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Canada bridging open work permit

Canada Bridging Open Work Permit – All You Need To Know!

Last Updated On 18 January 2023, 7:40 PM EST (Toronto Time)


Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP) is for people who have filed for permanent residence under the Economic Class.

Such as through Express Entry, and currently hold a valid Canadian work permit that expires in less than four months.

The work permit holder must also be physically present in Canada to submit the application.

To continue working while waiting for the applicant to obtain PR, the BOWP is an extension of an existing work permit.

For eligibility, the applicant must also meet the eligibility requirements.

The applicant may continue to work in Canada under implied status until a decision has been made on the BOWP application if their current work permit expires before receiving a decision on their BOWP application. 

However, the foreign national must stop working in Canada immediately if the application is rejected.

Continued employment without a current work permit may jeopardize future applications for permanent residence.

In this article, you can learn the following:

General Eligibility Requirements 

To qualify for a BOWP, the foreign national must meet the following requirements:

  • Be inside Canada on a valid temporary resident status. 
  • Meet one of the following criteria at the time of your application submission:
    • Hold a valid temporary resident status and authorization to work 
    • Have maintained status and work authorization as a result of applying to renew your work permit

Another requirement is you must have applied for permanent residence under one of the following classes: 

Your permanent residency application must have completed one of the following stages.

  • If you submitted an e-APR electronic application for permanent residency under Express Entry, it must have passed the completeness check. The same applies to the following classes:
    • FSWC
    • CEC
    • FSTC
    • PNP (where the applicant is accepted through the provincial or territorial Express Entry stream)
  • APR under the QSWC has passed the section R10 completeness check
  • Received a receipt of the positive eligibility assessment on their non-Express Entry APR submitted by mail or online under one of the following classes:
    • caring for children
    • caring for people with high medical needs
    • AFP
    • PNP (where the applicant does not qualify for Express Entry)

You can also use IRCC’s eligibility tool to verify your eligibility. 

Ineligibility for BOWP

In certain circumstances, foreign nationals may not qualify for a BOWP. These circumstances include:

  •  Foreign nationals in Canada who are exempt from the work permit requirement 
  • Those applying for a BOWP at the port of entry or visa office may be ineligible because they do not have the authorization (yet) to enter as a temporary resident.
    • The fact that applicants are physically in Canada and working while transitioning to permanent residence provides a considerable advantage.
  • Spouses and dependents of primary permanent residence applicants as this group can obtain work permits under various LMIA exemption categories.
  • Inadmissible foreign nationals 

Officers may make individual assessments of foreign nationals who do not fit the requirements using the more general LMIA exemption.

Required Documentary Evidence 

To evidence eligibility, you must include the following in your BOWP application: 

  • Fill out form IMM5710-Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker
    • For the question, “What type of work permit are you applying for?” respond by saying, “Open Work Permit.”
  • Pay for the work permit processing fee, the open work permit holder fee, and, if applicable, the restoration fee.
  • Provide evidence that you meet the APR (Application for permanent residence) stage corresponding to your permanent residence class and application submission
    • Applicants of the following class receive an approval in principle letter or eligibility letter after obtaining a positive eligibility assessment on their APR. They must provide a copy of this letter with their BOWP application, and these applicants are from the following class:
      • Agri-Food Pilot Program applicants 
      • The caring for children class 
      • Caring for people with high medical needs class 

How to apply? 

You can apply for a BOWP online using the IRCC tool. The tool will ask you questions about your status, and depending on the category you apply under, it will create a personalized checklist. 

Ensure that you select the following when you apply:

  • When selecting the work permit type, select “Open work permit.”
  • Make the payments for the following:
    • Work permit fee: CAD 155
    • Open work permit holder fee: CAD 100 

After you submit your application, you will receive a letter that proves that you can continue working under the same conditions as your current work permit. However, if you applied to your PGWP, you may not receive this letter. 

Source: IRCC


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