Letter of Invitation - Visiting CanadaLetter of Invitation to Canada

If your relatives or friends are visiting Canada from a foreign country, then you usually need to send them a letter of invitation. A letter of invitation may be useful in any of the following situations:

  • For someone who needs a visa (TRV – Temporary Resident Visa) to visit Canada
  • For someone who needs an eTA to visit Canada
  • For someone who is exempt from eTA or TRV

Letter of Invitation for People Who are Exempt from TRV or eTA

A letter of invitation for an individual who is exempt from TRV or eTA or both is not necessary. However, it can help the person at the border. There might be situations where the border services officer (BSO) questions the visitor. They may ask why they are visiting Canada or who they are visiting and so on. If the visitor has a letter of invitation in hand, they may be able to satisfy the officer and enter Canada without a problem. Keep in mind; there is no document in this world that can guarantee entry.

Letter of Invitation for People Who need a TRV

If someone who visits Canada requires a TRV they typically need to verify the following before securing a visa:

  • Why they are visiting Canada
  • Do they have enough financial resources for their visit
  • Will they return home before the expiry of their visa

A letter of invitation could be a satisfactory document for the first bullet point. It also can help the second one to some extent. In fact, most officers expect an invitation letter from you and won’t issue a visa (TRV) without it. The existence of the letter does not secure a TRV, but its absence could jeopardise the whole process.

Notarized or not Notarized

Generally speaking, you do not need to notarize the letter of invitation. I have never experienced a situation in which the immigration officer refuses a TRV application because the letter was not notarized. Nonetheless, if you are worried, you may sign off the letter in the presence of a notary public or a commissioner of oath, or similar professionals in your province.

What to include in a Letter of Invitation

A letter of invitation usually includes the following information.

  • The host’s basic information (full name, status in Canada, contact details, etc.)
  • The visitor’s information and their relationship to the host
  • The financial means for the purpose of this visit (bank accounts, salaries, etc.)

There is no particular structure for an invitation letter, but consider it a formal tool to communicate with the Government of Canada. Be respectful, concise, and thorough.

Ask a Professional to Write the Letter

You do not need to hire someone to write the letter of invitation for you. However, if you prefer to use the expertise of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), we offer this service in two different ways.

We currently do not notarize the letters. If you have any questions about the letter of invitation or other matters related to Canadian visa, immigration, or citizenship feel free to contact us.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant



“This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not provide legal advice nor should it be relied upon. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for official immigration advice contact us.”