The Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP, sometimes mentioned as a ‘bridging visa’) is definitely a much welcome innovation from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In many cases, permanent residence applicants applying from within Canada are on a legitimate Canadian work permit.
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The Bridging Open work permit was created as a means to permit workers to stay in Canada working while their applications for permanent residency are being processed.
IRCC realized that applicants to certain permanent residence programs who had valid work status in Canada — but whose work status may run out before a choice was made on their application for permanent residence — would enjoy a work permit to ‘bridge’ the gap between the expiry of their current working papers and the decision made on their application for a permanent residence.
A bridging open work permit (BOWP) allows you to keep working while you await the results of your permanent residence application. The Bridging Open working papers (BOWP) allows individuals of foreign nationality who are currently working in Canada to extend the validity of their working permits while they await a decision on their permanent residency application.
The BOWP is merely available to those that have already submitted a permanent residency application and are already in possession of a legitimate work permit. A successful BOWP application leads to an open work permit, enabling the holder to work for multiple employers in multiple locations, of their own choosing.
In order to be eligible for an application for a Bridging Open work permit (BOWP), an individual of foreign nationality must first meet the under listed conditions:
- Have submitted an application for permanent residence
- Current working papers expire in four months or less
- Have valid status on a current working permit
- Currently residing in Canada
Additionally, not all permanent residence programs are eligible for the BOWP. The BOWP is merely available to applicants to the subsequent 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 an individual of foreign nationality meets the eligibility criteria, they are to submit an application for the BOWP. Those applying for permanent residency through the province of Quebec aren’t eligible for the BOWP. However, certain applicants within the province of Quebec could also be eligible to place an application to work with a Certificate de selection du Quebec (CSQ).
Implied Status in Canada
An individual of foreign nationality is required to submit a BOWP application before their current working papers expire. If their current working papers expire before they are sent a decision regarding their BOWP application, they can still decide to continue working in Canada under implied status until a final judgment has been issued regarding the BOWP application.
However, if the BOWP application is denied, the foreign national must stop working in Canada immediately. If an individual of foreign nationality works in Canada without a legitimate working permit, they’re going to jeopardize all future applications for Canadian immigration.