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Canada H1B Open Work Permit – Approval POE Letter, Experience

The Government of Canada announced a special program in June 2023 to attract H1B Visa holders currently living in the US. They opened the program on July 16th, 2023, and it hardly lasted a day to fill the entire 10,000 slots. They closed the system on July 17th, 2023.

One of our community members, Sriram K, applied for the same during that day and got it approved. We will share Sriram’s experience and sample approval letter in this article. Thanks a lot to Sriram for sharing the same with all of us. We appreciate it! You can email your experience as well to redbus2us@gmail.com

Background: H1B Open Work Permit Canada

If you are new to the H1B open work permit program initiated by Canada, below is the high-level info about the same:

  • The H1B Open Work Permit program is created by the Govt. of Canada
  • The key intent behind the program is to attract skilled workers who are ending their H1B Visa term in the US or having challenges with their visa situation due to Layoffs or other aspects to stay in the North America and move to Canada.
  • H1B Visa holders living in the US can apply for the open work permit.
  • The approved applicants will get an open work permit for up to 3 years.
  • If approved, the dependents also can either work or study in Canada
  • The total slots are 10,000. Only the principal applicants are counted towards the 10,000 limit.
  • The program to apply for the H1B Open Work permit opened on July 16th, 2023 and ended on July 17th, 2023.

You can read the complete details at: Guide to Apply for Canada H1B Open Open Work Permit.

User Experience: Applying H1B Open Work Permit, Approval

My Background: I am in the US working on H1B Visa. I have Canada visitor Visa as well.

Below is the timeline of events and how it worked:

July 16th, 2023:  In the morning I applied for the H1B Open work permit at the IRCC Portal

Aug 4th, 2023: I got an email saying your application has updates when I logged in. It said that “your application was approved”, but I couldn’t see any further instructions like sending a passport or something.

One of my friends got approval on the same day, but they requested a passport. Also, he did not get a biometrics submission request because he gave biometrics recently for a Canada visitor visa. 

As I have a valid visitor visa for Canada, I assumed that I didn’t need to go for biometrics or submit my passport as well.

Aug 5th, 2023: I got another email mentioning “your application has updates”. Then I logged in and I saw they added a Port of Entry(POE) Introduction letter. 

Canada H1B Open Work Permit – POE Approval Letter

Below is the approval letter for Canada’s H1B Open Work Permit. It is called a Port of Entry(POE) Letter. Also, sometimes, it is called with below names:

  • Introduction Letter
  • Correspondence Letter
  • Introductory Letter
  • POE Letter of Introduction.

H1B Open Work Permit – POE Letter of Introduction Page 1

The POE letter of introduction is of two pages. The first page has the below information:

  • Information about the applicant: Personal details about applicant like name, application number
  • Letter of Introduction Validity – until when you can use this letter to enter Canada to get your work permit
  • List of documents that you need to bring to the port of entry for H1B Open Work permit:
    • The POE Letter
    • Valid Passport
    • A valid temporary resident (visitor) visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

The POE Letter is not the work permit. It is just like the US Visa that lets you travel to the US Port of Entry only. Just like the US CBP officer will do the Port of Entry Process and then allows the person to enter US, similarly the Canadian immigration officer will review your POE Letter and all other details and then issue you the open work permit.

Below is the screenshot of the first page of the POE letter of Introduction for H1B Open work permit for Canada

Canada H1B Open Work Permit - POE Letter - Page 1
Canada H1B Open Work Permit – POE Letter – Page 1

H1B Open work Permit – POE Letter of Introduction Page 2

The second page mainly gives high level information clarifying that the letter does not give the authorization to work and a border services officer has to review everything and make a decision. They give guidelines on how to prepare and some next steps on health insurance and your rights.

Below is the screenshot of the page 2 of the POE letter.

Canada H1B Open Work Permit - POE Letter - Page 2
Canada H1B Open Work Permit – POE Letter – Page 2

What has been your experience applying for the Canada H1B Open work permit? Did you get approval? Share your experiences in comments section below.


