Bridging open work permits (BOWP) for caregivers
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
This page gives information on bridging open work permits (BOWP) under the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) (National Occupational Classification [NOC] 4411) and Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP) (NOC 4412).
Qualifying foreign nationals currently in Canada who meet program eligibility requirements under the HCCPP or HSWP may be considered for a BOWP to bridge the gap between the expiry of their current work permit and the final decision on their application for permanent residence (APR).
On this page
- Applicant categories
- Eligibility criteria for bridging open work permits (BOWP)
- Category A permanent residence application
- Category B permanent residence application
- Issuing a bridging open work permit (BOWP)
- Spouse or common-law partner and dependants
There are 2 categories of applicants under the caregiver pilots:
Category A is defined as a group of applicants (outside or in Canada) who have 0 to 23 months of eligible Canadian work experience. Applicants under Category A would have applied for an initial occupation-restricted open work permit with their APR. If all requirements are met, except for the work experience, an initial occupation-restricted open work permit would have been issued under NOC 4411 or NOC 4412 to allow caregivers to come to Canada (if they are applying outside Canada) and acquire 24 months of eligible work experience within 3 years.
After applicants complete 24 months of eligible work experience, they are eligible to apply for the BOWP at any time. However, the BOWP is not issued until the processing officer at the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E) is satisfied that the applicant meets the 24 months of eligible Canadian work experience as required by the caregiver pilots.
- Category B is defined as a group of applicants who have already completed the 24 months of eligible Canadian work experience under NOC 4411 or NOC 4412 (combined work experience under the 2 NOCs is not counted) upon applying for permanent residence under one of the 2 pilots. Applicants under category B are not required to apply for an occupation-restricted open work permit. Instead, they are eligible to apply for a BOWP any time (with or after their APR submission). However, their BOWP application is not processed until an eligibility decision is made on their APR.
Eligibility criteria for bridging open work permits (BOWP)
To be eligible for a BOWP, foreign nationals must
- be currently in Canada and intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec
- be the principal applicant on an APR under the HCCP or the HSW pilots
- have done either of the following:
- received a positive eligibility decision on their APR (Category B only)
- submitted evidence of the 24 months of eligible Canadian work experience to the Case Processing Center in Edmonton (CPC-E) and had a permanent residence officer assess that they meet the requirement (Category A only)
They must also meet one of the following criteria:
- have a valid status on a work permit
- be on implied status
- be eligible for restoration
Foreign nationals do not qualify for a BOWP if they are either of the following:
- applying for a BOWP at a port of entry or migration office
- inadmissible to Canada
Category A permanent residence application
Applicants under both pilots would have already received a positive eligibility decision (stage 1 approval [positive APR pre-assessment]) on their APR with the condition to complete 24 months of Canadian work experience under NOC 4411 or 4412. Applicants are eligible to be issued a BOWP once they have met the work experience requirement.
The 24-month Canadian work experience requirement is considered to be met once the status of the Work Experience field in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) is set to “Met”.
Category B permanent residence application
Applicants in this category are assessed for the official language, education and Canadian work experience requirements upfront. They are eligible under the pilots only if they meet all program requirements, including having acquired the necessary work experience.
Applicants who have received a positive eligibility decision on their APR can apply for a BOWP if they are already in Canada. They can submit the BOWP application together with their APR or at any time after.
Issuing a bridging open work permit (BOWP)
Applicants must submit an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker form Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker form [IMM 5710] (PDF, 442 KB), indicating that they are applying for an open work permit.
Upon receipt of the application, the processing office confirms the following:
- the APR has passed the required application stage, including the Canadian work experience requirement
- the foreign national is currently in Canada
- the foreign national currently holds a valid work permit, is on implied status or is eligible for restoration
The open work permit is issued under the authority of paragraph 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and is coded as follows:
- Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption code: A75
- NOC: 9999
- Intended Occupation: open
- Case Type: 27 – Under examination
- Duration: 12 months
Subsequent requests from applicants to extend their stay on a BOWP are considered on a case-by-case basis.
In all cases, the officer must input on the work permit the visible remark “APR Pending”. This remark, in addition to the Case Type code, ensures eligibility for continued health care coverage by the province or territory.
Spouse or common-law partner and dependants
Accompanying spouses or common-law partners and dependants at age of majority (see note below) are eligible for an open work permit under LMIA exemption code C91 for family members of caregivers, under the authority of paragraph R205(a), if the principal applicant was issued a BOWP. The work permit is coded as follows:
Note: The age of majority is 18 years in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.
The age of majority is 19 years in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.
- LMIA exemption code: C91
- NOC: 9999
- Intended Occupation: open
- Case Type: 20
- Duration: same expiry date as principal applicant
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