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Work permit

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

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 (APR). This permit is exclusively available to individuals who have already submitted their APR and possess a valid work permit. To qualify for BOWP the applicant(s) must have submitted an APR under one of the following classes:

  • Federal skilled worker class (FSWC)
  • Canadian experience class (CEC)
  • Federal skilled trades class (FSTC)
  • Caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class before June 18, 2019
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for applicants for whom there are no employer restrictions on nominations
  • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
  • Quebec skilled worker class (QSWC)
  • Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) or Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP)

For certain employer-driven streams in the PNC, the nominating province or territory may impose employment restrictions on a successful nominee until the person becomes a permanent resident. If employment restrictions are imposed, IRCC does not issue an open work permit to the foreign national under the BOWP Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption.

Eligibility Requirements for BOWP

To be eligible for a BOWP, foreign nationals must:

  • Be currently in Canada.
  • Have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within the next 4 months.
  • Be the principal applicant on an APR.
    • Electronic application for permanent residence (e-APR) submitted under Express Entry has passed the section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) completeness check; or

      Have completed one of the following APR stages:receipt of a positive eligibility assessment on their non-Express Entry APR submitted by mail or online under one of the following classes or pilots:

    • caring for children
    • caring for people with high medical needs
    • AFP
    • PNP (where the applicant does not qualify for Express Entry)
    • HCCPP or HSWP after completing their qualifying work experience
  • Have paid the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee.
  • Have provided, as applicable, evidence that their provincial nomination is unrestricted (for example, nomination certificate)

Note: Foreign nationals in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are eligible for a BOWP only if they have provided a copy of the nomination letter issued by the nominating province or territory along with their application, and there is no indication that employment restrictions exist as conditions of the nomination.

Who do not qualify for a BOWP?

  • Individuals exempt from work permit requirements under section R186.
  • Those who have allowed their legal status in Canada to expire.
  • Individuals whose current work permits are valid for more than four months, or who possess a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a subsequent work permit application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)about BOWP

BOWP allows foreign nationals working in Canada to extend their work permit while waiting for their permanent residency application decision.

Applicants who have submitted a permanent residency application under specific classes like FSWC, CEC, FSTC, and others, and currently hold a valid work permit.

Yes, PNP applicants can apply for BOWP if they have an unrestricted nomination from a province or territory.

Applicants must be in Canada, have a work permit expiring in 4 months or less, be a principal applicant on an APR, and have passed certain stages of the APR process.

No, BOWP is for those whose current work permits expire within four months.

Yes, applicants must pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee.

If there are employment restrictions, IRCC may not issue a BOWP under the LMIA exemption.

Individuals with expired legal status in Canada are not eligible for BOWP.

Yes, if they meet the other BOWP eligibility criteria.

Yes, for PNP applicants, evidence of an unrestricted provincial nomination is required.