Canada will only permit a limited number of citizens from “friendly” countries around the world to visit Canada as a tourist/temporary resident without a proper visa. As a general rule, if you are a holder of a foreign/alien’s passport/travel document, you will need to apply for a visa for entry into Canada.
As Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents, you are entitled to be reunited with family members and friends in Canada who live in other countries around the world. You may wish to invite them to visit for a vacation, for a special occasion like the birth of your child, a wedding, a medical emergency or death on compassionate grounds.
The Consular offices and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada will issue tourist visas to your family and friends provided you provide them with genuine and sufficient information/documentation regarding the visit to Canada.
Although the CIC website indicates that “sometimes… they may ask for a letter of invitation from someone in Canada”, it is actually a standard requirement that should be followed and provided for all applications for a visitor visa or a super visa to Canada.
At minimum, the required information as listed on the CIC website should be provided within your letter of invitation.
The common reasons that many applications for a visitor visa get rejected or a denial include the following:
1. Failure to provide the enumerated list of information and documentation clearly indicated on the CIC website;
2. Applications not properly signed and dated;
3. Lack of travel history or not providing a proper reason why there is a lack of travel history;
4. Insufficient information about ties to home country or evidence that shows there are ongoing family or work obligations or assets and other properties that the visitor will need and want to return home upon completion of the expected travel vacation/visit to Canada;
5. Insufficient information that the family and friends in Canada will have sufficient funds or unwillingness to provide for, or a lack of a proper undertaking statement of responsibility for the visitor/tourist during his/her stay in Canada; and
6. Lack of evidence that health and travel insurance coverage will be purchased if the visa is granted. Canada will not be responsible for any medical costs for foreigners. Medical cost is NEVER free. Provincial Health Care Plan, or OHIP, if you are living in Ontario, will not cover medical and emergency costs for tourists/visitors.
As indicated on the CIC website, the Government of Canada does not guarantee that it will grant a visitor visa even if a letter of invitation is submitted. However, based on my legal practice and experience, submitting a proper notarized letter of invitation signed and sealed by a registered officer of the courts and lawyer will definitely help a lot. The fact is, this is not just any letter, it is actually a statutory declaration of responsibility. It is a legal document. You must provide information you know is truthful and in good faith. When you get it notarized or commissioned, you are swearing under oaths before an officer of the courts. There are real criminal sanctions and consequences if you are found to be providing false information within the letter.
I encourage you to contact my office via email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a free sample template of the letter of invitation for your revision and use. Review my website for fees and contact my office again for a meeting for notarization.