Immigration corner: How to write an invitation letter
Dear Ms Powell,
My niece is in Jamaica and I am in Toronto. She would like to visit me for the summer holidays and she asked me for an invitation letter, but I'm not sure what to write. Can you tell me what information to put in the letter? Thanks in advance. Keep up the good work.
An invitation letter is one of the most important supporting documents that anyone who is applying for a temporary resident/visitor visa should include as a part of their application to the Canadian Embassy. The letter should have all the essential facts about both your niece and yourself to help the visa officer to make a decision on whether or not to grant the visa. Therefore, it is important that it is well written.
Your letter must include the following about the person being invited:
- Complete name;
- Date of birth;
- Passport number, date issued and date of expiry;
- The person's address, telephone number and email address, if available;
- Your relationship to the person invited;
- The purpose/ reason for the trip;
- How long the person you are inviting intends to stay in Canada;
- Details on accommodation and living expenses;
- The date the person you are inviting intends to leave Canada.
Your letter should also include the following about yourself:
- Complete name;
- Date of birth;
- Email address, telephone number and address in Canada;
- Occupation and place of work;
- If you are retired, you should state that you are retired;
- Status in Canada - whether Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
You should consider including documents to substantiate your status in Canada. If you are a citizen, you should submit a copy of your Canadian birth certificate, passport, citizenship card/certificate. If you are a permanent resident, you may send a copy of your permanent resident card, your IMM 1000 proof of landing. You should ensure that your documents are valid as they will not accept expired documents. You may enclose these documents in a separate, sealed envelope to protect your privacy.
Additionally, you may also include details about the number of persons living at your home, the names and dates of birth of your spouse and children. While this information is not critical for a regular visitor's visa, it should be included when submitting a letter for someone who is applying for a parent and grandparent Supervisa.
If you will be providing financial support for your niece, it will be necessary for you to include your financial documents such as bank statement, job letter, and copy of the deed for your home, or anything else to show that you can afford to assist her with her travel plans.
This information is only a guide. Additional information or supporting documents may be necessary, depending on the reason for the visit. If your niece plans to attend a wedding, graduation or other special event, I suggest that you include a copy of the invitation or some proof of the event.
You should also note that some visa offices may require that you sign your letter in the presence of a notary public and the document be notarised.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line: Immigration Tel: 613.695.8777. Follow her on Facebook and twitter.