Home » US Immigration - Visas » H1B Visa » Canada H1B Open Work Permit – Approval POE Letter, Experience

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.


Other Articles


  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂


  3. 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.

  4. 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.


  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 .

  12. 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.

  13. 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)?


Leave a Comment