In Canada, obtaining a Bridging Open Work Permit is now simpler - CMC Immigration
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In Canada, obtaining a Bridging Open Work Permit is now simpler


Immigration applicants are no longer have to wait until their work permit expires four months before applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit BOWP. Even though their work visa has expired, they may be eligible for a BOWP.

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) program in Canada has recently undergone adjustments to make it more accessible.

BOWPs are available to qualifying work permit holders who have sought permanent residence in Canada. The purpose of the BOWP is to allow these employees to continue working in Canada while they await a decision from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on their permanent residency application.

There is no longer a time constraint for applying for the BOWP, as stated in September. Previously, you could only apply four months before your work visa expired.

Also, if your status has expired and you are qualified for restoration, or if you are in Canada on “maintained status,” you may now be eligible. Previously, if your work permit had expired, you were ineligible to apply for the BOWP.

Aside from that, the BOWP is now accessible to the following sorts of applicants:

  • Applicants for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) have a copy of the nomination letter indicating that their job is unrestricted and selected “Open Work Permit” on their application form.
  • Agri-Food Pilot candidates must submit their application online and include their acceptance in principle letter in the “Client Information” area.
  • After their dossier passes a completeness check, Quebec skilled employees become eligible.
  • The BOWP for Quebec skilled workers and PNP candidates may be valid for 24 months or until the expiration of their passports, whichever comes first. This is to guarantee that these applicants have ample time in Canada to complete the application procedure.

BOWPs granted to persons in other immigration categories will be valid for a year.

Who qualifies for a BOWP?

The BOWP allows those already in Canada to continue working while their permanent residence application is being processed. They do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is frequently required of work permit holders because they already provide an economic benefit by working in Canada.

As a result, you are unable to apply at a port of entry. You must apply from within Canada since, in the government’s view, your presence here qualifies you for an LMIA exemption.

You may be eligible for a BOWP if you filed for permanent residency through one of the following programs:

  • Before June 18, 2019, apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • for applicants who do not have employer restrictions on nominations
    Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
  • Quebec skilled worker class (QSWC)
  • BOWP holders’ spouses and common-law partners

If your spouse or common-law partner wants to work in Canada while on the BOWP, you may do so. They will be required to present extra documents, as detailed on the government website’s requirements for work permit holders. In addition, regardless of the program, you apply for, your BOWP must be valid for at least six months.

You must be in Canada, but your partner may be from anywhere in the world. If you are both in the nation, you may file your applications simultaneously, both for the BOWP and your spouse, known as the C41 WP. The work permit of your spouse cannot be issued before yours. So, if they are outside of Canada, they must wait until you have received their BOWP before applying for the spousal open work permit.

Your spouse will have various qualifications depending on whatever program you apply for. If you filed for one of the following programs, your spouse might be eligible for a work visa only if you work in a skilled occupation that falls under NOC skill levels 0, A, or B:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Caregiver applicants before June 18, 2019
  • Agri-Food Pilot

Your employment skill level has no bearing on your spouse’s eligibility if you apply under the Quebec Skilled Worker or PNP categories. For their spouse to be eligible for the work visa, Federal Skilled Trades applicants must work in one of the skilled craft jobs listed in NOC skill level B.

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