Bridging open work permit (BOWP)
A bridging open work permit (BOWP) lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application.
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows foreign nationals who are currently working in Canada to extend their work permit while they await a decision on their permanent residency application. The BOWP is only available to those who have already submitted a permanent residency application and are already in possession of a valid work permit.
Who can apply? Eligibility for BOWP.
To qualify, you must have applied for permanent residency under the FSW (Federal Skilled Worker) Program, CEC (Canadian Experience Class), FST (Federal Skilled Trades) Program, Provincial Nominee Program, or one of the two caregivers’ classes. Under the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot - IRCC may accept applications if they have 24 months or more work experience in Canada and have a valid work permit at the time of submitting the application.
Who else can qualify?
People who are in Canada and have already applied under AFP (Agri-Food Pilot) or Start-up Visa (conditions apply).
You must also:
currently be in Canada maintaining a legal status, and
have a valid Work Permit that will expire in less than four months.
When can you apply for BOWP?
Merely having an Express Entry (EE) profile does not mean that you qualify to apply for a BOWP. You are only considered eligible to apply after you have received an AOR (Acknowledgment of Receipt) of your PR (permanent residency) application. You will need to add this letter as a supporting document for your BOWP application.
In case you submitted a paper application (generally the case in - outside the Express Entry system), you must wait until you receive, by mail or e-mail, your Acknowledgment of Receipt (AoR). This AoR will not be issued until IRCC assesses that your application passes the eligibility check. You will need to add this letter as a supporting document for your BOWP application.
Who can not apply or does not qualify for BOWP?
Those applying for permanent residency through the province of Quebec are not eligible for the BOWP. However, certain applicants in the province of Quebec may be eligible to apply to work with a Certificate de selection du Quebec (CSQ), resulting in an employer specific work permit. You will also not need to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
If you are applying for permanent residency under a Provincial Nominee Program, you need to be careful. Make sure that during the BOWP application procedure, in the Province and City of Destination section, you select the province or territory that nominated you.
If you are applying without a provincial nomination, you can select Unknown (UNK) in the Province and City of Destination section.
On your certificate of nomination, there may be employment restrictions. If on the restrictions section, it says "Yes", then you will not be eligible for the BOWP.
Why should you apply for a BOWP?
A successful BOWP application will result in an applicant being granted an open work permit, enabling the holder to work for an employer of their own choice. This permit will allow you to keep your job or find a new one while your permanent resident application is processed.
You need to pay the work permit processing fee ($155) and the Open Work Permit Holder fee ($100). A total of C$255.00 is payable irrespective of the mode of application (online or paper based).
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