Letter of Explanation (LoE) | Template, Sample, and Guide for Canada

Letter of Explanation (LoE) | Template, Sample, and Guide for Canada


Guide to Letters of Explanation (LoE)


What is a letter of explanation?

An explanation letter is used to explain particulars of your application that may raise questions or concerns from an immigration officer from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC). Letters of explanation (LoE) can be used to help immigration officers understand your circumstances to leave the guesswork out of your application. Letters of explanation are important tools at your disposal because it is your responsibility to prove that you are eligible to immigrate through the program of choice.

Is a letter of explanation necessary?

No, a letter of explanation is not a requirement to submit applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. However, just because it isn't a requirement doesn't mean it isn't helpful to your application. Read below about when to use a letter of explanation.

When to use a letter of explanation?

If you understand the qualifying criteria for your applications and the program objectives, you may be able to identify weaknesses in your application that may raise questions or concerns from the officer. Keep in mind that providing an explanation does not guarantee acceptance by the immigration officer. You will still need to meet all the qualifying criteria of your immigration program and satisfy the officer with supporting evidence. There are various instances when you should submit an LoE but here are 3 common examples:

  1. You may be required to submit letters from your financial institution in a specific format. If the letter that you received does not meet the format fully and the institution is unable to provide the proper format, you can write a letter of explanation.
  2. If you weren't able to get in contact with a previous employer to obtain a reference letter. You should exhaust all options to get in contact with your previous employer but if all else fails, you may be able to submit payslips along with a letter of explanation to ask for an exception.
  3. Some countries may require a ‘request letter’ from IRCC to issue a police clearance check. You may include a letter of explanation to explain that you are awaiting this document from IRCC and that you will upload the police clearance check as soon as you obtain it.

Note: Attach additional documents if necessary to help support your explanation.

Considerations when writing a Letter of Explanation

  • You are creating a summary for the immigration officer to understand your situation better. 
  • Be clear and concise without leaving important details out! 
  • Maintain a positive attitude in your letter. Positivity can be contagious.
  • Use standard / correct written English (i.e.no slang or abbreviations, no “CAPITALIZATION” and be respectful.

How do I write a letter of explanation?

Writing a letter of explanation for IRCC is simple. Keep in mind that you are trying to explain your situation as accurately and concisely as possible. There is no reason to mention irrelevant facts or information as it will not benefit your application. We've created a sample letter or explanation (LoE) template that you can download at the top of this page.


Letter of Explanation (LoE) templates and samples

Letter of Explanation Template

Letter of Explanation Template

Letter of Explanation Sample

Letter of Explanation Sample


Download Template

Still unsure how to write your cover letter? Consider consulting one of our certified licensed immigration consultants on ImmiSearch.


Letter of Explanation (LoE) | Template, Sample, and Guide for Canada
Kevin Lee
CEO & Co-founder of ImmiSearch
August 14, 2021