In applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), businesses are required to provide additional supporting documents to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.
One of the methods to prove business legitimacy is through attestation letters. An attestation letter is written or signed to confirm a statement, action, or behaviour. The writer is certifying or attesting that they personally witnessed or know something to be true. Attestation letters are necessary for when legal requirements demand a witness for a document to be fully valid.
As per the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), attestation letters must be prepared by either:
- a lawyer of any other member in good standing with a law society
- a Chartered Professional Accountant in good standing with the respective professional body (attestations from Chartered Accountants in Quebec are not authorized by the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec)
Instances where one may obtain a letter of attestation include:
- Businesses wanting to confirm that their business is in good financial standing and can meet all financial obligations to any temporary foreign worker they may hire for the entire duration of employment
- Businesses wanting to confirm that they are engaged in a legal business that provides a good or a service in Canada where an employee could work
- Businesses wanting to confirm the nature or description of their business activity
- Employers who are required to include an offer of employment letter to its hired foreign national who is applying for a work permit under their company
- Employers providing an employment verification letter or an employment reference letter to a former employee who is applying for a work permit to a new company
- Applicants who have completed a specialized training in a form of a self-certification but holds a relatively valid document to confirm specific details
- Applicants who are required to submit a letter for good character and confirming that they do not have a criminal record or any charges or convictions
A person of authority prepares the attestation letters after confirming the facts. Lawyers are considered persons of authority due to the thorough regulations and rules from their regulatory bodies. Not all immigration practitioners are lawyers; some are regulated Canadian immigration consultants. However, immigration consultants are not considered persons of authority to prepare the attestation letters for LMIA purposes.
If you need to get an attestation letter, you may incur extra costs. If you work with a lawyer to represent your LMIA, this is something they can do for you within the application, as all documents will be readily available for verification and prior to submission.
This is another difference between the scope of service of an immigration consultant vs. a lawyer.
Note that you do not need a representative to file an application on your behalf, but if filing for an LMIA, you will need the attestation letter regardless of being self-represented.