In-Canada applicants under eligible economic immigration programs can qualify for a BOWP if they possess a valid work permit, have sustained their status and work authorization through a work permit renewal application, or are eligible to restore their temporary resident status with work authorization.

 A foreign worker legally employed in Canada who has applied for permanent residency through specified economic immigration programs may continue with their employment until a decision is reached on their permanent residency application. 

Understanding Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows foreign nationals who are presently working in Canada to extend their status while waiting for a decision on their permanent residency application. The BOWP is only available to applicants who have applied for permanent residency and currently hold a valid work permit. A successful BOWP application results in an open work permit, allowing the holder to work for various employers in different locations at their discretion.

Eligibility For A Bridging Open Work Permit?

To apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), a foreign national must first meet the following conditions:

  • Reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
  • Have applied to renew their work permit and are on maintained status in Canada
  • Hold a valid work permit with a valid temporary resident status
  • Are eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit
  • Have applied for Canadian permanent residence as the principal applicant under one of the following classes:
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
  • Caring for Children class or Caring for an individual with High Medical Needs class (before June 18, 2019)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) (provided there are no employer restrictions on the nomination)
  • Quebec Skilled Worker Class (QSWC)
  • Have passed the section R10 completeness check for a QSWC application or Express Entry application or received a positive eligibility assessment after applying under an eligible non-Express Entry permanent residence stream.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) Fees

The fee for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is CAD 255, including $155 for the processing fee and CAD 100 for the open work permit holder fee.

What Is The Validity Of Bridging Open Work Permits?

Bridging open work permits are generally granted for 24 months. If the processing of a permanent residence application extends beyond the validity of a BOWP, you may be given a 12-month extension of bridging open work permit.

A bridging open work permit will not exceed the validity of the applicant’s passport.

How Can I Apply For a Bridging Open Work Permit

After fulfilling all the requirements for a bridging open work permit, applicants must apply online through their IRCC secure website. If they are having difficulties with online applications, they can also choose paper-based submission.

When Can I Apply For A Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)?

Express Entry applicants who want to start the BOWP process can initiate after receiving their Acknowledgement of Receipt letter through their IRCC MyPortal account.

Quebec Skilled Worker Class applicants must wait until they have completed the eligibility assessment stage of their application.

What documents are needed for the Bridging Open Work Permit?

The documents checklist of BOWP will vary depending on the type of Canadian work permit being applied for. Applicants are required to submit the following documents as part of their work permit application:

  • Provincial nomination certificate (if relevant)
  • Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter
  • Completed application forms
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (Québec Acceptance Certificate) (if relevant)
  • Signed employment contract (if applicable for live-in caregivers)
  • Evidence of status in Canada
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Medical examination results (if requested)
  • Proof of payment for applicable government fees
  • A valid copy of the passport

Want to know the detailed process of PR card renewal? Visit the official website of the Chaudhary Law Office for comprehensive information.

What Is The Processing Time Of Bridging Open Work Permit

Generally, the processing time of BOWP is 3-4 months. However, the time can vary depending on individual circumstances and the volume of applications received. 

Chaudhary Law Office Can Help You To Realize Your Canadian Dream. 

Chaudhary Law Office is here to guide you through the process of bridging open work permits. Our experienced immigration lawyer ensures that your journey towards a brighter future in Canada is smooth and successful—Trust Chaudhary Law Office to streamline your application process and start a new chapter of your life.  

Want to know the process of an immigration appeal? Call us at 416-447-6118 to schedule a consultation with our immigration lawyer!


What if the work permit expires while waiting for PR?

If your work permit lapses or expires during the processing of your PR application, you’ll be deemed out of status and need to apply for restoration as a worker in Canada.

Can I work anywhere in Canada on a bridging open work permit?

With a bridging open work permit, individuals have the freedom to work for any employer anywhere in Canada. An application for a BOWP can be made only if the applicant holds a valid work permit expiring in no more than four months and has already applied for Canadian PR.

Can I add my spouse and dependents to my bridging open work permit application?

If a BOWP holder is presently employed in Canada in a skilled occupation, they can request BOWP for their spouse. Dependent children can also join the BOWP holder by applying for a visitor record.

Can I leave Canada on a bridging open work permit?

A bridging open work permit allows foreign nationals to work in Canada but cannot serve as a standalone travel document. To return to Canada while on a BOWP, foreign nationals must also possess a valid eTA or temporary resident visa.

Why was my bridging open work permit rejected?

A common reason for BOWP refusal is when applicants submit an incomplete permanent residence application. 

What happens if my work permit expires while my PR application is processing?

If your work permit lapses or expires during the processing of your PR application, you’ll be deemed out of status and need to apply for restoration as a worker in Canada.

Can I apply for a bridging open work permit from outside of Canada?

Bridging open work permits are only available to individuals who are physically present in Canada at the time of the application process.

Can I change from a closed permit to a bridging open work permit? 

You can switch your work permit from a closed permit to a bridging open work permit as long as you fulfill the eligibility requirements.

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