Do you need a Port of Entry (POE) letter to enter Canada?

Planning to enter Canada as an international student, skilled worker, or as the parent or grandparent of a permanent resident or citizen? You will need a Port of Entry (POE) letter. This guide will explain what a POE letter is, who needs one, how to obtain it, and what to do if you lose it. We will cover everything you need to know in simple words. 

What is a Port of Entry (POE) Letter?

A Port of Entry (POE) letter, also known as a letter of introduction, correspondence letter, or introductory letter, is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It allows foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada temporarily. The POE letter confirms that you are eligible to receive your study permit, work permit, or super visa upon arrival in Canada. However, it’s important to note that the POE letter itself is not the actual permit.

Who Needs a POE Letter?

You need a POE letter if you have received approval for one of the following permits:

  • Study Permit
  • Work Permit
  • Super Visa

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Temporary residents (TRs) who have applied for any of these permits and provided their email address in the application will receive a POE letter. However, if you are only visiting Canada as a tourist or applying for other types of temporary resident permits, you will not receive a POE letter.

How to Obtain a POE Letter

Once your application for a study permit, work permit, or super visa is approved, IRCC will send you a POE letter through your official IRCC account. The process involves verifying your identity as the permit holder and sending the necessary data to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to issue your permit when you arrive at the port of entry.

Steps to Obtain a POE Letter:

  1. Submit Application: Apply for a study permit, work permit, or super visa through the IRCC website.
  2. Provide Email: Ensure you provide a valid email address in your application.
  3. Approval Notification: Once approved, you will receive a notification in your IRCC account.
  4. Receive POE Letter: Log in to your IRCC account to access and download your POE letter.

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Validity of the POE Letter

The validity of your POE letter matches the length of your work permit, study permit, or super visa, except for those in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. The validity date on your POE letter indicates the deadline by which you must enter Canada.

Key Points About POE Letter Validity:

  • Check the Validity Date: Ensure you enter Canada before the date specified on your POE letter.
  • No Extensions: IRCC cannot extend the validity date of a POE letter. If you do not enter Canada before the validity date, you must submit a new application.
  • Permit Issuance: Present your POE letter at the port of entry to receive your actual permit.

Presenting Your POE Letter at the Port of Entry

When you arrive in Canada, you need to present your POE letter to an immigration officer at the port of entry. This can be done in the following ways:

  • Printed Copy: Bring a printed copy of your POE letter.
  • Electronic Version: Show an electronic version of your POE letter on your device.
  • Visitor Visa: If applicable, present the visitor visa in your passport along with your POE letter.

Inform the immigration officer about your approved application and provide the necessary documents to receive your study permit, work permit, or super visa.

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What to Do if You Lose, Delete, or Damage Your POE Letter

If you lose, delete, or damage your POE letter, you can request a reissue from IRCC. Here’s how:

  1. Use the IRCC Web Form: Contact IRCC through their web form to request a new POE letter.
  2. Access Your IRCC Account: Typically, reissued letters will be sent to your IRCC account.
  3. Inform IRCC: If you cannot access or link to your original application in your IRCC account, mention this in your web form request.


A Port of Entry (POE) letter is essential for international students, skilled workers, and parents or grandparents of Canadian PR holders or citizens who plan to enter Canada. This document confirms your eligibility to receive a study permit, work permit, or super visa upon arrival.

Remember to check the validity date and present your POE letter at the port of entry to obtain your permit. If you encounter any issues with your POE letter, contact IRCC promptly to resolve them.

By understanding the importance and process of obtaining a POE letter, you can ensure a smooth entry into Canada. Safe travels and welcome to your new adventure in Canada!