Inviting friends and family

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The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information.


When you invite a friend or family member to visit you in Canada, remember: citizens of certain countries require a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada.

If a valid TRV is required, you should send your friend/family member supporting documents. They need to include these documents in their TRV application. People who do not require a TRV may require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada and should bring supporting documents with them as well. US citizens and lawful permanent residents of the US do not require a TRV or eTA.

Some Canadian visa offices have additional requirements. Go to the IRCC website and select your country/territory from the drop-down menu (located in the "Apply on paper" section). Click "Get documents" and then select "Visa office instructions" (the second link). This will launch a PDF specifying requirements for your visa office. Confirm if additional documents are needed and if the application procedure is different.

If applying online: To avoid delays or rejection, they will need to submit the required documents listed on the "Your document checklist" page in their MyCIC account plus any visa office-specific documents with their application.

Merge all visa office-specific documents into one file (such as a PDF) and upload the file in the "Client Information" section under "Optional Documents" in the online checklist.

Special Notes to TWU Students

If you are TLC Program students, please note that TLC Program is an English language program, which is not a PGWP-eligible program.  Thus, your spouse cannot apply for a spouse open work permit (SOWP), your spouse should consider applying for a visitor visa to come to Canada.

If you are undergraduate program, graduate diploma or graduae certificate program students, please note that, On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced some changes. Spousal open work permits will now only be available to spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. The spouses of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible. The spouses should consider applying for a visitor visa to come to Canada. 

  • If your spouse needs to apply for a visitor visa to Canada, please keep in mind that depending on which country your spouse is from, they can apply for either a TRV or an eTA. The temporary resident visa (TRV) / electronic temporary visa (eTA) is a travel document only for entering Canada. Most people need a visa or an eTA to travel to Canada - not both. Make sure to double check the IRCC official website HERE, and then follow the instructions to answer all questions to determine if you need to apply for a TRV or eTA. You shall find the application fees on the IRCC official website:
  • If your spouse needs to apply for a Spouse Open Work Permit (SOPW), please check HERE for the information on the IRCC official website. Click on "How to Apply" to follow the instructions to submit your application with IRCC. You shall find the application fees on the IRCC official website:
  • Processing Time: It is important to understand that the IRCC processing time can vary based on your family situation. However, you can check the average processing time for each type of application HERE.

Suggested supporting documents

Here are suggested supporting documents.

  • Copy of applicable documents proving your status in Canada, such as:
    • A study permit, or
    • Post-graduation work permit, or
    • Permanent resident card, or
    • Proof of Canadian citizenship
    • Your document(s) should be valid for the length of your family members’ stay in Canada. If you recently completed your program requirements but do not have a post-graduation work permit, you may send a copy of your study permit and an official letter of completion. If you have applied for a post-graduation work permit online but do not have it yet, send a copy of the Letter of Confirmation that IRCC sends when they receive the application.
  • Copy of your passport
  • Letter of invitation written by you
    • Write the letter of invitation yourself. Visit this site for tips. Some visa offices may require that your letter be notarized by a Notary Public. Check online for the specific Canadian visa office requirements. To find a notary, visit the BC Notaries website.
  • Copy of your marriage certificate (if you're inviting your spouse)
  • Additional information about your status in Canada
  • An official TWU enrolment letter (for current students).  Please contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain the school letter.
    • If you have unusual circumstances (such as you need additional time to complete your program, your Letter of Enrolment does not specify your estimated completion date, or you are applying in the summer before you can register for winter courses), you can request a Customized Enrolment Letter from your academic advisor or department staff stating your program, your status as a student, and your expected date of program completion. Submit this in addition to a letter of enrolment.
  • A letter from your employer confirming your job (for post-graduation work permit holders)
  • Proof of your available funds (if you are paying for their visit)

In addition, your friends/family must provide proof of economic and social ties to their home country. The stronger the ties, the higher the chance of successfully proving they will leave Canada after their visit.

  • Examples of economic ties include bank statements, proof of financial investments, a letter of employment, and/or proof of property ownership, etc.
  • Examples of social ties include evidence that family members back home depend on them for financial/other support, proof that they must return home after their visit to Canada in order to meet their social obligations to their family members or community, etc.


What should I do if I need help for submitting the invitation application?

If you still have questions related to immigration, health insurance, and life as an international student in Canada?

  • Workshops and Seminars: Our workshops and seminars are conducted regularly to help international students stay informed and empowered. Link to TWU Calendar.
  • Service Hub: For personalized assistance in resolving immigration-related questions, please submit your inquiries through Service Hub. Our team is here to provide specific support and help with any concerns you may have. Please note that TWU RCICs or RISIAs can only advise international students, their spouses, common-law partners, and children. We do not submit IRCC applications on behalf of international students.
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Article ID: 153483
Sat 8/5/23 4:41 PM
Wed 5/29/24 1:43 PM