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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Do I Need an Invitation Letter as A Visitor to Canada

Do I Need an Invitation Letter as A Visitor to Canada

Visitor Visa Invitation Letter

Your daughter’s wedding is coming up and you have invited your brother to join in the festivities. As someone that lives outside of Canada, you know he is going to need go through immigrations services and want to help make the process as smooth as possible. However, you have no previous experience in anything immigration-related, so you feel pretty useless. How can you help? As the person inviting him to Canada, there is one way you can make his travel hassle-free; that is, to write him an invitation letter.

What Document Do I Need as a Visitor to Canada?

Before writing an Invitation Letter, it is important to understand what type of document/application your family member is going to need. When visiting Canada, he/she could need a visitor’s visa or an eTA. The documents they will need is dependent on their nationality or their reason for visit. For example, if your relative is really visiting for business purposes but plans to attend your daughter’s wedding on the side, they may need a business visa instead. Furthermore, different countries have different requirements in terms of whether they need an Eta or visitor’s visa. Visit the Canadian Immigration Center website to confirm what kind of document your family member is applying for before writing a letter (cic.gc.ca).

Do I Need an Invitation Letter as a Vistior to Canada?

An Invitation Letter is not mandatory when applying for a visitor’s visa. In some cases, however, the government of Canada will request that you provide them with an Invitation Letter when you submit your application. If not asked by the government, you will not need an invitation letter. Therefore, if you need to obtain a visa to visit Canada but cannot get an invitation letter from anyone, do not be discouraged – you can still apply. Having said that, it is still recommended that, if possible, you include an Invitation Letter in your application to make it stronger.

Who Can Write the Invitation Letter?

The Invitation Letter must be written by the individual who is inviting you to Canada. This means that your reason of visiting Canada, as stated in your application, is related to the individual who writes you the letter. Therefore, you can write an Invitation Letter for a family member or a friend. Writing the Invitation Letter does not mean that you will be held legally responsible for the visitor during his/her stay in Canada. However, you must remain truthful in everything you state in the letter. If you state that the individual will be staying at your home during their visit, then they must stay at your home.

Will the Invitation Letter Guarantee my Visa?

Including an Invitation Letter in your application does not guarantee that your visa will be approved. It is still at the discretion of the visa officers to assess whether or not you may visit Canada. Though your Invitation Letter will be considered, you must still meet the terms of Canada’s immigration law. The Invitation Letter will, however, improve your application and make it stronger. By having an individual formally invite you to Canada, you are providing the visa officers credibility of your story for your reason to visit, which will serve as proof that enhances your application.

What Should I Include in the Invitation Letter?

The Canadian Immigration Center has specific requirements as to what should be included in the letter. There will be two aspects of the letter: the first will provide details on the person who is being invited to Canada, while the second will provide details on the person writing the Invitation Letter. In the first section, you will need to include personal information details on the individual being invited to Canada. This includes their complete name, date of birth, address, and telephone number. You will also need to provide further details in regards to their visit to Canada. This includes your relationship to the person, the reason for their visit to Canada, how long the individual is planning to stay in Canada, where they plan to stay during their visit, how they will be paying for their visit (in terms of food, accommodation, etc.), and when the person plans to leave Canada.

In the second section, you (as the writer) will need to provide details about yourself. This involves personal details such as your complete name, date of birth, Canadian address, Canadian telephone number, and job title. You will also need to describe your status in Canada – whether you are a Permanent Resident or a Canadian citizen. You must prove your status by attaching a photocopy of a document stating your status in Canada, which could be:

  • A Canadian birth certificate
  • A Canadian citizenship card
  • Your PR card or IMM 100 proof of landing

You must further provide details of your family and the total number of people living in your household. Note that there may be different or additional requirements for a parent and grandparent super visa. To ensure that you are including the appropriate details, please visit the government website and review their requirements (cic.gc.ca).

How Should I Write the Invitation Letter?

While there are templates available online, there is no official way in which the letter must be formatted. Generally, it should be formatted as a formal letter. This includes the date on which you write the letter, which should be written at the top right, and the address of the person of whom you are writing your letter to. You may address your letter to the visa officer, and title it as “Letter of Invitation for (name/relationship of individual to be invited)”. Then include the details of the letter and ensure that you mention what other documents you have enclosed in the letter (for example, a photocopy of your birth certificate). Also ensure that it is personally signed by you.

Who Do I Give the Invitation Letter To?

Before sending the letter, ensure that you have included everything required within the letter. In some instances, the visa office will require that you also notarize the letter. Your completed letter should be sent to the person who you are inviting to Canada. That individual will then send the letter to the Canadian embassy or consulate outside of Canada when they apply for their visa.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are planning to visit Canada and need assistance with your application, you may want to consider the dedicated and experienced team at Akrami and Associates. Give us a call and we would be more than happy to assist you with any questions/application aid you may need.

With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!

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