of the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP)

A Solution to the Closing of the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP)

Super Visa a Viable Solution for Parents and Grandparents

Sadly, the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP) is currently closed for new applications. However, luckily for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, there is a solution to this slight problem. They can now apply for a Super Visa to be reunited with their families in Canada. The Super Visa still remains open, thankfully. There are several different requirements compared to the PGP. In this article, I will address what a Super Visa is and its benefits; compare the differences between the PGP and Super Visa; and the eligibility requirements for a Super Visa.

What is a Super Visa

The super visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period of up to 10 years. This visa is extremely beneficial for family members who wish to stay with their family for more than just a couple of months or years. The main difference between a super visa and a visitor visa is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years on initial entry into Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry visa would only have a status period for each entry of six months only.

Many of the parents and grandparents coming to visit their families in Canada are doing so to help them with childcare and other basic necessities of the home while their children and grandchildren earn a living. This can be extremely beneficial for both parties as the parents and grandparents are able to spend quality time with their family members and the children and grandchildren can do so also while they continue working.

The Super Visa program first initiated in late 2011 and has already issued over 90,000 super visas so far. It has also been determined that over 40% of the super visas granted were to citizens of India. Other individuals who have obtained super visas come from prominent countries such as China, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Bangladesh, to name a few. Keep in mind, the super visa program has no such requirements for the applicant’s country of nationality.

It is also important to recognize that when the Super Visa program was first introduced, it actually helped substantially with the back log of PGP applicants. As a result, the back log has been drastically reduced since the introduction of the Super Visa program.

Comparison between a Super Visa and a PGP

Due to the backlog of applications for PGP, the processing times were excruciatingly long and timely. However, with the Super Visa, the application process is much faster and more straightforward. Normally, the processing times for Super Visas are approximately two months; yet, this entirely depends on their nationality and which visa office the application is being processed. Additionally, another benefit of the Super Visa program is that the income requirements are substantially less compared to the PGP. For instance, in the PGP, sponsors have to demonstrate a minimum income level that is approximately 30% higher compared to the income requirements for a Super Visa. This is also over a period of three years, whereas in the Super Visa program it is only over a period of one year.

It is also very important to note that the PGP had a registration period that allowed potential sponsors to submit an ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form before Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) randomly chose a selection of potential applicants from this group. They had a capacity of 10,000 sponsors to be invited to apply for the program. Overall, approximately 95,000 sponsors submitted this form and therefore IRCC had the ability to choose the 10,000 sponsors from this large pool of candidates.

Fortunately, parents and grandparents will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Canada in 2017 as Canada has an Immigration Plan to welcome at least 20,000 individuals. The advantage of this new capacity is that it helps reduce the backlog in the PGP and also allows for new candidates to potentially gain permanent residency. In certain circumstances, Super Visa holders may be sponsored for permanent residency under the PGP going forward.

Keep in mind, another major difference between the Super Visa and the PGP is that permanent residents of Canada who have been sponsored through PGP are permitted to access to public health care; whereas, the Super Visa holders cannot work nor have access to public health care. They are to have private health insurance that will cover the entire duration of their stay in Canada.

Below is a chart indicating the major differences between the Super Visa and the PGP.


Super Visa


Current Status

Open for new applications

Closed for new applications

Processing Time

8 – 10 weeks

IRCC working on 2014 applications

Application Type

Reviewed by Immigration Officer

Random Invitation System based on Expression of Interest

Able to Work in Canada



Income Requirement of Sponsor in Canada

Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) covering 1 year

Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) plus 30%, covering 3 years

Health Care Coverage



Status in Canada




Who is Eligible for Super Visa

In order to be eligible for a Super Visa in Canada, you must either be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. Keep in mind, you cannot include your dependent children in this application. You may only include your spouse or common-law partner to accompany you under this provision.

Your sponsor, which would be your child or grandchild, must also submit a written commitment stating their financial support and must meet the minimum income for the Super Visa. Additionally, the parent or grandparent must also purchase private Canadian medical insurance coverage for a minimum of one year. Of course, the parent or grandparent must also be admissible to Canada prior to applying for a Super Visa and entering Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have a family member, specifically a child or grandchild, in Canada that is a citizen or permanent resident before applying for a Super Visa and entering Canada. Any visa application is one of the most difficult applications to fill and complete accurately; it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain a super visa in Canada and be reunited with their families. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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