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