Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Foreign nationals in Canada awaiting a decision on their permanent residency application and already have a valid work permit can apply for a bridging open work permit. This work permit will allow foreign nationals to continue working until they receive a decision on their permanent residency application.

To qualify for this program, you must have a valid work permit for at least four (4) months, be the permanent applicant of the permanent residency application, proof of permanent residency application, and in some cases, you must need the application to be approved in principle.

Work permit holders currently in Canada may be considered for a work permit to bridge the gap between the expiry of their current work permit and the final decision on their application for permanent residence (APR). They must have applied to permanent residence APR under one of the following classes:

  • Federal skilled worker class (FSWC)
  • Canadian experience class (CEC)
  • federal skilled trades class (FSTC)
  • caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class (if the APR has been submitted before June 18, 2019)
  • provincial nominee class (PNC), for applicants for whom there are no employer restrictions on nominations
  • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)


What is a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)?

A Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a type of work permit in Canada that allows individuals who are currently in the process of applying for permanent residence to continue working in Canada while their application is being processed.

Who is Eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit?

Eligibility for a BOWP generally includes individuals who have applied for permanent residence under certain categories such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, or the Federal Skilled Trades Program and who currently have a valid work permit that is due to expire within the next four months.

How Do I Apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit?

To apply for a BOWP, you must already have a permanent residence application under process and submit a BOWP application online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Required documents and specific instructions can also be found on the IRCC website.

What are the Benefits of a Bridging Open Work Permit?

The main benefit of a BOWP is that it allows individuals to maintain their legal work status in Canada while they await the decision on their permanent residence application. This continuity is crucial for many as it ensures uninterrupted employment and income during the processing period.