As with any visa application, there are several requirements to the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa. One of the most talked about requirements of the new Super Visa is the medical insurance requirement. Applicants of the visa must provide evidence that they have Canadian medical insurance coverage (also known as Super Visa insurance). Specifically, the insurance coverage must:
1. Be valid for a minimum period of one year from the date of entry to Canada;
2. Provide a minimum of $100,000 coverage, and;
3. Must cover health care, hospitalization and repatriation
Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said “One of the reasons we are requiring that people demonstrate they have health insurance when they come into Canada, is to add greater certainty for our visa officers that admitting people is not going to end up representing a net cost to Canadian taxpayers.” Minister Kenney went on to say that the new health insurance requirement may make it easier for visa officers to say “yes.”
Health costs in Canada are among the highest in the world. The average hospital stay in Canada costs up to $7,000, and even more for patients with an underlying complication. Prescription drugs can also add significantly to expenses. All Canadian residents are universally covered by provincial and territorial health insurance plans, and the costs of these plans are funded through taxes. Non-Canadian residents are not eligible for provincial or territorial coverage.
Regarding the minimum amount of coverage requirement, the ministry said it looked at what other countries require for medical coverage and the average cost of healthcare services to come up with the $100,000 requirement. As one director of Citizenship and Immigration put it, “It was determined $100,000 would be fair to the applicant and the Canadian taxpayer.”
Applicants must purchase their medical insurance BEFORE the Super Visa is issued as proof of insurance. Choosing the effective date of the insurance policy is somewhat problematic, given that proof of insurance has to be submitted with the visa application (so the visa has not yet been issued). However, this problem has a workable solution.
Most insurance policies have an effective date of 90 days after the date the policy was purchased, which gives applicants ample time to make changes to the insurance policy. Changing the date of the policy is straightforward and usually only requires a quick call to the insurance provider. The first day of insurance coverage should be the day that the parent or grandparent arrives in Canada. The one year coverage will start from that date on.
For those parents or grandparents who return home early (i.e. before staying for the full year), some relief is available. Most insurance companies will provide a partial refund for the portion of the insurance not used (provided there were no previous claims). Also, if a Super Visa application is denied for whatever reason, the applicant is eligible to receive 100% of the premium that was paid for the visa insurance coverage.
Overall, the new Super Visa program is viewed by many as a good step forward. However, the program is still in its infancy and will likely see some changes to improve the process in the future.