Bridging open work permits (BOWP) for caregivers

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 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).

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Applicant categories

There are 2 categories of applicants under the caregiver pilots:

Eligibility criteria for bridging open work permits (BOWP)

To be eligible for a BOWP, foreign nationals must

They must also meet one of the following criteria:

Foreign nationals do not qualify for a BOWP if they are either of the following:

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 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:

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.

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