Bridging Open Work Permit - Guide to Permanent Residency
A bridging open work permit (BOWP) lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence 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.
Processing time: 3-4 months
Fee: Processing fee $155-$255.
LMIA/Job offer required: No
BOWP Validity: 24 months.
Minimum requirement: Must be inside Canada with a valid legal status while applying for a BOWP.
Bridging Open Work Permit Canada
Are you an international worker in Canada who has applied for permanent residence and wants to continue working while awaiting the decision? The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is designed specifically to bridge the gap between the expiry of your current work permit and the finalization of your permanent residence application. In this article, we will delve into the details of the Bridging Open Work Permit, its eligibility criteria, benefits, application process, and answer some frequently asked questions. Let's explore how this work permit can provide you with the peace of mind and flexibility you need during the transition period.
As an individual pursuing permanent residence in Canada, the uncertainty surrounding your work permit status can be overwhelming. The Bridging Open Work Permit aims to alleviate this concern by allowing eligible applicants to extend their work permits, ensuring continuity of employment and stability during the application process. This unique permit not only provides individuals with the opportunity to remain in Canada but also enables them to access essential services and engage in a seamless job search.
What is a Bridging Open Work Permit?
A Bridging Open Work Permit is a temporary work permit that allows individuals who have applied for permanent residence to continue working while awaiting a decision on their application. It is a valuable tool for foreign nationals in Canada, ensuring they can maintain their employment and livelihoods during the transition period. This work permit is a testament to Canada's commitment to supporting the integration of skilled workers into its labor market and fostering a diverse and inclusive society.
Eligibility Criteria for a Bridging Open Work Permit
To be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit, you must fulfill certain criteria outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These criteria include:
1. Completing an application for permanent residence
To qualify for a Bridging Open Work Permit, you must have already submitted a complete application for permanent residence under an eligible immigration program. This step demonstrates your intent to establish a long-term presence in Canada and contribute to its social and economic fabric.
2. Possessing a valid temporary status in Canada
You must hold a valid temporary status in Canada at the time of applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit. This requirement ensures that individuals who are already authorized to work in Canada can seamlessly transition to a new work permit while their permanent residence application is being processed.
3. Demonstrating intention to reside in a province or territory
You must provide evidence of your intention to reside in a specific province or territory in Canada while applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit. This requirement is crucial as it enables authorities to process your application accurately and in accordance with the guidelines of the respective province or territory.
4. Meeting the minimum requirements
To be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit, you must meet the minimum requirements of the work permit category you are currently under. This ensures that you continue to meet the essential criteria related to your occupation, education, language proficiency, and other relevant factors.
Benefits of a Bridging Open Work Permit
The Bridging Open Work Permit offers several advantages to individuals who are awaiting a decision on their permanent residence application. Let's explore some of these benefits:
1. Continuity of employment
One of the significant advantages of a Bridging Open Work Permit is the ability to maintain continuous employment. This work permit allows you to remain with your current employer or seek new employment opportunities, thereby ensuring stability and financial security during the transition period.
2. Access to essential services
By holding a Bridging Open Work Permit, you have continued access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and social benefits. This provides peace of mind to individuals and their families, as they can access necessary services without disruption.
3. Flexibility in job search
A Bridging Open Work Permit grants you the flexibility to explore different job opportunities and consider diverse career paths while awaiting your permanent residence decision. You can adapt to changing labor market conditions and seize employment prospects that align with your skills and aspirations.
How to Apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit
Applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit involves several steps and requires careful attention to detail. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth application process:
1. Gather required documents
Before applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit, gather all the necessary documents as specified by IRCC. These typically include a copy of your application for permanent residence, a valid passport, proof of valid temporary status in Canada, and any additional documents required based on your specific situation.
2. Complete the application form
Fill out the application form for the Bridging Open Work Permit accurately, providing all the required information. Ensure that you include details of your permanent residence application, your current work permit information, and any relevant supporting documentation.
3. Pay the application fees
Pay the applicable fees for the Bridging Open Work Permit application. The fees may vary based on factors such as the type of work permit you currently hold and the processing time required.
4. Submit the application
Once you have gathered all the required documents, completed the application form, and paid the fees, submit your application for a Bridging Open Work Permit. Ensure that you double-check all the information provided and include any additional supporting documents as needed.
