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How long do (grand)parents have to wait after leaving Canada after a 2 year stay in Canada on the Super visa before reentering the country for a yet another 2 year stay?

Canada provides negligible information regarding this issue. The super visa is a multi-entry visa for 10 years, with 2 year stay max at a time. No website says when can one reenter. But surely whenever one reenters, one can stay another 2 years (according to the definition).

I guess if parents can leave Canada and reenter immediately, it would be like living in Canada indefinitely without PR with a cosmetic requirement of leaving Canada for a day, or more practically say a week (before reentering).

EDIT: I have found a relevant document but am unable to say what it means. Does the "extension of 1 year" mean that after the 2 years stay, one extra year extension (so total 3 years stay) can be requested? Or does it mean that the 2 year stay is allowed only for the first initial stay, and any subsequent re-entry will be allowed for a maximum of 1 year? Can you please clarify this as well? Please click that document, it is a single-sentence.

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In very broad strokes, trying to outsmart the immigration system of any country does not work. Even we amateurs who answer questions on these SE sites and forum have seen it all, imagine the professionals. More broad rules:

  1. A visa merely allows you to present yourself at the border and ask for entry but it does not entitle you to, well, anything.
  2. The immigration officer has total decision power.
  3. To be allowed into the country on any temporary visa, you must convince said officer you’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved stay.

So they enter the country for a two year stay, ask for a one year extension, then leave and two days later present themselves at the border again. Guess what happens: they will be denied entry exactly because they try to live in Canada on a TRV.

We also know that people who try to game the system by leaving to the USA for a day before their two year is up are often simply let back into Canada without any extension of their initial two years.

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    +1 Thank you chx for the insightful answer. I am going to mark it as "accepted" soon, but before that, I have to ask you to answer the first sentence of my question. Your answer is great, but it is missing the "how long before one should reasonably expect to get re-entry" part. I know there is no official information about it, which is why I have approached this forum to ask "what is generally thought to be a reasonable time in the eyes of a typical professional immigration officer, before reentering for a yet another 2 year stay?" Thank you so much once again for your insightful answer.
    – Montu Soni
    Oct 5 '20 at 4:38
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    @MontuSoni There is no reliable answer to your first question. If any general rule was to be assumed, then it would be: reentry after the duration of the previous visit. (1 year in, 1 year out ; 2 years in, 2 years out etc.) Oct 5 '20 at 7:50
  • @MarkJohnson Hmm...That is reasonable enough. It becomes so confusing for people with Parent/Grandparents who want to obey the rules but when the instructions are hazy, you know. If someone's parents who stayed for 2 years without the 1 year extension, and want to return after 3-6 months later, it remains so unclear whether they should do it or not. It is impractical on the side of the immigration policy setters to not even mention when should one come back, not even any hint, but expect that when they come, it is a totally random decision upon the officer if one return after 3-6 months.
    – Montu Soni
    Oct 5 '20 at 8:02
  • If there's an answer that'll be in the training materials of the immigration officers I bet. In the past some field manuals were made public but I do not know whether such exists. You can always try to ask CBSA.
    – chx
    Oct 6 '20 at 5:49
  • I think that this answer is bogus unfortunately.
    – nikhil
    Oct 6 '20 at 21:13
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The Super Visa is somewhat of a unique program that Canada runs exclusively for immigrant permanent residents and naturalized Canadian citizens.

A super visa lets you visit your children or grandchildren for up to 2 years at a time. It’s a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years.

Unlike a TRV (Tourist Visa equivalent), there are no requirements for someone to be outside the country for 6 out of 12 months. Technically students are also issued a TRV but that along with a Study Permit allows them to stay for longer time periods and also seek employment.

Also unlike a TRV, the Super Visa has additional requirements that one must fulfill to be granted entry

have a signed letter from your child or grandchild who invites you to Canada that includes:

  • a promise of financial support for the length of your visit the list and number of people in the household of this person
  • a copy of this person’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document
  • have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company that is:
    • valid for at least 1 year from the date of entry at least $100,000 coverage
    • have proof that the medical insurance has been paid (quotes aren’t accepted)

There is also an immigration medical exam that the applicants must undergo before being granted a Super Visa.

The main motivation behind this special visa is family reunification so that immigrant Canadian residents and citizens are able to stay with their parents or grandparents if they choose to do so. But to do this they need to ensure that their family members don't become a public charge.

Now finally getting to the actual point you raised in your question, it is correct that there is no explicit guidance by the Government of Canada but I believe that is intentional and by design. Now someone can choose to assume that the same restrictions that govern a TRV apply to this visa as well, that's perfectly fine but it's only an assumption.

I know of retired parents who have children in the US and Canada who keep hopping from one country to another for at-least an year at a time before going back to India and I'm sure that there are those who stay for even longer. It is true that a visa doesn't guarantee entry into any country but chances of being denied entry are very slim if there is no underlying fraud and the presenter otherwise meets the listed entry requirements. Non existing requirements are unlikely to cause a denial of entry.

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  • Where do you see "requirements for someone to be outside the country for 6 out of 12 months" for a tourist visa? There are no such requirements. Furthermore, the super visa is also a temporary resident visa, so drawing a distinction between the two is a misuse of the terminology. The restrictions that govern TRVs do apply to the super visa because it is a TRV.
    – phoog
    Oct 9 '20 at 4:37
  • A student in Canada is also admitted on a trv, so drawing a distinction between those would be a misuse of terminology as well.
    – nikhil
    Oct 9 '20 at 4:43
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You can extend Super Visa, or even an ordinary TRV for parents/grandparents, even without leaving Canada, as long as you meet insurance, health and funds requirements.

There is no absolute reunification against extension for longer time. Like the other answer said, it is the government's way to allow family reunification without paying health costs after the sponsorship program is restricted. My grandparent has spent the majority of time in Canada in last five years with re-entries and renewals. I know other people who stayed longer, although many of them won the sponsorship lottery later.

What you propose, however, may not work.

A medical examination may be required and a renewed insurance certificate may be demanded; without them, entry may be refused or limited. There are cases where subsequent entries are only granted for 1 year or 6 months or for the remaining period of previous entry; but that usually does not prevent you from applying to extend your stay. Trying to game the system is also not a good look when there is a straightforward renewal path available. After all, it is at the discretion of the immigration officer.

Does the "extension of 1 year" mean that after the 2 years stay, one extra year extension (so total 3 years stay) can be requested?

The maximum period of extension that can be granted at once is one year. An extension of one-year can be requested, after which another one-year extension can be requested again.

Or does it mean that the 2 year stay is allowed only for the first initial stay, and any subsequent re-entry will be allowed for a maximum of 1 year?

There is no clear rule on subsequent entries, only the maximum on the initial entry is two years. For further entries, a two-year entry period can still be granted but it happens (very) often that only a 6-month or one-year period is granted.

These Ministerial Instructions were issued in accordance with the ministerial authority found in subsection 15(4) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), and they direct officers to consider issuing to eligible parents and grandparents a multiple-entry TRV for up to 10 years, with the status period lasting for up to 2 years on each entry to Canada.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/visitors/super-visa.html

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