A guide to super visa insurance for visiting parents and grandparents
Super visa insurance is a type of insurance that is specifically designed to cover the costs associated with medical emergencies that may occur while you are visiting Canada. This is a long term travel insurance for 1 year and ideally suited for visiting parents and grand parents.
Many Canadian citizens and permanent residents started their life in the country as immigrants. As they put down roots and build that life, whether it be buying their first homes or starting families, they often want their parents or grandparents to join them in Canada.
The federal government has several programs in place to help families reunite in these circumstances for longer than a typical visitor’s visa would allow. One such program is the super visa.
What is a super visa?
A super visa is a unique visitor’s visa available for relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. A typical visitor’s visa in Canada only allows someone to visit the country for 6 months. A super visa is different, it is a multi-entry visa that permits a stay as long as 5 years (as of July 4, 2022) with the ability to apply for a 2-year extension. Once a person is approved for a super visa, it is valid for 10 years.
Learn more about travel insurance for your parents or grandparents who will be visiting for a shorter period and may not need as much coverage as a super visa.
What are the super visa requirements?
There are several requirements for super visa eligibility in Canada.
To be eligible for a super visa the applicant must:
- Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
- Have a letter written by their child or grandchild ensuring they will provide financial support for the visa-holder during their stay
- Have proof from their relative that they have the necessary minimum income to provide for the applicant’s stay in Canada
- Provide a copy of their relative’s Canadian passport or Permanent Resident Card (PR Card).
- Take a medical exam and show proof they are medically admissible into Canada
- Provide documents showing they have sufficient medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company; this is sometimes called super visa insurance
What is super visa insurance?
An important requirement of super visa eligibility is having an in-force medical insurance policy from a Canadian insurance company. Super visa insurance is a specific type of travel insurance policy which covers all the stipulations of the super visa application process and residency requirements.
What are the minimum required levels of coverage for super visa insurance?
Super visa insurance needs to cover health care, hospitalization, and repatriation (this means covering the cost of travel for the applicant if must return to their home country while still receiving medical care). The minimum coverage level is $100,000 CAD and the policy should be valid each time the parent or grandparent enters Canada. At customs, the visa-holder must present proof of their Canadian super visa insurance to immigration officers at that port of entry.
Another stipulation that is changing as of July 4 2022 is that super visa insurance must be purchased from a Canadian insurance company. The rule change will now allowed approved insurance providers to also offer super visa insurance to visiting parents and grandparents of Canadian residents.
Minimum requirements for a super visa insurance policy:
- The policy must be valid for at least one year from the applicant’s arrival in Canada
- It must provide at least $100,000 CAD coverage
- The policy needs to cover emergency medical care, possible hospitalization, and repatriation
- The policy must be valid and available for review by an immigration official each time the visa-holder enters Canada
Do you need super visa insurance?
Super visas are granted with the understanding that applicants will not be a financial burden on Canada’s publicly funded healthcare system. An applicant needs super visa insurance as proof to show the Canadian government they have adequate medical insurance coverage should they become ill or suffer an accident while visiting the country.
Is super visa insurance mandatory?
Yes, adequate super visa insurance is mandatory and an important requirement in determining an applicant’s eligibility for Canadian super visa approval.
How much does super visa insurance coverage cost?
The cost of super visa insurance depends on many variable factors.
The super visa insurance premium for a single parent or grandparent visiting Canada is typically between $100 and $200 dollars per month, but that rate can vary depending on the individual’s age and health profile. If a sponsor is purchasing super visa insurance for their parents or grandparents as a couple, a joint policy will be cheaper than two separate policies.
Also note that as of August 2022, super visa insurance cannot be paid in monthly installments.
The factors which affect super visa insurance premiums are:
- The applicant’s age
- The policy length
- The applicant’s medical history
- The amount of coverage
- The deductible
The below table shows the relative costs for super visa insurance applicant at different ages.
*365 day super visa insurance policy. $100,000 in coverage. $1,000 deductible.
What is the deductible for super visa insurance?
The deductible for your super visa insurance policy is the amount of cash you choose to pay out of pocket for medical care before your coverage kicks in. There are several different deductible amounts you can choose depending on your insurance provider. Some deductibles can be zero while others can climb into the thousands of dollars, all offering different levels of savings on your premiums. The chart below shows how the size of your deductible lowers your premium with a popular Canadian travel insurance provider.
Premiums for female, non-smoker, 30-years old
The advantage of a higher deductible is that it can lower the premiums you pay for coverage. A zero dollar deductible comes with a higher premium as you are choosing to pay no upfront costs no matter what medical expense you may be faced with. Many choose to pay a deductible to lower their premium amount, and then pay for smaller medical expenses (like one-time prescription drug orders, etc) as they occur.
