A guide to super visa insurance for visiting parents and grandparents
Super visa insurance is a special type of travel insurance that’s only available to the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or residents who are staying in the country for a long period of time. It will cover any medical emergencies that may happen to your relatives during their stay.
Many Canadian citizens and permanent residents started their life in the country as immigrants. They may put down roots to build their new life, like buying their first house or starting families. But they also often want their parents or grandparents to come visit them.
Thankfully, the Canadian government has special programs to help families stay together for long periods of time. One of those programs is the Canadian super visa.
In this article, we’ll go into detail about the super visa insurance that’s required as part of that program.
What is a super visa?
A super visa is a special visa that allows you to visit Canada multiple times. It’s valid for up to 10 years, and you can stay in Canada for up to 5 years each time you visit. You can even request to extend your stay by 2 years at a time while in Canada. In comparison, a normal visitor to Canada visa only lets you stay up to 6 months.
What are the super visa eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for a super visa, the person applying must:
- Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
- Have a letter written by their child or grandchild stating that they will provide financial support to the visa-holder during their stay
- Provide proof that their child or grandchild meets the minimum income requirement
- Provide a copy of their child or grandchild’s Canadian passport or Permanent Resident Card (PR Card)
- Take a medical exam and show they are healthy enough to enter the country
- Provide proof that they have adequate insurance coverage from a Canadian insurance company (super visa insurance)
What is super visa insurance?
Super visa insurance is a specific type of travel medical insurance. It helps to pay for emergency medical attention if the visa-holder gets sick or hurt while they are in Canada.
This kind of insurance is designed to meet the needs of the super visa. Having enough insurance is an important part of having a super visa. This kind of insurance makes sure visa-holders tick the box.
What are the super visa insurance requirements?
The minimum requirements a super visa insurance policy has to meet are:
- Must be valid for at least one year from the date the visa-holder arrives in Canada
- Must have at least $100,000 CAD in coverage
- Must cover emergency medical care, possible hospitalization, and repatriation
- Must be active and available for review by an immigration official each time the visa-holder enters Canada
- Must have been bought from a Canadian insurance company
Do you need super visa insurance?
Yes, visitors who come to Canada on a super visa need super visa insurance. A major part of the super visa program is making sure that visitors aren’t a financial burden on public healthcare. Or on the family member sponsoring them. You need this insurance to prove that you have enough coverage in case a health emergency happens during the years-long visit.
Is super visa insurance mandatory?
Yes, you need to have super visa insurance for your visa application to be approved. The insurance policy must also be active when the visa-holder arrives in Canada.
What is the least amount of coverage needed for super visa insurance?
The minimum coverage level for super visa insurance is $100,000 CAD. But keep in mind that you might need more than this. The insurance policy has to at least cover the cost of health care, hospitalization, and travel if your visiting family has to return home while still getting medical help.
How much super visa insurance coverage do you need?
While the minimum requirement for super visa insurance is $100,000 CAD, many choose to go above those minimum requirements. It is possible to purchase up to $1 million in super visa insurance coverage. Given the high cost of medical treatment without public healthcare coverage and the advanced age of the typical super visa insurance applicant, opting for a higher medical coverage amount is common.
How much does super visa insurance cost?
Super visa insurance can cost between $100 to $200 per month for each parent or grandparent visiting Canada. But the exact cost of Canadian super visa insurance fees can vary, depending on factors like:
- Health & medical history
- Policy length
- Amount of coverage
Originally, super visa insurance had to be paid in full at the time of purchase. But as of December 2022, there are options to pay in monthly installments instead. Someone can also sponsor their parents or grandparents and buy the super visa insurance on their behalf. Read more about super visa insurance payment options.
The below table shows how much Canadian super visa insurance might cost at different ages.
Super visa insurance premiums based on age
*Quotes based on a 365-day super visa insurance policy with $100,000 in coverage and a $1,000 deductible.
What is the deductible for super visa insurance?
