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. The BOWP is only available to those who have already submitted a permanent residency application and are already in possession of a valid work permit. A successful BOWP application results in an open work permit, enabling the holder to work for multiple employers in multiple locations, of their own choosing.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) a foreign national must first meet the following conditions:

  • Have submitted an application for permanent residence
  • Current work permit expires in four months or less
  • Have valid status on a current work permit
  • Currently residing in Canada

As well, not all permanent residence programs are eligible for the BOWP. The BOWP is only available to applicants to the following permanent residence programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
  • Caring for Children Class
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class

If a foreign national meets the eligibility criteria they may submit an application for the BOWP. Those applying for permanent residency through the province of Quebec are not eligible for the BOWP. However, certain applicants in the province of Quebec may be eligible to apply to work with a Certificate de selection du Quebec (CSQ).

Implied Status in Canada

A foreign national is required to submit a BOWP application before their current work permit expires. If their current work permit expires before they have received a decision regarding their BOWP application, they may continue to work in Canada under implied status until a final decision has been issued regarding the BOWP application. However, if the BOWP application is denied, the foreign national must cease working in Canada immediately. If a foreign national works in Canada without a valid work permit, they will jeopardize all future applications for Canadian immigration.

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