Bridging Open Work Permit in Canada

In Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), applicants who submitted a Permanent Residence application to immigrate to Canada under:

And are currently inside Canada, may apply for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) if their current work permit is expiring in the following four (4) months. This is a great solution for the applicants and their dependents as well as Canadian government, employers, and others, otherwise they would have to:

  • Leave Canada until their application is processed or
  • Stay in Canada as visitors or

find an employer willing to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

The principle applicant on PR application that has passed the completeness check, is living in Canada, holding a valid work permit valid for another 04 months or less and having acknowledgment of receipt letter may apply for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

BOWP is an open work permit, which allows the work permit holder to work for any employer in Canada. It provides the applicants a way to integrate through the Canadian labour market, if they have already been found eligible for permanent residence and are currently residing and working in Canada.

If the applicant is residing in Quebec, then he or she is not eligible for BOWP. However, if the applicant is holding a valid Quebec Selection Certificate, then the person may be eligible for an employer-specific work permit.

BOWP Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) the person must:

  • Be the principal applicant on the PR application
  • Live in Canada (Quebec is not included)
  • Be a holder of a valid work permit for 04 months or less
  • Receive a positive assessment on their PR application
  • Apply for an open work permit

Requirements may differ depending on the submitted application for PR under the following programs:

Some foreign nationals are not qualified for BOWP if:

  • Their work permit expired
  • Their work permit is valid for longer then 04 months and/or is holding a new LMIA that can be used for a new work permit application
  • They are applying for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) at the POE / outside Canada
  • They are under section 186 of the IRPR (work permit exempt)
  • The applicant did not submit a PNP letter with their BOWP application or PNP letter has restrictions for employment
  • They are inadmissible to Canada

Foreign nationals must also have positive eligibility assessment completeness check in APR stage; electronic application for permanent residence (e-APR) or paper APR depending on the type of application.

The applicant can apply for BOWP if he or she meets all the eligibility requirements and even before the APR is processed however, the application for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) will not be processed until the completeness checks are performed by Centralized Intake Office (CIO). In case an APR is incomplete, the application for BOWP will be refused.

Apply for BOWP upon receipt of your Acknowledgment of Receipt letter.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) Process

After applicant submits the correct form for BOWP and encloses all requested documents, the officer will process their application. Employer’s name on the application is not necessary as the officer assesses the application as per the eligibility requirements.

Upon receipt of BOWP application with supporting documents, the processing office confirms the eligibility requirements.

Some applications may be considered as more complex and are therefore transferred to a local office for additional review. If the issue on the application is resolved, the same office may issue the work permit as per the same instructions.

The holder of BOWP must meet certain required conditions in order for their spouse or common-law partner and dependents to be eligible for an open work permit.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) Supporting Documents

In addition to the required forms and documents, the applicant must also pay the processing fees for work permit and the open work permit holder fee.

The BOWP must be valid for 06 months or longer for the spouse or common-law partner and dependents to be eligible for open work permit.

There are different conditions required for spouses of applicants to obtain Open Work Permit (OWP) depending on the type of PR application of the principal applicant as follows: –

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW): Applicants must be performing work at a skilled level of National Occupational Classification (NOC) i.e., 0, A or B for the spouses to obtain OWP.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): Spouses receive same duration of OWP as the principal applicant, regardless of the skill level of the principal PNP applicant’s occupation.

Federal Skilled Trades (FST): Applicants and holders of BOWP must be performing work at Skill Level B NOC.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC): No special conditions need to be met by the principal applicant.

Follow the document checklist as instructed, considering the type of PR application of the principal applicant.

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