Bridging Open Work Permit Overview
Bridging Open Work Permit Application
Bridging Open Work Permit FAQs
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows foreign nationals who are currently working in Canada to extend their status while awaiting a decision on their permanent residency application. The BOWP is only available to those who have submitted a permanent residency application and are already in possession of a valid work permit. A successful BOWP application results in an open work permit, enabling the holder to work for multiple employers in multiple locations, of their own choosing.
In order to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) a foreign national must first meet the following conditions:
The fee for an open work permit is $255 CAD – $155 for the processing fee, and $100 CAD for the open work permit holder fee.
Open work permits typically allow foreign workers to work for any employer in Canada. However, there are some exceptions in terms of the employment location for certain applicants:
The employment location on a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) BOWP is restricted to the nomination province.
For individuals applying under the QSWC, the employment location indicated on the BOWP is restricted to the province of Quebec.
Bridging open work permits are usually issued for 24 months. If permanent residence application processing goes beyond the validity of a BOWP, extensions may be issued for 12 months.
A bridging open work permit will not be issued beyond the validity of an applicant’s passport.
If a BOWP holder is currently working in Canada in a skilled occupation, their spouse may apply for an open work permit. Dependent children may also accompany the BOWP holder by applying for a visitor record.
For most cases, BOWP applicants must apply online through their IRCC secure account. Applicants that are having issues applying online can apply on paper.
Express Entry applicants applying for a BOWP may do so once they Acknowledgement of Receipt letter through their IRCC MyPortal account.
Quebec Skilled Worker Class applicants must wait until they have passed the completeness check stage of their application.
The documents required for a Canadian work permit will depend on the type of work permit you are applying for. Applicants may need to provide the following documents as part of their work permit application:
As of August 2021, temporary foreign workers that hold a Certificat de sélection du Québec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate) and live in Quebec may be eligible to apply for a bridging open work permit.
To be eligible to apply for a bridging open work permit while residing in Quebec, temporary foreign workers must meet both of the following conditions:
Bridging open work permits are typically processed within 3-4 months.
A bridging open work permit allows foreign nationals to work in Canada but cannot alone be used as a travel document. Foreign nationals must also have a valid eTA or temporary resident visa to return to Canada on a BOWP.
Foreign nationals must be residing in Canada to apply for a BOWP.
One common reason that a BOWP is refused is if applicants submit an incomplete permanent residence application. As applications for permanent residence must be passed the completeness check as part of the eligibility requirement, incomplete applications may result in a BOWP refusal.
One of the main eligibility requirements of a BOWP is that an applicant has already applied for permanent residence (PR). As such, there would be no reason to apply for PR again.
If your work permit expires while your PR application is processing, you will be considered out of status and will need to apply to restore your status as a worker in Canada.
A foreign national is required to submit a BOWP application before their current work permit expires. If their current work permit expires before they have received a decision regarding their BOWP application, they may continue to work in Canada under maintained status until a final decision has been issued regarding the BOWP application. However, if the BOWP application is denied, the foreign national must cease working in Canada immediately. If a foreign national works in Canada without a valid work permit, they will jeopardize all future applications for Canadian immigration.
It is possible to change your work permit from a closed permit to a bridging open work permit as long as you are eligible.
If a permanent residence application is not finalized by the time a BOWP expires, IRCC may issue extensions of 12 months.
If your application for permanent residence is refused while you are on a valid Bridging Open Work Permit, you may continue to work on that permit as long as it not revoked.
Do you have questions about working in Canada? Contact us today to see how we can help!
Contact us to discuss your work permit needs