Invitation letters for purposes of visa applications and other immigration steps are an important element of the process. These letters are normally obtained by friends or family that live in Canada, who then promise to keep track of vacation expenses, lodging, and also to ensure that the applicant will depart on the stated date.

The person who writes this letter should always do it in good faith and do what is in their power to comply by what is written in the letter, however, the letter has no legal force and IRCC recognizes that this letter is written under good faith. What this implies, is that the letter is not a contract and even if the applicant were to disobey any Canadian rule or if something did not go as planned, there is no legal responsibility of the host, just a moral responsibility.

The above is simply regarding the legal point of view, however, since Canada prides itself with a system of honor in many aspects and in immigration cases, the information that is presented in the visa application is kept through the GCMS system, which will state the name of the host who has written the letter. This allows the IRCC to identify if a host has written an extensive number of letters that have not been of good faith and the terminations of these, and this would impact the credibility of the applicant and host for present and future applications.

The person who receives, and the person who signs the letter should take it with seriousness, because it will be presented to the IRCC. They should also carefully consider the requirements of the letter so that it is accepted.

by Maria Campos Ozaine LL.M
Immigration Consultant

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