Answered – your top 10 questions about super visa insurance

Coverage is a requirement for getting a permit

Answered – your top 10 questions about super visa insurance

Life & Health

By Mark Rosanes

In 2021, Canada has welcomed the highest number of immigrants on record in a single year, reaching its target of 401,000 new permanent residents, according to data from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This pushed the nation’s total to about eight million, or 21.5% of its overall population.

The IRCC also pointed out the crucial role immigration plays in driving the country’s economy and supporting its ageing population, citing that a third of Canadian businesses are owned by immigrants while a quarter of healthcare workers are newcomers.

It’s a fact that most Canadian citizens and permanent residents started their life in the country as immigrants and that many of them had to leave their loved ones behind to come to Canada – something that the federal government recognizes.

To help reunite them with their families, the government implemented several programs that would allow Canada’s visitors to stay for longer than a standard visa would allow. One of these programs is the super visa. 

What is a super visa?

A super visa works differently than a typical visitor’s visa, which only allows non-Canadian citizens to stay in the country for up to six months. Designed for parents and grandparents, a super visa grants the holder multiple entries to the country for a period of 10 years. As of July 4, 2022, super visa holders can stay in the country for up to five years, with the ability to apply for a two-year extension.

To be eligible for this type of visa, applicants must satisfy the following requirement laid down by the IRCC:

  • Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a signed letter from their child or grandchild (sponsor) ensuring they will provide financial support for the visa holder during their stay
  • Have proof that their sponsors have the necessary minimum income to provide for their stay in Canada
  • Provide a copy of their sponsor’s Canadian passport or Permanent Resident Card (PR Card)
  • Take an immigration medical exam and provide proof they are medically admissible into Canada

Apart from these, applicants are required to provide documents proving that they have sufficient medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company – or what is called super visa insurance.

But how does this type of coverage work and are there alternatives to this kind of protection? In the following section, Insurance Business will answer the top 10 questions people have about super visa insurance.

1. How does super visa insurance work?

Having sufficient medical coverage is an important requirement in determining a person’s eligibility for a Canadian super visa.

According to Jiten Puri, founder and chief executive of insurance brokerage platform PolicyAdvisor, super visas are granted with the understanding that applicants will not be a financial burden to the country’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,” he explained.

The IRCC has set the following minimum requirements for a super visa insurance policy: 

  • The policy must be valid for at least one year from the date of entry
  • It must provide at least $100,000 of emergency coverage
  • Applicants must have proof that the medical insurance has been paid in full

Puri added that a policy must be enough to cover emergency medical care, possible hospitalization, and repatriation. It must also be available for review by an immigration officer each time the visa holder enters Canada.

2. What does super visa insurance cover?

Several Canadian insurers are offering super visa insurance, each providing different types of protection. Most policies, however, cover the following:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Ambulance services
  • Diagnostic medical procedures, including bloodwork, ultrasounds, and x-rays
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical equipment, including braces, crutches, slings, and wheelchairs
  • Emergency dental services
  • Follow-up medical appointments

3. Does super visa insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Each insurance company treats pre-existing conditions differently. Some insurers offer coverage provided that policyholders meet certain stability requirements. Typically, if a visa holder has not shown symptoms and received treatment for a condition for at least 180 days prior to the effective date of the policy, it will not be considered a pre-existing illness during the coverage period.

Super visa insurance, however, does not usually cover conditions for which the insured is getting ongoing medical care.    

4. Is medical testing a requirement for taking out super visa insurance?

Unlike when applying for a super visa, for which the IRCC requires an immigration medical exam, medical testing is not compulsory when taking out super visa insurance. Applicants are instead given a set of medical questionnaires that they are required to answer honestly and accurately.

“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,” Puri noted.

5. How long does super visa insurance coverage last?

Super visa insurance is purchased in one-year increments and lasts for the same period. For visa holders leaving the country and returning, they will need to secure a new policy.

6. How much does super visa insurance coverage cost?

Just like in other types of insurance, premium prices for super visa policies are influenced by a range of factors, including the applicant’s age and medical history, the amount of coverage and deductible, and the policy’s length.

According to PolicyAdvisor, monthly premiums for a single parent or grandparent coverage typically go from $100 to $200. If purchasing super visa insurance for parents and grandparents as a couple, getting a joint policy costs less compared to buying separate coverage.

The below table from the insurance brokerage website shows the relative costs for a one-year super visa insurance policy with $100,000 in coverage and a $1,000 deductible for applicants of different ages.














7. How much super visa insurance coverage do visiting parents and grandparents need?

The IRCC requires super visa insurance to have $100,000 worth of coverage, but this is just the minimum. Applicants can purchase up to $1 million in coverage. Given the exorbitant cost of medical treatment in Canada, especially for those without public healthcare coverage, taking out a policy with a higher sum insured is recommended. 

8. What other medical coverage options do you have apart from super visa insurance?

Proof of having adequate medical coverage is among the requirements the IRCC has set for super visa approval, so there is no getting around it. However, the department has other visa programs that do not require super visa insurance, including the standard six-month visitor’s visa. 

9. What will happen if you cancel your super visa insurance?

Although rarely done, policyholders can cancel their super visa insurance in certain situations without getting their super visa revoked. If a visa holder, for instance, needs to cut their visit short and will not be able to utilize the coverage that they paid for, they can cancel the remainder of their policies and receive a prorated refund. Cancellation, however, may be subject to an administration fee. Applicants who have already purchased a policy but were denied a super visa, meanwhile, can get a full refund.

