Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
The bridging open work permit (BOWP) is a way to keep a worker in Canada working while his or her application for permanent residence is being processed.
If your existing work permit is due to expire (within four months) and you applied for an in-Canada immigration visa under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class (FST), Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), you may be eligible to apply for a BOWP.
If you are approved, the BOWP will allow you to work in Canada until a decision is made on your permanent residence application.
To Be Eligible for Bridging Work Permit
To be eligible, you must be a foreign individual lawfully residing in Canada who has filed, or will shortly file, an application for permanent residence under one of these programs may continue to work until a decision is made on his or her application for permanent residency.
This is beneficial for the federal government, Canadian communities, organizations, and job seekers alike since otherwise applicants and their dependents (spouse and children) would have to leave Canada temporarily, remain on visitor status in Canada or find a company that was willing to go through the procedure of applying for an LMIA.
The Invest in Bridging Open Work Permit, which allows its holder to work for any firm in Canada, is preferable since it gives applicants more flexibility to mix and manage the Canadian job market after they’ve already been found qualified for permanent residency.
To be eligible for a bridging open work permit, the following parameters must be met:
- The foreign national is currently in Canada
- He or she has valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within four months
- He or she is the principal applicant on an application for permanent residence under the FSWP, the CEC, the PNP, or the FSTP
- He or she received a positive eligibility assessment on his or her application, and He or she has made an application for an open work permit.
Bridging Open Work Permit and Express Entry
When an applicant for a federal economic immigration program that is managed through the Express Entry system submits an electronic application for permanent residence, he or she receives an Acknowledgment of Receipt letter. Following the completion of the e-APR, this letter was automatically generated in the MyCIC account (e-APR).
Applicants who are eligible to apply for a BOWP may submit their applications in response to the Acknowledgment of Receipt letter as soon as they receive it, rather than waiting for the IRCC’s second Acknowledgment of Receipt notice (which will not be sent until after all initial medical examinations have been completed).
Bridging Open Work Permit Processing Time
However, until the completeness check is completed at the Immigration Canada office, an application for a BOWP will not be processed. BOWP applications received before the completion checks will be kept pending processing until they are ready to proceed. If an e-APR is discovered to be insufficient, the applicant will no longer be eligible to apply for a BOWP.
Bridging Open Work Permit Conditions
The conditions of the BOWP are similar to those of a standard open work permit. The main difference is that the holder of a BOWP must maintain his or her status as a temporary resident in Canada, which means that he or she must:
- The holder of a valid BOWP may work in any occupation, for any employer in Canada (with some exceptions), and does not require an LMIA.
- Bridging Open Work Permit holders are also eligible to apply for Social Insurance Number (SIN).
- Intend to leave Canada when the BOWP expires
- Have a valid temporary resident status (for example, a valid study permit or work permit) at the time of applying for the BOWP, unless they are eligible to restore their status
- Not have been determined to be inadmissible to Canada
- Meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
- Meet the eligibility requirements of the program under which they applied for permanent residence
- Not have had a previous application for permanent residence refused
If you are approved, the BOWP will allow you to work in Canada until a decision is made on your permanent residence application. There are conditions that you must meet, which include maintaining your temporary resident status, and not being inadmissible to Canada. You will also need to have a valid study or work permit when you apply for the BOWP. If your application for permanent residence is refused, your BOWP will no longer be valid.
Spouse or Common-law Partner and Dependents
Certain conditions are required to be met by the holder of a bridging open work permit in order for his or her spouse to also be eligible for an open work permit:
- In all cases, the bridging work permit must be valid for longer than six months.
- For spouses of FSW applicants, the bridging work permit holder must be performing work that is at a level that falls within National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A, or B.
- For spouses of PNP applicants, the spouse is eligible for an open work permit for the duration of the work permit held by the principal PNP applicant, irrespective of the skill level of the principal PNP applicant’s occupation.
- For spouses of FST applicants, the bridging work permit holder must be performing work that is within one of the qualifying occupations in NOC Skill Level B.
- There are no set preconditions for spouses of CEC applicants to be met by the principal CEC applicant.
Dependent children of an applicant in any of these economic classes must obtain an LMIA or have an LMIA exemption based on their specific situation in order to apply for a work permit.
Provincial Nominee Program and Provincial Nominee Programs
When issuing a bridging open work permit to an applicant for permanent residence under a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the employment location on the work permit is restricted to the nominating province. Therefore, the province of destination must be selected and then the city of destination value should be selected to show the province/territory.
The city of destination field should not be used to identify the city in which the applicant will actually work. Only those applicants who have been nominated by a Canadian province or territory and who meet all other requirements are eligible for this option.
When issuing a bridging open work permit to an applicant for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), the employment location on the work permit is restricted to the province of destination. Therefore, the province of destination must be selected and then the city of destination value should be selected to show the province/territory.
FSW, FST, CEC
There are no restrictions to employment location for a bridging open work permit issued to applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class.
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