The deductible of your super visa insurance policy is the amount of money you decide to pay for medical care before your coverage kicks in. Different insurance companies offer different deductible amounts. Some deductibles can be zero, which means you don’t have to pay anything. Others can be thousands of dollars.
You can save money on your insurance costs based on the deductible options you choose. The chart below shows how choosing a higher deductible can make your insurance premiums lower.
How much can you save on super visa insurance with deductibles?
One of the pros of choosing a higher deductible is that you will pay less monthly or annual costs for your insurance coverage. On the other hand, choosing a lower deductible is the opposite.
When you have a zero-dollar deductible, you don’t have to pay anything upfront for medical expenses. But you’ll have to pay a higher premium each month. Some people decide to pay a deductible, so their premium is lower. They then pay for smaller medical expenses, like prescription drugs, when they need to.
Here’s how different deductibles affect super visa insurance premiums with some of Canada’s top insurers.
Super visa insurance premiums based on deductible
|Company||$1,000 Deductible||$5,000 Deductible|
|Company A||$1,501 annual premium||$1,219 annual premium|
|Company B||$1,518 annual premium||$1,234 annual premium|
|Company C||$1,110 annual premium||$902 annual premium|
*Based on premiums for a 365-day super visa insurance policy for 55-year-old with $100,000 in coverage.
What does super visa insurance cover?
Most super visa insurance policies typically cover:
- Emergency medical treatment for illness or injury
- Prescription medications
- Emergency dental services
- Essential medical equipment (crutches, wheelchairs, slings, braces, etc.)
- X-rays and other diagnostic laboratory procedures (bloodwork, ultrasounds, etc)
- Required ground, air or sea ambulance services
- Follow-up post-medical appointments
- Ambulance travel to the nearest hospital
While most policies cover these basic areas, each super visa medical insurance policy is unique. Travellers have multiple options when applying for this kind of coverage.
What does super visa insurance NOT cover?
Most super visa insurance policies do not cover:
- Routine doctor visits
- Planned vision or dental care (like cosmetic surgeries)
Remember, this is a type of medical travel insurance for visitors to Canada. It’s meant to help if something unexpected happens and you need medical assistance.
Does super visa insurance cover pre-existing medical conditions?
Yes, supervisa insurance will cover pre-existing conditions or medical conditions that you already had before you applied if they are stable. Stable means your condition has not:
- Gotten worse
- Caused new symptoms
- Caused you to need new medication or treatment
- Cause a new diagnosis
Most Canadian providers say that your pre-existing health issue has to meet these conditions for at least 180 days (about 6 months) to be considered stable and included under your health insurance plan for the Canadian supervisa.
But note that this can be different for different providers. The amount of time your condition has to be stable, also called a “minimum stability period”, can be anywhere from 90-180 days.
Some providers may charge you more to include pre-existing conditions in your supervisa health insurance plan.
If you’re looking for supervisa health insurance and you have a pre-existing health matter, you should speak with one of our licensed advisors. We work closely with some of Canada’s top insurers so we can help you find the right plan for your needs.
Can I buy super visa insurance on behalf of my visiting family?
Yes, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can purchase a super visa insurance policy on behalf of their parent(s) or grandparent(s). In fact, most do!
With a supervisa, the person who sponsors their family’s stay in Canada is responsible for their expenses during their visit. This includes any medical expenses that may not be covered by insurance. Since sponsors are already responsible for the costs of their guests, many of them decide to buy their super visa insurance too. This helps them make sure they have the right coverage and get additional coverage if they need to.
Are there alternatives to super visa insurance?
No, there are no alternatives to super visa insurance. A hard rule for the visa to be approved is having proof of medical insurance coverage. A super visa medical insurance policy is the only option to meet this requirement.
But there are other visitor’s visas and immigration programs that do not need super visa insurance. They include:
- The 6-month standard visitor visa
- The electronic travel authorization (eTA) for travellers from eligible countries
- A passport for travellers from visa-exempt countries
- The Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP). This program lets Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor their parents and/or grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.
Canadians can also consider regular travel insurance for parents or grandparents if they plan on visiting for a shorter period of time. They may not need as much coverage as insurance for super visa, so they can save on costs by getting a regular plan instead.