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  1. Hi

    Once I submitted my passport (after an invitation to submit my passport), the embassy received it and processed it. Then, they sent me the POE letter today. Below is my timeline:

    July 17th: Applied online
    July 17th: Biometrics invitation letter received
    Aug 6th: Biometric done
    Sep 6th: Biometric validation letter received + Passport request letter + Application approval status on the portal
    Sep 13th: Passport submitted at VFS
    Sep 18th: VFS notification saying application with xxx tracking processed, etc, etc., and passport on its way back to VFS center
    Sep 20th: POE letter received (shows 3 years validity)

    Now i’m waiting for my passport to collect . VFS sent my passport though UPS.

  2. I am still waiting for updates from IRCC after i submitted the Open work permit application on July 17th 2023. I don’t need the biometrics as they already have my valid biometrics collected since i had Canada Visitor Visa in past.

    Is there any way to reachout to IRCC and request them to expedite my open work permit application?

    • Same here. Initially, I thought I am the only one in this waiting situation but thank you guys for posting your status.
      If I hear back anything, I will keep you guys posted and I would appreciate if the other guys here do the same.

      Good luck to everyone 🤞

  3. Anyone in a similar situation….

    1. Group application submitted on July 16
    2. Biometric done on Aug-09
    3. Application status still in-progress
    4. No updates in the IRCC account after biometric details updation

  4. Hello,

    I’ve a query regarding the family visa under this program. Can you anyone provide information how to apply for family visa. I’ve included the family members in the application but I just got the approval and there is no update about the visa for family members. Looking for your reply.


      • Hi, I am also facing the same situation. I have received my visa on my passport, but I don’t know how to obtain visas for my family members. Although I added them to my application, I’m still stuck. I am here in USA and my family is in India

  5. Today got an email for an update. i did not see anything on the site that given me any update.
    “Review of eligibility – September 11, 2023: Your eligibility has been reviewed. Please see the final decision below”

    what i should expect now? i am very much confused.

    I also got below update as well.
    “The decision envelope for your application, tracking ID No. XYZ has been dispatched from the IRCC Office, to the Canada Visa Application Centre in USA, New York.


    VFS Global”

  6. Is anyone here who submitted the profile on July 17th and got the approval?
    I submitted the application for myself and my husband on July 17th and got the Biometrics done on July 24th. But the status still says pending.
    Anyone experiencing something similar?

    • Hi Tasneem i submitted on july 17th as group application but it didnt ask for my spouse passport it only ask to upload marriage certificate then got biometrics on july 20th and still no progress

    • Hi Tasneem,
      I have submitted my application on July 16 and Biometrics done on Aug 2 & Aug 4 resp for me and my spouse but status is still showing in Progress after 6 weeks.

      • HI Mann

        I’m in the same situation, Biometric was done on August and still no progress. Let me know if we can touch base one-on-one, want to know where exactly you gave your biometrics, maybe those particular states/centres messed-up our cases


        • Any update? I’m in the same situation..
          Application submitted on July 16th , biometrics done on August 2nd and background verification is still in progress.

  7. I got my 3yrs OWP visa stamped on my PP which is valid until Sept 2023 , so my qeustion to all is ?
    1)Will my 3yrs OWP visa , gets activated or the clock starts from the date when I enter canada at port of entry ?
    2)Regardless of when I do port of entry inside canada my 3yrs OWP visa is only valid until Sept 2026 as stamped on my PP

  8. Can someone please explain steps to send the passport to VFS. Do we need to send any money order if biometric is not done at VFS?

    Any information regarding the above is much appreciated.

  9. I got my POE on 7 Sept 2023.
    But I don’t know how to apply for a family visa.
    In the application, I mentioned that Group Type is family and in family information filled up the family names, but no family passport related information is requested in that section.
    Anyone know how this will work?
    Any information about this is much appreciated.

  10. Is anyone here in the same situation…?

    1. Application submitted on July 16th
    2. Biomatric done – August 08
    3. Application status is still in progress….

    I’m in the US with a valid stamped H1B visa on my passport. Does anyone know how to contact IRCC regarding the application progress..?

    • Shlok, I am also in the same situation, Application submitted on July 16 and Biometric done on Aug 02, status is still in progress.

