An invitation letter for a Canada Visa is a plain letter, authored and signed by a familiar third party who is either a citizen of Canada or permanent resident inviting you to Canada.
The author of a letter of invitation for Canada Visa should have a job, stream of income and good standing status to enhance the possibility of being issued with Canada Visa by a Canadian Consulate for visiting purpose. An illegal migrant or a person without legal status cannot invite a visitor to Canada.
The author of the invitation letter may be your friend, colleague, family, business associate, or a person related to you by consanguinity or affinity. The author must be a person with whom you have a secure relationship who can confirm or authenticate your identity and purpose for visiting Canada to the Consulate or any other relevant authority.
An invitation letter is essentially an entreaty from the author resident in Canada requesting the Canadian Consulate in your home country to issue a visa in your favor and permit you to enter Canada within a particular period and for a specific purpose(s).
The content of the letter may also serve as a kind of undertaking by the author of the invitation letter to the Consulate that the detail provided by you are true and correct and to also to endorse that your intentions to enter Canada and leave Canada at the expiration of your visa is certain. The author may also pledge to support you financially where you are unable to do so depending on your circumstance.
You must note that having a letter of invitation will not guarantee the issuance of visitor visa by the consulate by may only corroborate other shreds of evidence already furnished to strengthen why the Canadian Consulate ought to issue you with a Canadian visa. It is merely an addition to other documents in support of your application reinforcing your case if you have ordinarily met the requirements.
The invitation letters for Canada Visa should be signed and dated by the author and if necessary and as required by the Canadian Consulate may also be notarized. The applicant must print, include and submit the letter to the Canadian Consulate at the time of submitting other visa application documents to the consulate. The letter need not be filed separately other application documents.
If your application is made online, a scanned PDF version of the invitation letter should be attached or uploaded to the online application along with other relevant documents.
Contents of an Invitation Letter for Canada Visa
An invitation letter for the Canada Visa must satisfy a few requirements about the content or information supplied therein. In writing a letter of invitation in favor of a visa applicant for a visit to Canada, it should contain the following set of details:
• Sufficient details or information about the visa applicant;
• Sufficient details or information of the person inviting the visa applicant;
• The specific reason or purpose for the visa application.
• The duration of the visit to Canada (if necessary).
Relevant Details of a Visa Applicant
An invitation letter should contain the following details of the visa applicant:
• The full names (as it appears on applicant’s international passport or travel document);
• Number of persons invited (indicating the principal person/applicant);
• Date of birth;
• Contact information (e-mail, telephone number, some Consulate now request for social media handles);
• Precise residential address;
• The relationship between the applicant and the author of the invitation letter;
• The specific purpose of the visit to Canada; (If the purpose of travel or visit is for training or short course, the letter must state how the training stands to benefit the applicant or sponsor);
• The duration of the stay;
• Proposed accommodation for the applicant in Canada and means of payment; (Contact of the Hotel or Residence)
• Proposed date of arrival in Canada and date of departure;
• Full details of the sponsor of the trip
Relevant Details of Author of Invitation Letter
• The full names (as it appears on valid identity card);
• Date of birth;
• Contact information (telephone number and email);
• Precise address in Canada;
• Proof of Residency Status in Canada (Citizenship or Canadian Permanent Resident) copy of proof of legal status such as:
o Canadian Citizenship card or International Passport;
o Canadian Birth Certificate (if Canada is the place of birth);
o Permanent Resident Card or the IMM 1000 (proof of Landing document);
• Occupation and details of the employer;
Applying for Canadian Visa without an Invitation Letter
You can apply for TRV (Temporary Resident Visa V-1) through the same system online as Express Entry. TRV allows you to travel Canada and stay there up to 6 months.
You must note that the Letter of invitation is not a requirement for applying for Canada Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa – IMM 5256). You are only required to have the following:
• Valid return flight ticket to prove your period of stay.
• Confirmed Hotel Reservation (if possible, evidence of payment for at least one night). The hotel reservation replaces the need for a letter of invitation if your purpose of visiting Canada is for tourism
• Proof of strong connections or ties with your home country ( such as marriage, children, company, business, landed property, etc)
• Sufficient funds to stay in Canada. You must show that the money is directly in your possession or under your sole control.
Note that Temporary Residents (visitors) Visa are not allowed to work or study in Canada.
Note also that if you have applied for Permanent Resident under Express Entry, for instance, if you are already in the pool, it is not advisable to apply for Temporary Residents (visitors) Visa; it will amount to having a dual intent. It does not matter if your visa application is in the early stages.