Breaking News!!!! It is now easier to get a Bridging Open Work Permit in Canada

Posted by in CIC News, on November 2, 2021

Immigration applicants no longer need to wait until 4 months before their work permit expires to apply for a BOWP. They may be eligible for a BOWP even if their work permit expired.

Canada recently announced changes to the  (BOWP) program that will make it more accessible.

BOWPs are open to eligible Work permit holder who have applied for Canadian permanent residence. The point of the BOWP is to allow these workers to keep working in Canada while they wait (IRCC) to make a decision on their permanent residency application.

As per the changes announced in September, there is no longer a limit on when you can apply for the BOWP. Before, you could only apply within four months of your work permit’s expiry date.

Also, you may now be eligible if your status has expired and you are eligible for restoration, or if you are in Canada on “maintained status.” Under the old rules, you were not eligible to apply for the BOWP if your work permit had expired.

In addition to all this, the BOWP has opened to the following types of applicants:

  • PNP applicants if they have a copy of the nomination letter that indicates their employment is unrestricted and they selected “Open Work Permit” on their application form.
  • Agri- Food Pilot applicants if they submit their application online, and provide their approval in principle letter in the “Client Information” field with their application.
  • Quebec Skilled workers become eligible after their file passes a completeness check.

The BOWP for Quebec skilled workers and PNP applicants may be valid for 24 months or until their passports expire, whichever comes first. This is to ensure these applicants have enough time in Canada to wait out the processing period.

BOWPs issued to people in other immigration categories will be valid for 12 months.

Who is eligible for a BOWP?

The point of the BOWP is to allow people who are already in Canada to continue working at their jobs while their permanent residency application is in processing. They do not need a LMIA, which is oftentimes required of work permit holders because by virtue of working in Canada they are already providing an economic benefit.

As such, you cannot apply at a port of entry. You have to be applying from within Canada since, in the government’s eyes, your presence here is allowing you to be exempt from an LMIA.

Spouses and common-law partners of BOWP holders

If your spouse or common-law partner wants to work in Canada while you are here on the BOWP.

Also, your BOWP must be valid for a minimum of six months, regardless of which program you applied for.

You must be in Canada, but your partner may be inside or outside the country. If you are both in the country you can submit your applications together, both the application for the BOWP and the one for your spouse, which is called the C41 WP. Your spouse’s work permit cannot be issued before yours. So, if they are outside Canada they have to wait until you receive your BOWP before they can apply for the spousal open work.

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