Parents and Grandparents Program vs. Super Visa, Explained!

The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) is for the parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens to immigrate to Canada, and enjoy the benefits of permanent residence (PR) and even apply for citizenship at a later stage. PGP is lottery based selection process and is held once a year thus is less available than the Super Visa.

The Super Visa works like a temporary resident visa (TRV) and allows parents and grandparents of Canadian PRs and citizens to enter and remain in Canada on a long-term basis (up to 10 years validity, with five years continuous stay). It is available year-round, but doesn’t provide parents/grandparents with the same options to PR and eventually citizenship, as the PGP.


At minimum, the Canadian PRs and citizens wishing to sponsor their parents/grandparents through either program must be:

  • At least 18 years old;
  • A Canadian citizen, or PR;
  • Residing in Canada at the time of application and when parents/grandparents are expected to arrive;
  • Residing in Canada at the time of application and when parents/grandparents are expected to arrive;
  • Of good financial standing;


In addition to failure to comply with the eligibility criteria, candidates will also be ineligible for either program if they:

  • Did not pay back an immigration loan, a performance bond, or court-ordered family support (i.e.: alimony or child support);
  • Did not provide promised financial support they agreed to when sponsoring a family member in the past;
  • Fall under any other ineligibility criteria.

Financial requirements

For the Super Visa, candidates will have to prove that their household meets the required Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) criteria.

For the PGP, candidates should look to meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirements for the program. Candidates must show proof of funds by requesting a Notice of Assessment (NOA) from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA); showing that the sponsor has met the MNI for their case, and has done so for the last three taxation years, before applying.

Application process

For Super Visa sponsorship, the application process is similar to that of a regular TRV. Additional documentation is needed, however, to prove that parents/grandparents can be looked after, upon arriving in Canada.

For the PGP, candidates must follow the steps to meet and prove their eligibility, and then submit this information to be included in the candidate pool. If candidates are selected, they will receive an invitation to apply, which carries subsequent steps.

For either the PGP or the Super Visa, the sponsored individuals cannot be medically or criminally inadmissible to come to Canada. An Immigration Medical Exam (IME) is required for both programs, and the PGP also requires a police certificate.

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