Do letters of reference have to be confidential?

Letters of Reference must be confidential. When a referee receives a reference request, they are advised to include a statement which mentions that the content of the letter has not been seen by the applicant. Once a reference letter is in CaRMS Online, the applicant can see that the letter has been processed but cannot view the contents of the letter.

Letters of reference that are sent directly from the applicant to CaRMS may still be processed, specifically when an applicant has immigrated to Canada with the letters in their possession and no longer has the opportunity to have a letter submitted directly by the referee. If you feel this situation may apply to you, you must send a notarized or certified copy of the letter. Original letters of reference submitted to CaRMS will not be returned to applicants.


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