Who can apply for Bridging Open Work Permit (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).
People who reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status
People who meet one of the following criteria:
hold a valid work permit with valid temporary resident status
have submitted to renew their work permit and are on maintained status in Canada
are eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit
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
Have completed one of the following APR stages depending on the program they are applying to:
The Express Entry electronic application for permanent residence has passed the completeness check required by Section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Section 10 of the IRPR completeness check was passed by APR under the Quebec skilled worker programs.
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.
Which immigration programs are eligible for the Bridging Open Work Permit?
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is available to individuals who have applied for permanent residence under specific eligible immigration programs in Canada. The eligible immigration programs for the BOWP include:
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This program is for skilled workers who have foreign work experience and meet the criteria for education, language proficiency, and other factors.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC): The CEC is designed for individuals with Canadian work experience, including those who have worked on a valid work permit.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): This program is intended for individuals with experience in skilled manual trades who meet the requirements for language proficiency, work experience, and other factors.
Can I extend my Bridging Open Work Permit if my permanent residence application is still pending?
In most cases, you cannot extend your Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) if your permanent residence application is still pending. The BOWP is typically valid until a decision is made on your permanent residence application. Once a decision is reached, and if your permanent residence application is approved, you would transition to the appropriate work permit or permanent resident status.
How long does the Bridging Open Work Permit allow me to work in Canada?
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows you to work in Canada typically until a decision is made on your permanent residence application. The specific duration of the BOWP will vary depending on how long it takes for a decision to be reached on your application.
It's important to note that the processing times for permanent residence applications can vary, and there is no fixed timeline for a decision. It is advisable to regularly check the status of your application and stay informed about any updates or changes to processing times.
Once a decision is made on your permanent residence application, your work status may transition to the appropriate work permit or permanent resident status. It's recommended to consult the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or seek advice from a qualified immigration professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the duration of the BOWP and your specific case.
What documents are required to apply for a Canadian open work permit?
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:
Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter
Provincial nomination certificate (if applicable)
Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (Quebec Acceptance Certificate) (if applicable)
Signed employment contract (if live-in caregiver)
Completed application forms
Proof of status in Canada
Marriage certificate (if applicable)
Valid copy of your passport
Medical exam results (if requested)
Proof of payment for applicable government fees
Can I apply for a BOWP with a closed work permit?
No, you cannot apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) with a closed work permit. The BOWP is specifically designed for individuals who have an open work permit that is expiring within four months and have submitted an application for permanent residence under eligible immigration programs. A closed work permit is issued for a specific employer or job, and it does not meet the eligibility criteria for the BOWP. It's important to note that eligibility requirements may change over time, so it's recommended to check the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or consult with a qualified immigration professional for the most up-to-date information.
Processing Time and Status Updates
The processing time for a Bridging Open Work Permit application varies depending on factors such as the workload of the immigration authorities and the accuracy and completeness of your application. While waiting for your work permit to be processed, you can check the status of your application through the IRCC's online portal or by contacting their helpline. Stay informed and be patient during this crucial phase of your immigration journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit if my temporary status is expiring soon?
Yes, you can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit even if your temporary status is expiring soon. This work permit is specifically designed to bridge the gap between the expiry of your current work permit and the finalization of your permanent residence application.
2. Is there a specific application deadline for a Bridging Open Work Permit?
There is no specific application deadline for a Bridging Open Work Permit. However, it is advisable to apply as soon as possible after submitting your application for permanent residence to avoid any gaps in your work authorization.
3. Can I include my family members in the Bridging Open Work Permit application?
No, the Bridging Open Work Permit is issued only to the principal applicant who has applied for permanent residence. Family members need to apply for their own work permits or other appropriate permits based on their eligibility and circumstances.
4. What if I am not eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit?
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for a Bridging Open Work Permit, you may explore alternative options such as applying for another work permit or extending your current work permit to maintain your status in Canada. It is recommended to seek guidance from an immigration professional to understand the best course of action in your situation.
5. Can I travel outside Canada while my Bridging Open Work Permit application is being processed?
It is generally advisable to avoid international travel while your Bridging Open Work Permit application is being processed. If you leave Canada before receiving the work permit, it may result in the withdrawal or refusal of your application. However, there may be exceptions in certain circumstances, and it is essential to consult with an immigration professional or refer to the specific guidelines provided by IRCC.
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