      • Hi Mann/Sarath – Thanks for the reply, Have you applied as a group application with your wife and Kids, or as an individual..? mine is a group application.

        One of my friends recently got approval as well as a Visa stamped on his passport (he applied individual application), he completed his biometric on Aug-10 and surprisingly his background verification was also completed on the same day (i.e. Aug-10). He received final approval on Aug-17th.

        My guess is – IRCC takes a longer time for background check those who applied as a group application, not sure if someone has any pointers on that in this group

          • Timeline:

            1. 16th Applied
            2. 15th Aug Bio
            3. 1st Sept approved and request for passport
            4. 3rd Passport sent
            5. 8th IRCC processing visa

            I have expired visa stamp on my passport and I have only uploaded my i797 on all the documents request.

          • Hi All,

            My update

            Having expired H1 stamp and valid I797
            1. 17th Jul applied for Mine and My Spouse.
            2. 14th Aug Biometrics
            3. Sep 8th got update in portal to submit passports.

            QQ: Can we send both our passports together in single envelope or need to send separately.


          • Hi Deepak…Can you please call me at 612 644 9471…few questions about sending passport ….Or please give me your contact info…

        • Shlok,
          Yes I have applied as a group application includes my spouse and dependent Child. Probably that could be reason the processing is taking a bit longer.
          My Biometric was completed on Aug 2 and my wife’s Biometrics was done on Aug 4 but so far I have not seen the approval yet nor did they ask for any additional documents.


          • Mann,

            Would you mind sharing your current location/biometric center details..? just trying to figure out if specific location/IRCC centers are having issues.
            Currently, I’m in the Bay Area(California) and my biometric location was the West Sacramento centre

    • Hi Shlok,

      I am in the same situation as well. Application submitted on July 16th, biometrics on July 31st. Background and Eligibility still in progress.

    • Is anyone got the approval in last 3-4days. I am not sure why is it not moving although processing time on the IRCC website is mentioned 3 weeks.


    • Hi Shlok,

      Same situation, application july 16
      Bomatric done Aug 08
      Status In progress only
      Single applicant still not received any update

      Please update here if any change in your status


  11. Updating everyone without an H1B stamp.

    I had a COS done in 2019 and never got an H1B stamp. However, I received the OWP approval.

    Applied: July 16, 2023
    Biometric: July 31, 2023
    Approved and request for the passport: Aug 29, 2023

    Hope it helps for many people without/expired H1B stamp.

  12. I didn’t got any update for this after I submitted the visa application. Wondering if they are only approving the visa for those applicants who have valid visa sticker in their passport. I have an expired visa sticker in my passport but a valid i797. Can somebody please confirm if they are issuing visa only to those who have non expired visa sticker in the passport?

  13. Posting the timeline so it can be helpful for others

    July 16 – Submitted
    July 16 – Biometric collection letter
    Aug 9 – Biometric done.
    Aug 21 – Application approved, got original Passport Request.
    Aug 21 – Paid two-way courier at VFS but no label.
    Aug 22 – Follow up didn’t help, no label still.
    Aug 23 – Finally it allowed label download, Shipped to NY through UPS.
    Aug 24 – Received at NY CVAC, forwarded to IRCC.
    Aug 25 – IRCC to NY CVAC.
    Aug 26 – POE Letter seen.
    Aug 28 – Courier from NY CVAC.
    Aug 29 – Received Passport in hand with Visa print on it.

    • Here is my timeline.
      July 16 – Submitted
      Aug 4 – Biometric done in India
      Aug 30 – Application approved. Got passport request letter.
      Aug 30: Paid two-way label. Will send the passport next week. I have to send a cashier check of $23.30 as I have given biometrics to a different VAC center (in India) and now submitting passport to NY.

    • Hi AK, Do you have valid H1b visa sticker in your passport? I am still waiting and seems like they are only issuing the work permit to those who have valid h1b visa sticker on their passport.

    • Visa Print on your Passport?, is it a Work Visa or just a Visitor Visa?, Based on my understanding, i see that we may expect a POE and will have Work Authorization once we enter Canada.

