“I have a port of entry (POE) letter for an IEC permit, do I still need an eTA to travel to Canada?”

This is a common question on the forum, so let’s clear it up!

In short, yes you do need an eTA but you probably got yours with your permit.

Indeed, all travellers who don’t need a visa to enter Canada must have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). However, IEC permit holders (Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op permit holders) already have an eTA—the number on the first page of the port of entry (POE) letter.

Let us explain how to check if you already have a valid eTA—it’s a two-minute check that will give you peace of mind before your trip to Canada.

There are three different ways to proceed, all detailed below:

  • 1. You can check the port of entry (POE) letter issued for your work or study permit.
  • 2. You can check your IRCC account if you applied for a work or study permit online but never requested your own eTA.
  • 3. You can check your eTA status online with the Government of Canada tool if you applied for an eTA before getting a work or study permit or if you’re travelling with a new passport.  

Option #1 – Check your port of entry (POE) letter

Open your port of entry (POE) letter and go to the first page.

Note that you have to download the document from your IRCC account and then open it on your computer. This is the trick to open PDF forms issued by the Government of Canada. These PDF forms use a special encoding not supported by browsers, smartphones or tablets.

The first page of your port of entry (POE) letter will show your eTA number with an expiry date.


Option #2 – Log into your IRCC account

You can check your eTA status directly in your IRCC account. Simply log in with your GCKey and go to your application details. You will see your port of entry (POE) letter and details about your work permit.


Your eTA is under “document status.” You will see the passport number your valid eTA is linked to—make sure to travel with the same passport, otherwise, you will have to apply for a new eTA.

If you do apply for a new eTA because you’re travelling with a new passport, the original eTA will show as “not valid.” This is perfectly normal.

Option #3 – Use the eTA status online tool

This option only works if you applied for an eTA on your own. It’s not available to Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op applicants who were issued an eTA at the same time as their port of entry (POE) letter.

So you can use the eTA status online tool if:

  • You applied for an eTA before a trip to Canada as a visitor
  • You got a new passport after you were issued your port of entry (POE) letter for an IEC permit and you applied for a new eTA 

Go to the page Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Status


In the first drop-down menu, select “I have an approved eTA. I want to consult my file.”

Enter your eTA number which starts with a “J.” You will find it in the eTA approbation email.

Enter your passport number, country of issue, issue date and expiry date.

Click on “Check application status.”


Normally, your eTA should show as “approved.”

Now stop worrying about your eTA, and get ready for your trip to Canada!


En PVT au Canada de novembre 2021 à 2023, je répondrai à vos questions avec plaisir. Pour le premier trimestre 2024, direction l'Amérique latine !

I moved from France to Canada on a WHV from November 2021 to 2023, followed then by spending the first quarter of 2024 in Latin America! Happy to answer all your questions.

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