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Bridging Open Work Permit In Canada (BOWP)

Bridging Open Work Permit which is sometimes referred to as “bridging visas” are a much welcome innovation from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In most cases, applicants with permanent residence status applying from within Canada are on a valid Canadian work permit. The Bridging Open Work Permit was designed for the purpose of keeping workers in Canada working while their applications for permanent residency are processed.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) realized that applicants to certain permanent residence programs who had valid work status in Canada but whose work status may expire before a decision was made on their application for permanent residence — would benefit fully from a work permit to ‘bridge’ the gap between the decision on the application for permanent residence and the expiry of their current work permit.

Eligibility For Bridging Open Work Permit

In order to be eligible for a BOWP, applicants must have applied under one of the following programs:

In addition,

  • Applicants must currently be in Canada,
  • Applicants must have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within four months,
  • Applicants should select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit being applied for, and
  • Applicants must ensure they pay the work permit processing fee and as well as the Open Work Permit Holder fee.

If the permanent resident application is not complete, IRCC will refuse the Bridging Open Work Permit application and will not refund the processing fees.

Applicants for immigration to Quebec are not eligible to receive a Bridging Open Work Permit.

You can also see tips for getting faster Canadian citizenship.