Understanding Invitation Letters

The Dos and Don'ts of Writing an Invitation Letter

If you are planning on inviting a family member, friend, or colleague to visit you in Canada, there's a good chance you'll need to provide them with an invitation letter. An invitation letter is a formal document that outlines the purpose of the visit, the details of the invitation, and the relationship between the inviter and invitee. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about invitation letters in Canada.

The Purpose and Importance of an Invitation Letter

The primary purpose of an invitation letter is to help the Canadian government assess the intent of the invitee to enter Canada. An invitation letter is an official document that acts as a supporting document for a visitor visa application. This document assures the Canadian government that the visitor is entering Canada for a genuine purpose and will abide by Canadian laws and regulations.

Furthermore, an invitation letter can also help the invitee in obtaining a visitor visa. A well-written invitation letter can demonstrate the purpose and duration of the visit, the financial support, and the relationship between the inviter and invitee.

What an Invitation Letter Must and Should Contain

An invitation letter must contain specific information to support the visitor's visa application. It should include:

Information about the Inviter:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Canadian citizenship status or permanent residency status
  • Occupation
  • Contact details (phone number, email, and address)

Information about the Invitee:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Passport number
  • Relationship with the inviter

Purpose of the Invitation:

  • Details of the purpose of the visit (business, tourism, visiting family, attending an event, etc.)
  • Proposed dates of the visit

Details of the Invitation:

  • Accommodation arrangements (if applicable)
  • Travel arrangements (if applicable)
  • Details of any activities or events planned during the visit

Duration of the Invitation:

  • Start and end dates of the visit

Relationship between the Inviter and Invitee:

  • Details of the relationship between the inviter and invitee
  • How the inviter and invitee met

Guarantee of Financial Support:

  • A statement that the inviter will cover all the invitee's expenses during their visit to Canada
  • Evidence of the inviter's financial capacity to support the invitee (bank statements, employment letter, tax returns, etc.)

In addition to the mandatory information, there are some recommended details that an invitation letter should contain. These details are not mandatory, but they can help strengthen the visitor visa application. These details include:

Additional Information about the Inviter:

  • Details of the inviter's status in Canada (citizen, permanent resident, work permit holder, etc.)
  • Invitation letter author's occupation
  • How long the inviter has lived in Canada

Additional Information about the Invitee:

  • Details of the invitee's employment or student status
  • Details of the invitee's financial status
  • Information about the invitee's previous visits to Canada (if any)

Additional Information about the Invitation:

  • Details of any other persons accompanying the invitee (if applicable)
  • Details of any other supporting documents included with the invitation letter

Declaration of Intent:

  • A statement that the invitee intends to leave Canada at the end of their visit
  • A statement that the invitee will not work or study in Canada without proper authorization

Formal Signing Requirements for Invitation Letters

An invitation letter must be signed by the inviter and dated. The signature must be original, not a photocopy or electronic signature. The date and place of the signature should also be included.

It must be signed before a Notary Public who will confirm the identity of the person signing the letter and witness his or her signature. 


Invitation letters are an important supporting document for visitor visa applications to Canada. An invitation letter must contain specific information about the inviter, invitee, purpose of the invitation, details of the invitation, duration of the invitation, relationship between the inviter and invitee, and guarantee of financial support. Additional information can be included to strengthen the visitor visa application. Invitation letters must be signed and dated by the inviter, and a witness may be required in some cases. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure your invitation letter is successful in supporting your invitee's visitor visa application.

Click here for a sample invitation letter template. See this other article for information about the authentication and legalization process.

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