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Super Visa out of reach for many Canadians

By NOUMAN KHALIL
 
As the new Parent and Grandparent Super Visa kicked off Dec 1, its simple but 'out-of-reach' and expensive criteria are beginning to worry many Canadians seeking to invite parents and grandparents.Putting a two-year temporary pause on receiving fresh parental and grandparental sponsorship applications, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney last month introduced the 10-year multiple Super Visa to reduce the backlog.
The procedure is simple and applicants can get the Super Visa in as short a period as eight weeks. However, it's expensive and out of reach for the average Canadian.
To get this 10-year multiple entry pass, an applicant has to be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada, including the requisite proof; undergo the Immigration medical examination; submit proof they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance, valid for at least one year; and satisfy the visa officer that they meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
Of all conditions, the current skyrocketing premiums of medical insurance, especially in Ontario, worries Canadians the most.
"Yes, it (higher premiums) is a concern, but at this time the best remedy is to go for a larger deductible," Suresh Gupta, the GTA's famous immigration consultant, told Focus.
Gupta said the sole purpose of the Super Visa is to protect the Canadian healthcare system.
"A large portion of our provincial budget goes towards healthcare and the leaders need to balance it out. They don't mind people coming in as long as they have their own health coverage.
"If you're asking me 'it's fair'. Personally, as a Canadian, I believe it is fair," said Gupta.
The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is one element of Phase I of the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification.

Pre-existing whammy
Insurance companies also do not cover any pre-existing health conditions such as blood pressure, diabetes or emergencies related to those conditions - yet another concern for people seeking to invite their elders.
Announcing the details in November, Kenney said the action was taken to cut the backlog, reduce wait times and ensure the parents and grandparents program is sustainable over the long run.
He said in 2012 the government will admit 25,000 parents and grandparents to Canada, a 60 per cent increase as compared to 15,500 in 2010.
Asked to comment on current wait times, particularly in Chandigarh, New Delhi and Islamabad, Gupta said: "Things are moving very fast (in Mississauga office). Even those who have applied in 2009 are getting responses to submit further documentations.
"The minister is testing the waters," Gupta added. "This is going to be a new direction to parental and grandparental cases."
Analysts add that while on the one hand the government is trying to save on the healthcare of seniors, on the other hand it will be losing in the form of seniors' liquidated assets that they usually bring to Canada as immigrants.
They add it will be interesting to see how fast the new measure can reduce the backlog.

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