Bridging Open Work Permit application- the complete process

Bridging the Open Work Permit application enables employees to work and remain in Canada while IRCC decides on their PR application.
Bridging Open Work Permit application- the complete process

The Bridging Open Work Permit application can help an employee in Canada to continue their work while their Canadian Permanent Residence application is under process by IRCC.

Bridging Open Work Permit application- understanding the process

Foreign nationals in Canada can continue working with the help of the BOWP while their PR application is under processing. Also, applicants might get consideration for a BOWP under the following conditions:

  • If they currently possess a current work permit.
  • Have preserved status and the right to work as a result of submitting an application to renew their work permit,
  • They qualify to reinstate their temporary resident status with the right to work on a work permit.

A foreign worker with the authorization to work legally in Canada and who applied for a PR application through one of the following economic immigration programs may do so until the final assessment comes out regarding that application:

  • The Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Federal Skilled Workers Program
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Agri-Food Pilot Program

This is advantageous for the federal government, Canadian communities, employers, applicants, and their families. It is because the applicants and their dependents (spouse and children) would otherwise have to find an employer who can acquire an LMIA voluntarily. It is preferable to have an OWP that enables the holder to work for any Canadian employer because it gives applicants more freedom to integrate into and move around the Canadian labor market after qualifying for permanent residence and having already started working there.

Eligibility for the Bridging Open Work Permit application process

The following requirements must be fulfilled in order to qualify for a BOWP:

  • The foreign individual has been granted permission to enter Canada as a temporary resident and is now in Canada.
  • The foreign national is eligible to reinstate their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit.
  • They have continued to maintain their status and authorization to work in Canada under section 186(u) of the IRPR. This is due to their application submission to renew their work permit under subsection R201(1).
  • In case they are done with their Application for Permanent Residence as the primary applicant. They must have fulfilled this condition through any of the following programs:
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Agri-Food Pilot Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Federal Skilled Workers Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Caring for Children Class
  • Also, the class- Caring for People with High Medical Needs

Stages of Application for Permanent Residence (APR)

Depending on the program they are applying to, they must have finished one of the APR stages listed below:

  • The digital PR application submitted via Express Entry must have qualified the completeness verification under the IRPR's Section 10.
  • The Application for Permanent Residence must have also qualified for the completeness verification under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. This, too, will comply with IRPR's Section 10.
  • Obtaining a receipt through email regarding their APR submission stating a positive eligibility evaluation. Also, this must be related to the following programs:
  • Caring for Children Class
  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Class of Caring for People with High Medical
  • Non-Express Entry PNP Stream

BOWP requirements for a spouse, common-law partner, or dependents

The BOWP holder must fulfill the following requirements in order for their spouse to qualify for an open work permit:

  • He or she has a current work permit or is qualified to work in Canada without one under Section 186(w) of the IRPR.
  • The person is qualified to work in Canada for at least six months following the submission of the spousal open work permit application.
  • Possesses employment opportunities in any of the following:
  • a position that requires skill levels 0, A, or B according to the National Occupational Classification.
  • NOC category (O, A, B, or C) under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.
  • Any occupation and officially possesses a Provincial Nominee Certificate.
  • Under any occupation and is officially a Quebec Selection Certificate holder.
  • Is physically present in Canada or seeks to mark their presence in Canada while working there.
  • Has an authentic and trustworthy relationship with their spouse or common-law partner.

An open work permit is not available for dependent children. To attain eligibility to apply for a work visa, they must either acquire a Labour Market Impact Assessment or qualify for an exemption from the LMIA based on their individual circumstances.

Work location

Regarding the job location of some applicants, the IRCC has the following regulations in place:


The job location on the work permit must be limited to the province making the nomination when a BOWP is issued to a candidate for permanent residence via a PNP. To display the province or territory, the destination province must first be chosen, followed by the destination city value.


Quebec must be chosen as the province of employment when awarding a BOWP to applicants for permanent residence who have been chosen by Quebec as skilled workers.