      • Worker visa printed. POE letter is also given. Once you reach they will review and stamp the duration regardless of what is issued is what my understanding is ( same as US port of entry however we always get the Expiry date exactly same as what is approved in petition)

    • Hi AK,

      Can you please suggest below are the Documents we need to sent in A-4 Size envelop? Any other suggestion for sending Envelop ?

      1. Original Passport
      2. Original Passport Request Document (PPR Letter)
      3. MO/Cashier’s Check of 23.30 USD
      4. Consent Form
      5. Return Shipping Label

  14. Hi Rahul,

    I am in the same situation and My application status in Submitted status 🙂 I believe there may others are in similar situation too 🙂


    • Yes Babu, I am in the same situation too. Did you have a valid H1b Visa Sticker in you passport? I have a valid i797 but expired H1b Visa Sticker on my passport, wondering if they are approving it on the basis of Valid H1b visa sticker on the passport.


  15. Hi,

    IRCC request for passport submission and I have sent my passport for canada open work permit on 18th August to VFS global. Can you please say how to track my passport status?

    I have called VFS global support team and they are saying they dont have any details regarding my application.
    Please share the steps or details or any link or VFS contact number.

  16. Hello All,

    I submitted my application on July 16, booked the earliest appointment for biometrics on Aug 1st (have no idea why you could only Schiller one after 14 days), completed my biometrics on Aug 1st which got updated on the portal the same day that biometrics is completed. Haven’t had any updates until now. I check the portal everyday and the application status is stuck at background verification, says ‘in progress’. I do not have any Canadian visa before so I’m guessing the background verification may take time. I’m only wondering that after biometrics on 8/1, it’s been 3 weeks now (as of 8/21). Anyone in the same boat? Hope the approval comes soon. Please let me know if there are any suggestions for me ?

    • Hi Rahul,

      I am in the same situation and My application status in Submitted status 🙂 I believe there may others are in similar situation too 🙂


    • Hi Rahul, I’m in a similar situation as you. I provided my biometrics on August 1st and this is my first time applying for a Canadian visa. Currently, I see that the background verification and eligibility are in progress.

      • Hi Ramesis,

        I’m a little confused about how your wife gets a separate biometrics letter…? as everyone here received only for primary applicants. Or you and your wife individually file OWP..?

        • Hi Shlok,

          It was a group application, not done individually. However mine and my son got the biometrics letter first. My wife’s came much later. Hence our biometrics appointments got to be on different dates.
          All said and done, still waiting for an update on approval 😉

    • Hi Rahul,

      I am in the same boat!
      Application : July 16 2023
      Biometric completed : Aug 2nd 2023
      CUrrent Status : Background check in progress.


  17. Hi, I got the open work permit based on my h1b and I sent my passport to Canada and this time to work permit on that and return my passport back. My question is related to my spouse. When I applied for this open work permit, I added the name of my spouse and details in that request. But there is no letter or indication on how my spouse will get there work permit or visa to come along with me to Canada. I plan to start applying and moving to Canada in next couple of weeks but I’m not sure. How do I go ahead with my spouse not having any work permit or visa on their passport? Please suggest

  18. Hi @kumar,

    I think, many people are confused and looking for the right information. Would you please help with concrete info.

    Scenario: Primary applicant’s application was submitted on July16th. Got POE-Intro Letter on Aug 15th.

    Question: In IRCC Portal no option available for applying WP for spouse under “Spouse of H1B holder category”.

    What is the option to apply WP for spouse?

    We are really struggling with finding the correct answer for this question. IRCC different websites have so much information about WP thats its totally confusing and not helpful.

    Appreciate your quick help and prompt response.

  19. I did not receive a POE approval letter.
    What I received was a request to send my passport to the IRCC.
    The passport request message says – the passport should have at least one blank page.

    The portal says my application is approved.

    This seems to be different from what other users have mentioned here.