Here’s how a different sized deductible affects super visa insurance premiums with some of Canada’s top insurers.
|Company||$1,000 Deductible||$5,000 Deductible|
*365 day super visa insurance policy for 55 year old. $100,000 in coverage.
What does super visa insurance cover?
Every super visa insurance policy is unique, as one has many options when applying for coverage.
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
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 a public healthcare cover and the advanced age of the typical super visa insurance applicant, opting for a higher medical coverage amount is common.
Does super visa insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
Super visa insurance does not typically cover pre-existing medical conditions or those conditions for which someone is receiving ongoing medical care. In some cases, if you have shown no symptoms or diagnosis of a condition for 180 days prior to the effective date of the policy and have not had treatment for the condition during that time, it will not be considered a pre-existing condition during your coverage period.
Some conditions may get excluded from your super visa insurance coverage during the underwriting process.
Can I purchase 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).
The super visa application process requires those who have sponsored their relatives’ stay in Canada to bear the financial responsibility of their visit. This includes any medical expenses that extend beyond their super visa medical insurance.
Thus, many super visa sponsors elect to purchase super visa insurance for their visiting family members to ensure the coverage stays in place and to purchase additional coverage beyond the minimum requirements.
Can I purchase super visa insurance for my parents and/or grandparents during the COVID pandemic?
There are currently no restrictions on purchasing super visa insurance during the COVID pandemic. Super visa sponsors should take note that coverage for super visa insurance typically starts when the visa holder lands in Canada. If one’s relatives test positive for COVID-19 or arrive from a travel restricted country, it may delay their entry into Canada, and thus delay their medical coverage until they formally arrive and are accepted by Canadian customs.
Read more about COVID-19 and travel insurance.
Are there alternatives to super visa insurance?
No, there are no alternatives to super visa insurance. A hard stipulation for super visa approval is providing proof of medical insurance coverage for those relatives being sponsored for their visit to Canada.
However, there are alternative visa programs which do not require super visa insurance. They include:
- The 6-month visitor visa
- Using one’s passport if they come from a visa-exempt country as determined by CBSA.
- The Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP). An alternate program that lets Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor their parents and/or grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.
How do I get a super visa insurance quote?
Contact our advisors. The experts at PolicyAdvisor have years of experience helping Canadian citizens and permanent residents apply for super visa insurance on behalf of their relatives. They can walk you through the steps required to apply for super visa insurance for your parent or grandparent and present you with multiple coverage options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to purchase a super visa insurance policy in Canada?
Currently, a super visa insurance policy must come from a Canadian insurance company. As of July 4 2022, one can purchase super visa insurance from an insurance company outside of Canada that is approved by the Canadian government. You can purchase a super visa insurance policy while residing in Canada or residing elsewhere.
Can I get a discount if I am purchasing several super visa insurance policies?
Yes, if one purchases several super visa insurance policies at one time, a multipolicy discount is available from most providers.
Is medical testing required for super visa insurance?
No, there is no medical examination or labwork required for super visa insurance. Instead, you answer a medical questionnaire when applying for coverage. You must ensure all your answers are honest and accurate. If it is discovered that you misrepresented yourself on your application, your coverage could be revoked, and in turn, your super visa application or status could be in jeopardy.
Can I get a refund for super visa insurance?
Yes, it is possible to get a refund for super visa insurance. If you apply for and are approved for a policy, but your super visa application is denied, you can receive a full refund for your super visa insurance.
Can you cancel super visa insurance?
It is possible to cancel super visa insurance, but the circumstances to do so are rare. If your super visa application is approved and you are using it to stay in Canada, you cannot cancel your super visa insurance or else your super visa itself will be revoked.
If for some reason your visit to Canada is cut short and you are not utilizing the coverage you paid for, it is possible to cancel the remainder of your coverage and receive a prorated refund. You may be subject to an administration fee to make this cancellation.
Does super visa insurance cover dental work or dental emergencies?
Yes, super visa insurance covers dental expenses. Depending on your policy, super visa insurance can provide thousands of dollars in coverage for dental emergencies and expenses.
How long does super visa insurance coverage last?
Super visa insurance coverage lasts for 1 year and is purchased in 1-year increments. While a super visa can be valid for 10 years, each visit using the visa can only last a maximum of 2 years. If you stay in Canada for the full 2 years, you will need to purchase additional super visa insurance. As well, if you leave Canada and return again you will need to make sure you have new, valid super visa insurance coverage.
Which providers offer super visa insurance?
Super visa applicants can get a super visa insurance policy from companies like Manulife, Tugo, Group Medical Services (GMS), Allianz, 21st Century Travel Insurance Limited, and Destination Canada.
- Super visa insurance is mandatory for those wishing with 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