Invitation Letter for Business Visitors to Canada
Vihaan, an Indian citizen, is a senior project manager at Tanza Consultancy Group* (TCG) in Mumbai. The TCG branch in Toronto intends to run a two-day crash course on project management for some of their local employees. The training coordinator of the program believes Vihaan is the best fit for delivering the training. Vihaan does not hold a visa for the purpose of visiting Canada. He knows that as a business visitor, he is exempt from a work permit, but he still needs to apply for a TRV. He wonders how he can prove his intention is to deliver the training for their staff in Toronto.
An invitation letter is a great tool to show why someone is visiting Canada, who they are visiting, and how they are going to cover their expenses. Whether you are visiting Canada for personal reasons or as a business visitor, it is reasonable to obtain one or more invitation letters from an entity in Canada. As a reminder, one of the pillars of issuing a TRV is the purpose of visit. A letter of invitation could clarify the purpose of visit.
When it comes to business visitors, the issuance of the invitation letter is a must. The Canadian company that invites the business visitor must issue a formal invitation letter. I strongly recommend the following specifications for a business invitation letter.
- Make sure to use the Canadian company’s letterhead for the invitation letter.
- The person who signs off the letter is the person who has the authority to invite the business visitor. In a small company this person is normally the director of the company, but in large companies, they could be the head of one of the departments that are authorized to have dealings with other countries. Regardless of who signs the letter, it is not a bad idea if a second manager of the business ratifies the signature.
- The invitee must hold a copy of the letter for the port of entry. If they also need to apply for a TRV, the Canadian company may need to issue two copies of the invitation letter; one for the TRV application and one for presenting at the port of entry. If the TRV application is online, then one copy is enough as the invitee may carry the original to Canada.
There are three major elements in a typical business invitation letter, namely the Canadian Company, the host, and the invitee.
The Canadian Company
IRCC recommends the following to be included in the invitation letter about the Canadian company.
- Use of the company’s letterhead which includes the name of the company
- The address of the headquarters of the company in Canada
- The addresses of all the branches of the company in Canada where the foreign national intends to visit
- A short description of the company’s activities (make sure to enter the number of employees and other relevant information such as the year the company was established in Canada)
- Company’s website address
You need to include the following about the host or rather the person who extends the invitation.
- Their name
- Their position in the company and their job title
- Contact information, including phone number(s), business email address, and physical address of their place of work
- Their name, date of birth (if known)
- Their current employer and their position with that employer
- Their contact information (both work and home), including phone number(s), email address, and physical address
- The relationship between the Canadian company and the invitee and if the host knows the invitee personally
- Why they are visiting Canada, their duration of visit, and the dates of entering and leaving Canada
- Who will take care of accommodation, transportation, and meals of the invitee
An invitation letter does not guarantee the issuance of the visa, but it is extremely crucial for business visitors. Even if the visitor is visa exempt, they need to be able to present an invitation letter to the Border Services Officers.
Relevant article: Business Visitors to Canada
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This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not provide legal advice nor should it be relied upon. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for official immigration advice book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals or organizations) is coincidental.
*The names and scenario are fictional and for the educational purpose only. Any resemblance is incidental.