04 December 2012

Canada visa category proves popular despite costs

Recently released figures show one of Canada's most controversial visa streams has proved an unexpected success.

Canada visa

The Canadian Super Visa has proved a welcome success.

The 'Super Canada visa' - which allows parents and grandparents of Canadian residents to make multiple entries to the country over a 10 year period, provided it is renewed every two years.

However, the program was introduced amid a storm of controversy surrounding its cost; applicants are required to purchase medical insurance and prove they have income level at certain threshold levels.

This led some to predict the program would be a failure but new figures show over 11,000 such visas have been granted since the program was rolled out and over 15,000 applications have been received.

"Overall, the super visa is a good thing, it gives an alternative for reuniting with overseas parents in Canada rather than just waiting for the prolonged immigration progress," said Felix Zhang, a reunification advocate.

"Also, it shows Citizenship and Immigration Canada becomes more flexible than ever before.

"Different programs for different needs."

Vancouver based immigration lawyer Richard Kurland agreed that the super visa program could be hailed as a success but expected its take up rate to reduce when Canada begins reaccepting permanent residency applications from parents and grandparents in 2014.

"After a while [the application rate will] module down because my sense is that so many people, probably a third of them, applied for permanent resident status only to be able to access Canada for visit purposes, for visitation."

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.

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