Introduction: What is a notarized invitation letter?
A notarized invitation is a letter written by a person (in Canada or elsewhere) who is personally inviting a family member, a relative or a friend to visit them in their country of residence.
This letter is ‘notarized’ by a notary public to confirm that it is authentic, meaning that a notary public will certify that the signature of the person who wrote the letter is authentic, and will add an official seal or stamp to confirm its validity.
What does it include?
These letters usually include details about the relationship between the person writing the letter and the person being invited, the dates of their intended visit, and information about where the visitor will be staying during their trip.
It is also important to include a statement of the financial responsibility of the invitee for the invited, such as whether the invitee will be providing financial support to the visitor or if they have finances of their own.
Notarized invitation letters are often required as part of the visa application process for individuals to visit a country. It serves as evidence of the relationship between the two parties, and of the financial support of the host.
Are Notarized Invitation Letters a requirement by Authorities?
Even though the Government or Immigration Authorities in Canada usually don’t require notarized letters, it is an optional document that can help support the application for a visitor visa.
Though a Notary Public authenticates the signature of the person who is writing the letter and sending the invitation, they are not held responsible for the authenticity of the content of these letters.
It further implies that you have a strong connection in Canada and also have a place to stay during your trip, as it shows that the host is willing to take responsibility of your welfare, accommodation and other necessary aspects during your stay.
What are the requirements for visiting Canada?
There are a few requirements when it comes to visiting a relative or family in Canada. These include:
- A valid passport or a travel document
- Electronic Travel Authorization for some travelers (ETA)
- Proof of adequate medical insurance, sufficient supporting funds
- Proof of quarantine plan or exemption
- A return ticket, or onward travel ticket
Travelers who don’t require a visa (such as U.S. citizens) may still need an ETA to enter Canada by air. In addition, travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, regardless of where they’ve come from (unless they are exempt by authorities).
For what reason might Canadian Authorities reject your visitor visa?
At times, your visa might be rejected due to some inadequacy in documents or even in your notarized invitation letter. Some of them may include (but are not limited to):
- Inadequate proof of visitation purpose
- Weak ties to your home country
- Insufficient financial resources
- Inaccurate information in your application or notarized letter
- Security or criminal issues
Authorities may find insufficient evidence to demonstrate a clear or legit purpose of your visit, or may be concerned about false or misleading information on your application (such as leaving out important information). If you don’t have strong ties to your home country, such as joblessness, no family or no property (implying that you have no motivation to return after your visit to Canada), it could also result in rejection. At other times, they may find that you have insufficient funds to support your stay or cover the costs of your return/onward travel. Concerns about admissibility (such as criminal issues, concerns related to organized crime or terrorism) may also be crucial reasons for rejection.
For these reasons, it is important to be honest in your application process and provide all necessary documentation to the immigration authorities.
For your visit to Canada, it is recommended to check the official website of the Government of Canada for updates or changes on your trip requirements.
Even though this whole process is usually approved by authorities, it does not guarantee that the visa will be granted because the final decision is taken by immigration authorities and oftentimes, they request additional documents or information as deemed necessary. These documents may include proof of financial support, a police clearance certificate or the passport of the visitor(s).
An invitation letter for a visit to Canada is not a requirement for your visa application, but it can be used as a ‘supporting document’ to show a genuine reason for the visit, and to validate that you have someone in Canada who can/may support you during your stay.
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