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Changes to Canada's Bridging Open Work Permit

Changes to Canada’s Bridging Open Work Permit

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced some changes to the Bridging Open Work Permit. The IRCC made changes to make it more convenient for permanent residency applicants.

Bridging Open Work Permit 

The BOWP is an open work permit in Canada allowing permanent residency to applicants to work from anywhere for any employer. All this while waiting for a judgment from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada on their application.

Changes Introduced:

  • According to the changes notified in September, the Canadian government terminated the limit on when the applicants could apply for a BOWP.
  • Before the changes, the requirement was to apply for it within four months of the work permit’s expiry date.
  • The foreign nationals with expired or implied status will also be eligible for the BOWP as per the expanded changes by the government of Canada.
  • You may apply for BOWP if you are eligible to restore your status.
  • A valid status as a temporary resident was required to be eligible for a BOWP.
  • The old rules discarded the eligibility of applying for the BOWP if the work permit had expired.
Additionally, the BOWP has extended the eligibility to the following types of applicants: ● The applicants of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) if they have received a nomination letter indicating their employment as unrestricted. And they set “Open Work Permit” on the application form submitted. ● Agri-Food Pilot Program applicants, if the application is submitted online, and they received the approval in the heading “Client Information” with the application. ● Applicants to the Quebec skilled workers Program (QSPW) are eligible once their file goes through a totality check. The BOWP allocated to the PNP applicants and Quebec skilled workers will be reasonable for 24 months or till the expiration of their passports, whichever comes first. It ensures that these applicants have enough time and valid status in Canada till a judgment on permanent residency. For people in other immigration categories, BOWP allocated will be reasonable for 12 months. For the spouses of the BOWP holders, it is not the eventual case that they become eligible. If they wish to work in Canada, they must apply as a spouse of a skilled worker or as a spouse of a study permit holder, whichever may apply. Study permit holders’ spouses may choose to apply for a spousal open work permit if qualified for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Eligibility Requirements for a BOWP:

The fact about BOWP is that it allows people already working in Canada to continue to do so until their permanent residency application is under processing. Those holding this open work permit Canada are not mandated to have an approving Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). As such, one cannot apply at a Port of Entry as it is required for a BOWP to be applied from within the country. Applying for permanent residency through the following programs must be eligible for a BOWP: ● Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) ● Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) ● Canadian Experience Class (CEC) ● Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), given that there are no employer restrictions on their nomination ● Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) ● Nursing People with High Medical Needs Class or Caring for Children class before June 18, 2019 ● Spouses and Common-Law Partners of BOWP Holders

Spouses and common-law partners:

· If the spouse or common-law partner of the Bridging Open Work Permit holder wants to work in Canada, they will have to present further documentation. · The additional documents required are mentioned on the work permit holder’s instructions on the website. · The main holder of BOWP must have a minimum of six months validity on their work permit, regardless of the program applied. · The spouse or the common-law partner may be in or out of the country while applying. · If both the partners are within the country, the applications for BOWP must be submitted together, called the C41 WP. · The work permit for the spouse cannot be issued before the principal holder receives it. Hence, if the partner is outside the country, they will have to wait before applying for the spousal open work permit. · Based upon the program applied for by the principal BOWP holder, there will be various essentials to be met by the spouse or common-law partner. The spouse is qualified for a work permit if the principal holder has skilled occupation categorized as National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill level 0, A or B, and has applied for permanent residence through the following: ● Federal Skilled Worker Program ● Canadian Experience Class ● Caregiver applicants before June 18, 2019 ● Agri-Food Pilot The applicants to QSWP and PNP have no such prerequisite affecting their partner’s eligibility. FSTP applicants in a skilled trade occupation categorized as NOC Skill level B would have their partners eligible.


In current times, Canada has observed a lot of migration. Of the multiple visas issued by the government, the Canadian Bridging Open Work Permit is quite popular. The changes made will be advantageous to people applying for visas for Canada in several ways.