A Canadian student visa Letter of Explanation (LOE) is an official document used to state the reason(s) why you have chosen to study in Canada. This letter also offers clarification on opposing details in the information you supplied while applying for a study permit.

When considering studying in Canada, have in mind that you will need a study permit and one of the criteria for a study permit is to provide a letter of explanation that explicitly notes your situation and why you intend to study in Canada.

Also known as the Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Letter of Intent (LOI), this letter is not a compulsory requirement when applying to study as an international student in Canada. However, a good number of Designated Learning Institutions will request this letter or document when you are applying to their school.

It is recommended that you include a Letter of Explanation when applying for a study permit as it explains to the immigration officer what you intend to achieve by studying in Canada. According to experts, the quality of the Letter of Explanation has been one of the primary reasons why some student visa applications have been denied.

Most often the applications are denied because the LOE submitted was copied from those sharing similar profiles or fully written by consultancies. Note that ensuring originality is paramount when drafting the best LOE. The student himself remains the most suitable person who can explain all required conditions including things like interests, intentions, and goals, coupled with social and financial conditions.

When putting together your Canadian student visa letter of explanation, ensure that your LOE is compact, but also convincing enough to prove your points. Immigration and admissions officers tend to have numerous applications to read, so try not to bore them with long talk.

Most times, when officers see a long letter, they get discouraged to read through it. Therefore, keep your LOE concise even as you explicitly state your points. To be considered a good letter of explanation, the document is expected to contain the following outline;

Outline for a Good Canadian Student Visa Letter of Explanation

  1. Your Background
  2. Your intellectual trajectory
  3. Why do you intend to study the course
  4. Reason(s) for picking Canada over your country and the other countries you could have gone to.
  5. How do you plan on supporting yourself during your stay
  6. Motivating factors, and reasons to return to your country e.g. family ties, business ties, etc.
  7. Any other relevant information.

Just as with every other official letter, note there are three basic parts of your Letter of Explanation:

How to Write a Canadian Student Visa Letter of Explanation

  1. Introduction

This is the first part of your letter of explanation and it is expected to give admission and/or immigration a concise idea of who you are. It should include the following:

  • Your name
  • Highest educational qualification
  • Your major or course of study
  • The most recent institution you attended
  • Your work experience (if available)
  • Other information that may be very vital and could be a catch to the reader

Note that the above information should never be provided in a list format. The list format above is solely meant as a guide and to guarantee you understand the most vital details to include in your introduction. Make sure your work experience includes the sort of work you did, how long you spent doing them, and your achievements.

Unless related to your application, do not include your age, sex, marital status, country of origin, contact details, or biodata (height, weight, disabilities, and so on) in your Introduction. If any of these details are connected to the content that would be in the body of your letter, ensure to restrict them to the body.

If the program you are applying under is gender or age-sensitive as included in the admission requirements, you may add that information in your introduction. However, the aim is to limit unnecessary information as much as possible to ensure the reader of your letter can get the necessary information they need.

  1. The Body

This is the part of your letter of explanation expected to contain the most vital information. You should make sure your sentences are not disjointed or the officer will lose connection with your story.

The body of your Letter of Explanation should in a very detailed manner provide clear answers to all of the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ the immigration or admission officers will have if he/she were to interview you in person. This part of the Letter of Explanation should include:

  • Why do you intend to study in Canada
  • Why did you choose that particular institution
  • Why you are interested in the program
  • How you will get financial support for your studies
  • Your return to your home country after study
  • Other necessary details
  1. Conclusion

This is the last and concluding part of your letter of explanation. It has to include every other necessary detail you think will offer you an edge, especially those not already mentioned in the body of your letter. Also, remember to note how you will be of good conduct as an international student in Canada.

In fine detail, buttress the commitment you intend to put in to ensure you maximize your study period in Canada. You may also include how you plan to cope with work and study as an international student in Canada. Finish up the letter and don’t forget to correctly sign it!

A Sample Canadian Student Visa Letter of Explanation Template

[Your Full name]                                                               [Today’s Date]

[Your Mailing address]

[Your Telephone: (area code) – (number)]

[Your Email address]

Re: UCI number XXX-XXX, [insert the type of application you are sending them]

Dear Visa Officer,

I am applying for ……. [Input what you are applying for i.e. Canadian student visa, study permit extension, post-graduation work permit, etc.]. I am attaching this letter to explain the following:

[Divide the subjects you want to explain into different topics:]

[Problem statement and Explanation 1]

[Problem statement and Explanation 2]

[Problem statement and Explanation 3]

[What is your request from the officer? Insert your request here]

I am of course at your disposal to provide you with any additional documents that you consider useful for the processing of my Canadian student visa.

Thank you in advance for the time devoted to the treatment of my visa application.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]