Bridging Open Work Permit Overview
Bridging Open Work Permits are a particular type of temporary residence permit that allows you to work in Canada while your permanent resident application is in process. Bridging available work permits is ideal for people who want to continue working while they wait for their permanent resident application to be finalized. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of bridging open work permits, who qualifies for them and how long they’re suitable for—plus everything else you need to know about applying for one!
You may be eligible for a bridging open work permit if:
- You have been issued a temporary resident visa (TRV) and are waiting to receive your permanent resident document; or
- You are currently in Canada with one of the following types of visas: student visa, visitor visa/tourist visa, study permit or work permit/open work permit that has expired or is about to expire.
Who is eligible for a bridging open work permit?
- Reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status
- Meet one of the following criteria:
- hold a valid work permit with good temporary resident status
- have submitted to renew their work permit and are on a maintained level in Canada
- 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 Worker Program (FSWP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
- Caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class (before June 18, 2019)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) (given there are no employer restrictions on the nomination)
- Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
- Quebec Skilled Worker Class (QSWC)
Have passed the section R10 completeness check for a QSWC application, Express Entry application or eligible non-Express Entry permanent residence stream and received confirmation from Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you are eligible to apply.
Bridging open work permit fee
The fee for an open work permit is CAD 255 – $155 for the processing fee and CAD 100 for the available work permit holder fee. The price must be paid to CIC in Canadian dollars and is non-refundable, even if you do not use your bridging open work permit or it expires before you can apply for permanent residence.
Can I work anywhere in Canada on a Bridging Open Work permit?
A Bridging Open Work permit is a multi-entry visa that allows you to work anywhere in Canada.
The employment location of a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) BOWP is limited to the province that nominated you.
For individuals applying under the QSWC, employment locations outside of Quebec are not permitted.
How long is a bridging open work permit valid?
The bridging open work permit validates two years and can be extended for another year. You must apply for a permanent resident visa before the bridging available work permit expires, or you must apply for another year’s extension.
NOTE: A Bridging Open Work Permit will not be issued beyond the validity of an applicant’s passport.
Can I add my spouse and children to my bridging open work permit application?
You can add your spouse and children to your bridging open work permit application. However, they must be in Canada at the time of application and have been here for at least six months. They must also be able to provide proof of their valid status (i.e., a copy of their Record of Landing).
If a BOWP holder works in Canada, their spouse may apply for an open work permit, and dependent children can also be issued visitor records.
How to apply for a bridging open work permit
You can either apply online or on paper.
You must pay your application fee and print out the forms if you apply online. Once they are filled in, scanned copies can be uploaded onto their website.
To apply by mail, you must fill in the required forms, attach your supporting documents and fee payment receipt, then send everything to their address.
When can I apply for a bridging open work permit?
Express Entry applicants may submit a BOWP application once they receive their Acknowledgement of Receipt letter through their IRCC MyPortal account.
Applicants must pass the completeness check stage to apply to Quebec Skilled Worker Class.
Bridging open work permit document checklist
The required documents for a Canadian work permit will depend on the work permit you are applying for. Applicants may need to provide some or all of these documents as part of their 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)
- A valid copy of your passport
- Medical exam results (if requested)
- Proof of payment for applicable government fees
Can I apply for a bridging open work permit from Quebec?
Those granted a Quebec Acceptance Certificate and living in that province may be eligible to apply for a bridging open work visa.
To be eligible for a bridging open work permit while living in Quebec, temporary foreign workers must satisfy both of the following conditions:
- Have applied for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as the primary applicant as a skilled worker in Quebec;
- You received an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) from IRCC, which confirms that your permanent residence application has been completed and all supporting documents have been submitted.
Who can get a bridging open work permit?
Suppose you’re a foreign national currently in Canada with a valid work permit and have applied for permanent residence. You may be eligible for a bridging open work permit in that case.
To qualify, your application for permanent residence must be:
- pending; or
- received but not yet decided on by CIC (the Canadian government).
Bridging open work permit processing time
A bridging open work permit is not a permanent solution. Still, it can give you time to find an employer willing to sponsor your application and help you apply for permanent residence status. If you are eligible for a bridging open work permit and want more information about how we can help with this process, please get in touch with us today!