A port of entry or POE letter is a document issued to some foreign nationals when they enter Canada as a temporary residents. POE letters are usually provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to foreign nationals entering the country via one of three temporary resident visas. These are the student visa, work visa, and super visa. According to the IRCC, only temporary residents who apply online and provide their email addresses during the application can receive a port of entry letter. Other temporary resident applicants and visitors to Canada don’t need to get a POE letter to enter the country.

POE letters are usually issued through your online IRCC account. The letters permit entry to Canada by confirming your identity and authorizing you to enter the country legally. POE letters also provide the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with all the information it needs to issue applicable permits. Without a port of entry letter, you will not receive a permit when you arrive in Canada. Nonetheless, a POE letter isn’t a study, work, or super visa. The letter may also come by many names, including the POE letter of introduction, correspondence letter, introduction letter, or introductory letter.

How Long Is A POE Letter Valid?

A POE letter is typically valid for the duration specified in your work permit, study permit, or super visa. However, there’s an exception for temporary residents participating in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. POE letters issued to those participating in the IEC program are usually valid for 12 months. If you are required to undergo a medical exam, the letter will be valid for either the standard 12 months or the expiry date of your medical exam. Whichever is sooner applies. You can determine the validity of your POE letter by checking the date in the ‘Permit Validity’ section of the letter. This is found in ‘For Officer Use’ under the ‘Must Enter Canada by (YYYY/MM/DD)’ section.

The validity date is the deadline before which you must arrive in Canada. If you don’t enter Canada before the indicated validity date, you will require a new application for your student, work, or super visa. The POE letter states that the IRCC has initially approved your application to study/work in Canada. It’s impossible to extend the validity date indicated on the POE letter cannot, so you must arrive in Canada before the due date. However, receiving the POE letter allows you to enter Canada, after which you can extend your standard work permit.

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