How to find the best super visa insurance quotes
Use our free online quoting tool to get the best super visa insurance quotes instantly!
Our blog on the Best Visitors Insurance in Canada also has more details about which of the best super visa insurance providers you should choose.
Or, connect with our friendly insurance agents if you want personal help. We have years of experience helping Canadian families get travel insurance policies for their relatives. Our advisors would be happy to walk you through the steps and go over multiple coverage options so your family can get the best plan for your needs.
Frequently asked questions
Do you need to purchase a super visa insurance policy in Canada?
No, you do not have to physically be in Canada to buy super visa insurance. You just have to buy it from a Canadian insurance provider. But you can buy the policy whether you are in Canada or elsewhere. You can only apply for the visa itself from outside of Canada, though.
Can you get a discount if you buy several super visa insurance policies?
Yes, most insurance companies will give you a discount if you buy more than one super visa insurance policy at once. Each company has its own special offers and deals. Ask about the multi-policy discount to find out how you can save!
Do you need to take a medical test for super visa insurance?
No, you don’t need to go through a medical exam or do labwork to get super visa insurance. You will only be asked some questions about your health when you apply.
Be sure to only give honest and accurate answers to each question during the application process. If you give false information, your policy could be cancelled. And if that happens, you risk losing your visa on the whole.
Can you get a refund for super visa insurance?
Yes, you can get a refund for super visa insurance. But only in some circumstances. For example, if you apply for a policy and get approved but your super visa application is denied. In this case, you can get a full refund for your supervisa insurance policy.
Can you cancel super visa insurance?
Yes, you are allowed to cancel super visa insurance. But it doesn’t happen often because this kind of insurance is mandatory for the visa itself.
Let’s say your super visa application was accepted and you’re now using that visa to stay in Canada. You wouldn’t be able to cancel the insurance because that would also cancel your visa.
But let’s say you have to leave Canada earlier than expected, and you haven’t used your insurance plan. In that case, you can cancel your insurance policy and get some money back. But you might have to pay a cancellation fee.
Can foreign workers in Canada get super visa insurance for their families?
No, the parents and grandparents of foreign workers in Canada cannot get a super visa or insurance for super visa. It’s only available to the relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Foreign workers, like international students, are considered temporary residents in Canada. But their visiting relatives can still get standard travel insurance.
Does super visa insurance cover dental treatment or dental emergencies?
Yes, supervisa insurance covers emergency dental expenses. Depending on your policy, super visa insurance can provide thousands of dollars in coverage for dental emergencies and expenses. Note that it does not cover planned dental treatment, like cosmetic surgery.
Can I get supervisa insurance for my parents and/or grandparents during the COVID pandemic?
Yes, you can still buy super visa medical insurance for visiting family even if there are COVID-related concerns. There are no restrictions about this right now. The World Health Organization (WHO) no longer considers COVID a global health emergency. So, many insurance companies have removed their rules about it.
But one thing to note is that the insurance plan usually does not start until the insured person arrives in Canada. If a traveller tests positive for COVID-19, or if they’re coming from a country with travel restrictions, it could delay their arrival. This could delay their medical coverage until they formally arrive and are accepted by Canadian customs.
Read more about COVID-19 and travel insurance.
How long does super visa insurance coverage last?
Super visa insurance coverage lasts for up to 1 year at a time. Its bought in 1-year increments, so the super visa holder needs to get a new policy every year they remain in Canada.
Also keep in mind that if the visitor leaves Canada and comes back again, they will need to have new, valid super visa insurance coverage.
Which providers offer super visa insurance?
You can get a parent/grandparent super visa insurance policy from some of the best insurance companies in Canada, like:
- Group Medical Services (GMS)
- 21st Century Travel Insurance Limited
- Destination Canada
- and more!
- Super visa insurance is mandatory for those wishing to enter and remain in Canada with a super visa
- Your policy must have $100,000 in coverage secured for at least 365 days
- The policy must be purchased from a Canadian insurance company