Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
If you are a foreign national living in Canada and are waiting for a decision on your permanent residency application, and you already have a valid work permit, you can apply for a bridging open work permit. This bridging open work permit (BOWP), also called a bridging visa, will allow you to continue working until you receive a decision on your permanent residency application.
You may be eligible for a BOWP if you have already submitted a permanent residency application and have a valid work permit.
Eligibility Requirements For A Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
Applicants must be in Canada to be eligible for a BOWP, and meet one of the following three conditions:
- have valid temporary resident status and be authorized to work, with a valid work permit
- have maintained status and be authorized to work because you submitted an application to renew your work permit
- be eligible to restore your temporary resident status and have a work permit authorizing you to work
Valid Work Permit
To qualify, you need to be in possession of a valid work permit for a length of at least four months, and be the principal applicant of the permanent residency application. You will need to provide proof of your permanent residency application. In certain situations, you will also need to have the application approved in principle.
Application for Permanent Residence
In Canada, work permit holders may be considered for a bridging open work permit so that they can work after their current work permit expires while they are awaiting the final decision on an application for permanent residence (APR). To qualify for a BOWP, they must have applied for permanent residence as a principal applicant, under one of the following classes:
- Federal skilled worker class (FSWC)
- Canadian experience class (CEC)
- Federal skilled trades class (FSTC)
- Caring for children class
- Caring for people with high medical needs class (if the APR has been submitted before June 18, 2019)
- Provincial nominee class (PNC)
- Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
- Quebec Skilled Worker
For certain employer-driven streams in the provincial nominee class, the province or territory nominating an applicant may impose employment restrictions on the nominee, even if successfully nominated until the applicant gains permanent residence in Canada.
In these cases where employment restrictions are imposed, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not issue an open work permit to the foreign national nominee, under the bridging open work permit Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption.
Bridging Open Work Permit Processing Fee
When applying, you must indicate you are applying for an open work permit. You will need to pay both the work permit processing fee and an open work permit holder fee. The processing fee is $255 CAD to $155, and $100 CAD for an open work permit holder fee.
If you have not completed your permanent resident application, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will decline your Bridging Open Work Permit application without refunding your paid fees.
You will need to complete an application on the Government of Canada website, and pay the required fee.
If successful, bridging open work permits are usually issued for two years. If the processing of a permanent residence application extends past this date, an extension may be issued for up to another year.
A bridging open work permit is never issued past the expiration date of your passport.
If an application for permanent residence has been refused, but your bridging open work permit is currently valid, you are allowed to work on that permit until it expires, unless it is revoked.
Express Entry Applicants
Applicants under the federal skilled worker class (FSWC), Canadian experience class (CEC), and federal skilled trades class (FSTC) categories will fall under the Express Entry program. Under these classes, there will not be employment restrictions on location.
If you are applying for a bridging open work permit as an Express Entry applicant, you will need to provide all the supporting documents required on the document checklist. You will be able to apply for a bridging open work permit once you have received an invitation to apply and all the documents have been submitted to IRCC as you will need to send a copy of your Acknowledgement of Receipt letter. This is the formal letter that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will send you when they have received your application, done a completeness check, and will be processing it.
Non-Express Entry Applicants
If you are applying under a program other than the Express Entry classes, you will need to have received a positive eligibility assessment on your application for permanent residence. You will receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt letter after the IRCC ensures you have submitted a complete application.
Support With Your Bridging Open Work Permit Application
Oro Immigration’s team of immigration consultants can guide you on your options for work permits, and assist you with your application. We have years of experience and expertise in handling immigration and work permit applications, and can advise you throughout the entire process. We will answer all of your questions, and help you through any process issues.
What is a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)?
How does a BOWP allow foreign nationals in Canada awaiting permanent residency decisions to continue working?
How do you apply for a BOWP?
What is the application process, including necessary documents and fees for a BOWP?
What are the conditions and limitations of a BOWP?
Are there any restrictions or specific conditions under which a BOWP is issued or extended?