Recently, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced certain changes to the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) to make it more accessible to permanent residence applicants.
What Is the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)?
The BOWP is an open work permit that allows permanent residence applicants to work anywhere in Canada for any employer while waiting for a decision on their application.
What Changes Were Introduced to the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)?
In September, the Canadian government removed the limit on when applicants could apply for a BOWP. Earlier, applicants were required to apply within 4 months of the expiration date of their current work permit.
The government has also expanded the eligibility criteria for the BOWP to include foreign nationals with expired or implied status. As long as you are eligible for restoration of status, you may apply for a BOWP. Earlier you required a valid status as a temporary resident to be eligible for a BOWP.
The BOWP eligibility criteria will now include the following types of applicants:
- Successful Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants who have received a nomination to indicate that their employment is unrestricted
- Agri-Food Pilot Program applicants provided they are applying online and have received approval
- Applicants to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) provided they have submitted a completed application
The BOWP issued to PNP applicants and Quebec Skilled Workers will be valid for 24 months or until their passport expires, whichever comes first. This will ensure that applicants have valid status in Canada until a decision on their permanent residence application is made.
Spouses of BOWP applicants will not become automatically eligible for a BOWP. If they also want to work in Canada, they will have to apply as a spouse of a skilled worker or spouse of a Study Permit holder. These spouses are eligible to apply for a spousal Open Work Permit.