        • Hi

          Once I submitted my passport (after an invitation to submit my passport), the embassy received it and processed it. Then, they sent me the POE letter today. Below is my timeline:

          July 17th: Applied online
          July 17th: Biometrics invitation letter received
          July 20th: Biometric done
          Aug 5th: Biometric validation letter received + Passport request letter + Application approval status on the portal
          Aug 18th: Passport submitted at VFS
          Aug 25th: VFS notification saying application with xxx tracking processed, etc, etc., and passport on its way back to VFS center
          Aug 26th: POE letter received (shows 3 years validity)

          Now, I am waiting for my passport to see if it has a VISA stamp and details.

          • Hello Avik,

            I am also in the same situation and I received letter to submit the passport. Which VFS center/office we need to submit from USA and also it is an In -person /through UPS/Fedex submission of Passport?

            What is the duration required to receive the passport back from them?

    • Hi Ameya,

      I believe I got the same response as you. I submitted my passport at VFS Global on Aug 18th. I was wondering about the POE letter after seeing reports of that.

  20. A huge thanks to Sriram for sharing his experience!

    A few scenarios and questions to all of you, considering we get a letter of introduction:
    Scenario A:
    1. I apply for a job in Canada while in US.
    2. As part of the application, I show the Letter of Introduction to the employer and that will help them understand that I’m eligible to work in Canada? Is that correct?
    3. I get a job and go to Canada with the letter and offer and at POE I’m provided a work permit and start living/working in Canada.

    Scenario B:
    1. I don’t get a job while in US.
    2. I take a break from work, buy a ticket and go to Canada.
    3. At the POE without any job offer, I still get a work permit and enter Canada.
    4. Enjoy a vacay in Canada 😉 Then, if I find a job there, no problem I continue to work in Canada.
    But, if I don’t find work I can come back to the US and continue my H-1B job.
    5. I keep looking for Canada jobs but now I show my actual work permit to the prospective employer?
    6. I get a job, I just walk in to Canada with the previous work permit that was issued (as long as it is valid).

    Sorry, if I’m talking silly. Just trying to bounce off the scenarios with all of you. Thanks!

  21. Hi, I submitted the open work permit application on July 16 and did receive any update on this. I already had a closed work permit for Canada and did Biometrics in 2022. Does all the 10K people got the letter for open work permit

    • Hello,
      No, I am still waiting for the updates, previously had visitor visa active and Done Biometrics. No updates yet, still it says my application is being processed from the IRCC.

    • I’m on same bot as you. Had a closed work permit & visitor visa. Biometrics is done on 2022.
      But the application status is still ‘Submitted’ only.

      Did you get any update lately?

  22. I didn’t get a message to send passport. Just poe letter. Can I just go to POE with this letter or wait for Send passport message? I have canada visitor visa

  23. I also got the POE Letter yesterday, But I don,t know how to apply for dependent(spouse), I have submitted the passport the passport last Monday and hopefully will get back on coming Monday.
    I have no H1b visa stamp but I have only H1b approval because before I was on J1 visa .

    • What is the process to submit the passport. Please explain. I got the letter to submit the passport and I don’t have any idea to whom and how to submit the passport. Please suggest!

      • Adam – did you get any info on how to send the passport? Even I got the letter to submit the passport but unsure how to send it. Any input will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

  24. Which documents to carry apart from Passport, tourist visa and such POE letter?
    What will they want to review as proof of ‘meeting the requirements’ for this open work permit?

    • Priti,
      “Other documents that meet the requirements of the job” is the term they used in the letter. So, it will be proof your H1B status like I-94, US residence proof, Approval Notice of H1B. Whatever documents you submitted electronically during submission, you should carry them for verification to be safe.

  25. they didnt mention how soon he has to travel and where to travel. Do we have that information by chance? Also what about the re-entry instructions to cananda if at all we need to come back USA and go back again later ?

    • Chinnu,
      If you look at the letter, it has a filed called “letter of introduction validity”. You can enter Canada until that date. You can email the consulate general of Canada, to confirm the same as well.

      • Hi Kumar,

        If I enter Canada before my POE validity date, how long will I work permit have? Is it will be the whole three years since my enterance to Canada or is it will be the POE validity date?

        • Same question here. Is the 3 year work permit expiring in Aug 2026 regardless of when I enter, or does the 3 year clock start when I enter (provided I enter before Aug 2026)?


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