ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 485-A – September 19, 2013

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Bridging Open Work Permits for Certain Federal Economic Class Applicants


Effective December 15, 2012, qualifying foreign nationals currently in Canada who have submitted an application for permanent residence (PR) under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and who meet program eligibility requirements, may be considered for a bridging work permit (WP) if their current WP will soon expire.


Foreign nationals, in Canada, who have received a positive eligibility decision under one of these Economic Class programs and whose work permits are due to expire, may require facilitation to enable them to maintain their status and when a final decision on their PR application is imminent.


Qualifying foreign nationals who have submitted an application for PR and are awaiting a final decision may find themselves in situations where the validity of their current temporary WP is set to expire.

The applicant is then required to have their current employer apply for new labour market opinion (LMO) or find a new employer willing to go through the lengthy LMO application process with Employment and Social Development Canada (formerly Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) before hiring them. Alternatives are that the applicant could apply to remain in Canada as a visitor, without authorization to work, or they must leave Canada at the expiry of their work permit.

Conversely, applicants who apply under in-Canada PR classes (Live-in Caregiver class, Spouses or Common-law Partners in Canada class, Protected Persons, etc.) become eligible for open WPs once it has been determined that their application meets the requirements for the Class. Furthermore, they do not require an LMO or job offer from an employer in support of the open WP.

An open WP, which allows a foreign national to work for any employer in Canada, will provide these applicants with better flexibility to integrate and navigate the Canadian labour market given that they have already been found eligible for PR in an economic program and are currently working in the Canadian labour market.

Bridging Work Permits – Eligibility Parameters

To be eligible for a bridging WP, the following parameters must be met:

  • The foreign national is currently in Canada;
  • They have valid status on a WP that is due to expire within 4 months;
  • They are the principal applicant on an application for permanent residence under the FSWP, the CEC, the PNP or the FSTP;
  • They have received a positive eligibility assessment on their PR application under one of the Economic Class programs above; and
  • They have made application for an open WP.

Please note the following foreign nationals do not qualify for a bridging work permit:

  • Foreign nationals in Canada under section 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (work permit exempt) situations.
  • Foreign nationals who have let their status expire and must apply for restoration in order to return to temporary resident status.
  • Foreign nationals whose work permits are valid for longer than four months and/or already have a new LMO that can be used as the basis for new work permit application
  • Foreign nationals applying for a bridging work permit at the port of entry.
  • Spouse and dependents of the principal permanent resident applicant.

Determining if a Positive Eligibility Decision has been made

For the purposes of determining if a positive eligibility assessment has been made, the processor will review if the Eligibility Assessment value is set to “Passed” in Global Case Management System (GCMS). If this decision has not been entered yet, for the purposes of this Operational Bulletin, a “positive eligibility assessment” will also be considered made when it is confirmed in GCMS that:

the “Ministerial Instructions” status has been set to “Met” or a positive Final Determination of Eligibility letter/ e-mail has been sent.
the “Eligibility EC-QC/PNP” status has been set to “Passed” or the Acknowledgment of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO).
the “Eligibility CEC” decision has been set to “Passed” or the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent from CIO.
the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent from CIO.

Bridging Work Permit Issuance

Applicants must submit an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710], indicating that they are applying for an Open Work Permit.

WP applications received after the effective date that make no mention of requesting an “open” WP should be processed based on the services being requested. For example, if the applicant has submitted a WP application with an LMO, the processing office is to issue the WP, restricted to the employer outlined on the LMO, assuming normal entitlements.

Where it is clear that complex or contentious issues/concerns exist on the application for PR, the WP application should be referred to a local office for additional review. Once satisfied that any complex/contentious issues have been resolved, the local office can issue the WP following these same instructions.

The WP is to be valid for the duration of one year from the date of issuance. Subsequent requests from applicants to extend their stay on an open WP will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Upon receipt of the application, the processing office will confirm that:

  • the PR applications under one of the classes (CEC, PNP, FSWP) has been found eligible;
  • the applicant is currently in Canada; and
  • the applicant currently holds a valid WP that will expire within the next 4 months and there are no other issues of concern.

The open WP will be issued under authority of R205(a) and will be coded as follows:

  • Validation Exemption Code: C-10
  • NOC: 9999000
  • Intended Occupation: Open
  • Case Type: 27 – Under examination

If a medical examination has not been previously conducted in relation to their current status in Canada, or in relation to the application for permanent residence, or its result has expired, the office must impose the following conditions:

  • Not authorized to work in childcare, primary/secondary school teachings, health service field occupations;
  • Not authorized to work in agricultural occupations.

In all cases, the officer must input visible remarks on the WP, “APR Pending”. This remark, in addition to the Case Type code will ensure eligibility for continued health care coverage by the province or territory.

Employment Location


When issuing a bridging open WP to an applicant for permanent residence under the PNP, the Employment Location on the WP must be restricted to the nominating province. Therefore, the Province of Destination must be selected and then the City of Destination value should be selected to show the province/territory NES. For example:

  • Province of Destination: AB
  • City of Destination: Alberta NES


For a bridging open WP issued to FSWP, FSTP or CEC, there are no restrictions to Employment Location and therefore the Province of Destination value must be set to UNK first, and then the City of Destination value of Unknown can be selected as follows:

  • Province of Destination: UNK
  • City of Destination: Unknown

Spouse or Common-law Partner and Dependents

Certain conditions are required to be met by the holder of a Bridging WP, in order for their spouse to also be eligible for an open WP under R205(c)(ii).

In all cases the Bridging WP must be valid for longer than 6 months.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Worker Class applicants: the Bridging WP holder must be performing work which is at a level that falls within National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B.

For spouses of PNP applicants: the spouse is eligible for an open WP for the duration of the WP held by the principal PNP applicant, irrespective of the skill level of the principal PN applicant’s occupation.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Trades applicants: the Bridging WP holder must be performing work which is within one of the qualifying occupations in NOC Skill Level B.

For spouses of CEC applicants: there are no set preconditions to be met by the principal CEC applicant.

For Dependent children of a PR applicant in any of these Economic Classes, must obtain a LMO or have a LMO exemption based on their specific situation in order to apply for a WP.

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