The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a way to allow a foreign national in Canada to continue working while his application
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
In-Canada applicants who have applied for permanent residence under one of the eligible economic immigration programs may be considered for a BOWP if they already hold a valid work permit, have maintained status and authorization to work as a result of submitting an application to renew their work permit, or are eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit.
A foreign worker legally working in Canada who has submitted an application for permanent residence under the following economic immigration programs may then continue to work until a decision is made on his or her application for permanent residence:
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Quebec Skilled WorkersAgri-Food Pilot Program
This is beneficial for the federal government, Canadian communities and employers, as well as applicants and their families, because otherwise, applicants and their dependents (spouse and children) would have to either leave Canada temporarily, stay in Canada under visitor status, or find an employer willing to go through the process of applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
An open work permit, which allows its bearer to work for any employer in Canada, is preferable as it provides applicants with better flexibility to integrate and navigate the Canadian labour market, given that they have already been found eligible for permanent residence and are currently working in Canada.
Eligibility for Bridging Open Work Permits
To be eligible for a BOWP, the following parameters must be met:
The foreign national is currently in Canada after being authorized to enter as a temporary resident;The foreign national: has valid status on a work permit, OR has 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 their work permit under subsection R201(1), OR is eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permitHave submitted an Application for Permanent Residence (APR) as the principal applicant under one of the following programs:Federal Skilled Worker ProgramCanadian Experience ClassFederal Skilled Trades ProgramProvincial Nominee ProgramQuebec Skilled WorkersAgri-Food Pilot ProgramCaring 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 they 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 RegulationsAPR under the Quebec skilled worker program passed the Section 10 of IRPR completeness checkReceipt 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.Spouse or Common-law Partner and Dependants
Certain conditions are required to be met by the holder of a BOWP in order for his or her spouse to also be eligible for an open work permit:
holds a valid work permit or is authorized to work in Canada without a work permit under Section 186(w) of IRPRis authorized to work in Canada for at least 6 months after the spousal open work permit application is receivedis 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 Politany occupation and formally holds a provincial nomination certificateany occupation and formally holds a Quebec Selection Certificate is physically residing in Canada or plans to physically reside in Canada while employedis 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.