The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a way to keep a worker in Canada while his or her application for permanent residence is being processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Canada offers the BOWP as a way to help the potential immigrants prepare for their eventual settlement in Canada. In this article, you will learn how to apply for a bridging open work permit.
About The Bridging Open Work Permit
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a way to allow a foreign national in Canada to continue working while his or her application for permanent residence is being processed. If you applied for permanent residence under one of the eligible economic immigration programs, you may be eligible for a BOWP if you
- already hold a valid work permit,
- have maintained status and authorization to work as a result of submitting an application to renew your work permit, or
- are eligible to restore your temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit.
Who is Eligible for Bridging Open Work Permits?
The BOWP is to allow people who are already in Canada to continue working at their jobs while their permanent residency application is in processing. As such, you cannot apply at a port of entry. You have to be applying from within Canada since.
To be eligible for a BOWP, you must meet the following parameters:
- You are currently in Canada as a temporary resident;
- have valid status on a work permit, OR
- have maintained status and authorization to work in Canada under section 186(u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) due to submitting an application to renew your work permit under subsection R201(1), OR
- are eligible to restore your temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit
- Have submitted an Application for Permanent Residence (APR) as the principal applicant under one of the following programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Quebec Skilled Workers
- Agri-Food Pilot Program
- Caring for Children Class or Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class (before June 18, 2019)
- Have completed one of the following APR stages depending on the program you are applying to:
- electronic application for permanent residence submitted under Express Entry has passed the completeness check under Section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
- APR under the Quebec skilled worker program passed the Section 10 of IRPR completeness check
- Receipt of a positive eligibility assessment on their APR submitted by mail or online under the Caring for Children Class, Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class, Agri-Food Pilot, or non-Express Entry PNP stream.
Application for Spouse or Common-law Partner and Dependants
You need to meet certain conditions in order for your spouse to also be eligible for an open work permit. You
- hold a valid work permit or is authorized to work in Canada without a work permit under Section 186(w) of IRPR
- must be authorized to work in Canada for at least 6 months after the spousal open work permit application is received
- must be employed in one of the following:
- a job that falls under National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B
- a NOC 0, A, B, or C application under the Atlantic Immigration Polit
- any occupation and formally holds a provincial nomination certificate
- any occupation and formally holds a Quebec Selection Certificate
- are physically residing in Canada or plans to physically reside in Canada while employed
- are in a genuine relationship with their spouse or common-law partner
Dependant children are not eligible for an open work permit. They must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or have an LMIA exemption based on their specific situation in order to be able to apply for a work permit.
How to apply
To submit your application, follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.
When you apply, make sure you:
- select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
- pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee
In most cases, you must apply online.
For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s BOWP page.
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