10. Which providers offer super visa insurance?

Canada is home is several insurance providers offering super visa policies. The table below shows some of the country’s major super visa insurance providers, along with the key benefits.

Insurer/Policy name

Coverage features

21st Century Travel Insurance Coverage for Super Visa & Visitors to Canada (Basic Pan)

  • $15,000, $25,000, $50,0000, $100,000, $150,000, or $200,000 coverage options
  • Covers emergency hospitalization, physician’s services, local ambulance transportation, diagnostic and laboratory tests, emergency repatriation, and medical report request
  • Up to $5,000 rental of medical appliances coverage combined with private duty nurse benefit
  • Up to $500 prescription medication for 30-day supply
  • Up to $7,500 repatriation, cremation, and burial
  • One covered follow-up visit
  • Up to $1,000 paramedical practitioner services

Allianz Global Super Visa Insurance

  • $100,000, $150,000, or $300,000 coverage options
  • Up to $3,000 repatriation
  • Up to $4,000 accidental dental repair
  • Up to $500 dental pain relief
  • Up to $5,000 follow-up treatment
  • $500 physiotherapist costs         
  • Up to $1,000 prescription medication for 1 month supply
  • Up to $3,000 transportation of family or friend  
  • Up to $500 attendant services  
  • Up to $1,500 out-of-pocket expenses
  • Paramedical services up to $500 per category
  • Up to $3,000 bedside companion            
  • $10,000 return of deceased       
  • Up to $4,000 cremation or funeral costs
  • Covers hospitalization, emergency medical care, laboratory diagnostics, medical coverage on flight to Canada, and ambulance and transportations services, accidental death and dismemberment up to sum insured
  • Up to $10,000 registered nurse services
  • Rental or purchase of medical appliances

Destination Canada Super Visa Insurance

  • $100,000, $150,000, or $300,000 sum insured
  • Covers medical emergency, hospital accommodation, physician services, laboratory and diagnostics, ambulance transportation up to sum insured
  • Up to $10,000 registered nurse services
  • Up to $1,000 prescription medication for 1-month supply
  • Up to $500 for outpatient treatment for paramedical services
  • Up to $3,000 family or friend transportation and accommodation, $1,000 meals and accommodation
  • Up to $3,000 follow-up visits
  • Up to $3,000 emergency dental repair
  • Up to $500 dental pain relief      
  • Up to $1,500 hospital meals and accommodation for 10 days
  • Up to $3,000 repatriation
  • Up to $10,000 return of deceased
  • Up to $4,000 cremation and burial expenses
  • Single dismemberment of up to 50% of sum insured
  • Flight accident of up to sum insured not exceeding $50,000
  • Rental of essential medical appliances and side-trip travel

GMS Super Immigrants & Visitors Insurance

  • $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, or $150,000 coverage option
  • $0, $100, $500 or $1,000 deductible option
  • Covers medical and diagnostic services, out-patient medical treatment, in-hospital prescription drugs to maximum of 30 days, road ambulance, return of remains, and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Up to $500 for paramedical services
  • Up to $2,000 accidental dental and up to $300 dental pain relief
  • Up to $500 in licensed childcare
  • Side-trip travel includes air ambulance, special attendant, and escort of insured children
  • 24/7 travel assistance service
  • Virtual care for minor emergencies

Manulife Super Visa Insurance

  • $100,000 or $150,000 sum insured
  • $4,000 emergency dental repair
  • Up to $300 relief of dental pain 
  • Up to $300 childcare expenses
  • $150 a day/$1,500 total out-of-pocket expenses
  • Paramedical services coverage of up $500 per category
  • Up to $3,000 transportation of bedside companion
  • Up to $300 accommodation of bedside companion
  • Covers services of a private duty nurse, prescription medications, hospitalization services, emergency medical coverage, x-ray and laboratory diagnostics, and ambulance services, and purchase or rental of medical appliances up to sum insured    
  • Follow-up treatment visits covered until a physician declares an end of emergency
  • Up to $50,000 accidental death and dismemberment
  • $3,000 repatriation of remains
  • Up to $3,000 cremation
  • Emergency home return covers cost of an economy class ticket or air ambulance
  • $6,000 burial costs

Travelance Super Visa Insurance (Essential Plan)

  • $100,000 or $300,000 coverage amount
  • Covers hospitalization, services of physician, ambulance transportation, diagnostic tests and x-rays, and rental or purchase of therapeutic equipment up to sum insured
  • $1,000 prescription drugs for 30-day supply
  • Emergency home return coverage for airfare or ambulance
  • $2,000 injury, $300 pain relief emergency dental repair
  • $5,000 transportation of remains
  • $3,000 cremation or burial

TuGo Super Visa Insurance

  • $100,000, $200,000 or $300,000 sum insured
  • Covers hospitalization, physician’s and private nurse’s services, emergency medical treatment, ambulance transportation, x-ray and laboratory diagnostics, and emergency air transportation up to sum insured
  • $6,000 emergency dental repair
  • Up to $600 relief of dental pain
  • 30-day supply for prescription medications
  • 5 follow-up visits within 14 days of the initial emergency treatment
  • Up to $2,500 return of a vehicle
  • Paramedical services coverage of $600 per practitioner 
  • Return of remains up to sum insured      
  • $6,000 burial or cremation
  • Return of travelling companion cover of economy class ticket cost
  • Family transportation cover of economy class ticket cost
  • $100 per day expenses for a family member
  • Up to $5,000, $500 per day out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Accidental death & dismemberment cover of $25,000 for 24-hour accident 
  • Trip-brakes and side-trips benefits          
  • 24-hour emergency assistance centre

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