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Inviting relatives to visit

Letter of Invitation

If you would like to invite a friend or relative to visit you in Canada, you may need to send them a Letter of Invitation. UOIT does not provide letters of invitation. You must write the letter yourself.

The following guidelines are taken from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Refer to their site directly for the most updated information.

Please be aware of the following:

  • A Letter of Invitation does not guarantee that a visa will be issued to your friend or relative.
  • A Letter of Invitation is only one part of your friend's or relative's application. The visa officer will assess the applicant to determine if they meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Some visa offices may require that you have your letter notarized by a notary public. You can use SA Legal Services for this as well.

What to include in your Letter of Invitation

You must include this information about the person you are inviting:

  • Complete name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Address and telephone number.
  • Your relationship to the person.
  • The purpose of the trip.
  • How long the person plans to stay in Canada.
  • Where the person will stay, and how he or she will pay for things.
  • When the person plans to leave Canada.

You must include this information about yourself:

  • Complete name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Address and telephone number in Canada.
  • Job title.
  • Whether you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • A photocopy of a document proving your status in Canada, such as:    
    • Copy of your temporary resident status (e.g., study permit or work permit).
    • Canadian birth certificate, if you were born in Canada.
    • Canadian citizenship card, if you are a naturalized citizen.
    • Copy of your permanent resident card or your IMM 1000 proof of landing, if you are a permanent resident.

Sample Letter of Invitation

The Canadian Embassy, Immigration Section 
19 Dongzhimemwai Dajie, Chao Yang District
Beijing 100600, China (PRC)

December 23, 2012

Re: Letter of invitation for my parents (John and Jane Smith)

Dear Visa Officer:

I am writing this to support the visitor visa application of my parents. My father, John Smith, (born February 5, 1943) lives at North Road, Laoxin 23rd block, Dunhua City, Jilin Province. My mother, Jane Smith, (born October 6, 1946) lives with him. Their home phone number is 555.555.5555.

They would like to visit Canada to attend my Convocation on June 9, 2016.  They intend to stay with me at my home for two weeks, from June 5 to 19, 2016. They have a flight booked to leave Canada on June 20, 2016. Housing and food costs during their stay will be covered by me; they will cover all other costs for their trip.

I am currently an international student, studying at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). A copy of my passport and study permit is attached. My date of birth is August 14, 1994. I live at 123 Simcoe Street, Oshawa, Ontario, L1L 1L1. My phone number is 555.555.5555 and my email address is  Attached is also a copy of my Proof of Enrolment which also states my expected date of graduation.  In addition, I have attached a printout from the UOIT Convocation site which verifies this year's convocation dates.  From this printout, you will also find the website address where you can confirm this information independently if you wish.  

Thank you in advance for the consideration of my parents' application.

Yours truly,

Sarah Smith

Additional documents to provide

The officer reviewing your family member's application for their visitor visa will likely want to confirm that the information you have provided in your Letter of Invitation is true. Therefore, you may want to provide the following documents with your Letter of Invitation:

  • Proof of Enrolment with your correct expected date of graduation stated on it (obtain from the UOIT Registrar's Office or Graduate Studies Office).
  • A printout of UOIT's upcoming convocation ceremony date(s) with the website link provided.

After writing your Letter of Invitation

You will send your friend or relative the Letter of Invitation and they will add this letter to their visa application. They will apply for their Visitor Visa at the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC). Please be aware that each VAC has different requirements. Make sure you review the requirements for the specific VAC where your friend or relative is applying.

Proof of economic and social ties

Your visitor(s) must provide proof of economic and social ties to their home country as part of their application. The stronger the ties to their home country, the greater the chance they could successfully prove to an immigration officer that they will return to their home country after visiting Canada.

Economic ties include:

  • bank statements
  • letters of employment
  • proof of business ownership
  • proof of financial investments
  • proof of property ownership

Social ties include evidence that family members back home depend of them for financial/social support and that they must return home after their visit in order to meet these obligations.

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