Bridging open work permit for permanent residence applicants

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A bridging open work permit (BOWP) lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application.

You may be eligible if you applied to one of the permanent residence programs below.

If you applied for Express Entry

These instructions are for permanent residence applications for the

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

Who can apply for a BOWP

To be eligible, you must

  • live in Canada (and intend to live outside Quebec) at the time you apply for your BOWP
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • either
  • be the principal applicant on your permanent residence application
  • have submitted a complete application for permanent residence and passed the completeness check
    • Submitting a profile to the pool is not the same as applying for permanent residence.
    • Make sure you understand how Express Entry works.
  • have your acknowledgement of receipt letter
    • We send this letter to your account after we get your permanent residence application

If you’re not eligible for a BOWP yet

Don’t let your work permit expire while you wait for an invitation to apply. Maintain your status in Canada by extending your work permit.

Your employer may need to get a new Labour Market Impact Assessment or submit a new offer of employment for you to do this.

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of your acknowledgement of receipt letter

If you apply online

Upload your acknowledgement of receipt letter in the “Client information” field.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you:

  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

If you applied for the Provincial Nominee Program via Express Entry

Who can apply

To be eligible for a BOWP, you must

  • live in Canada (and intend to live outside Quebec) at the time you apply for your BOWP
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • either
  • be the principal applicant on your permanent residence application
  • have no employment restrictions as a condition of your nomination
  • have submitted a complete application for permanent residence and passed the completeness check
    • Ssubmitting a profile to the pool is not the same as applying for permanent residence.
    • Make sure you understand how Express Entry works.
  • have your acknowledgement of receipt letter
    • We send this letter to your account after we get your application

If you’re not eligible for a BOWP yet

Don’t let your work permit expire while you wait for an invitation to apply. Maintain your status in Canada by extending your work permit.

Your employer may need to get a new Labour Market Impact Assessment or submit a new offer of employment for you to do this.

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of your nomination letter
  • a copy of your acknowledgement of receipt letter

If you apply online

Upload your acknowledgement of receipt letter and your nomination letter in the “Client information” field.

Find out how to upload multiple files to 1 field in your online application.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you:

  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

If you applied for the Provincial Nominee Program (not through Express Entry)

Who can apply

To be eligible for a BOWP, you must

  • live in Canada (and intend to live outside Quebec) at the time you apply for your BOWP
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • either
  • be the principal applicant on your permanent residence application
  • be approved in principle for permanent residence
  • have no employment restrictions as a condition of your nomination

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include:

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of your nomination letter
  • a copy of your acknowledgement of receipt letter
    • we send you this letter after we check that your permanent residence application is approved in principle

If you apply online

Upload your acknowledgement of receipt letter in the “Client information” field.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you:

  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

If you applied for permanent residence as a Quebec skilled worker

Who can apply

To be eligible for a BOWP, you must

  • live in Canada and intend to live in Quebec
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • hold a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)
  • be the principal applicant on your permanent residence application
  • have passed a completeness check for permanent residence
  • either

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of your CSQ
  • a copy of the letter that shows your permanent application number
    • This number begins with the letter “E”

If you apply online

Upload the letter that shows your permanent application number in the “Client information” field.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you

  • respond “yes” to the question Have you been told by an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office that you are approved in principle for permanent residence in Canada?
  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

If you applied for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot

Who can apply

To be eligible for a BOWP, you must

  • live in Canada (and intend to live outside Quebec) at the time you apply for your BOWP
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • be approved in principle for permanent residence
  • prove you have 24 months of qualifying work experience
  • meet 1 of the following criteria:
    • have a valid work permit
    • have applied to extend your work permit before your original permit expired
    • be eligible to restore your status and get a work permit

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of the letter we send you after your permanent residence application is approved in principle

If you apply online

Upload your approval in principle letter in the “Client information” field.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you:

  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

If you applied for the caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class

Who can apply

To be eligible for a BOWP, you must

  • live in Canada (and intend to live outside Quebec) at the time you apply for your BOWP
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • either
  • be the principal applicant on your permanent residence application
  • be approved in principle for permanent residence
  • have submitted a complete application for permanent residence before the programs closed on June 18, 2019

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include:

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of the letter we send you after your permanent residence application is approved in principle

If you apply online

Upload your approval in principle letter in the “Client information” field.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you:

  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

If you applied for the Agri-Food Pilot

Who can apply

To be eligible for a BOWP, you must

  • live in Canada (and intend to live outside Quebec) at the time you apply for your BOWP
    • You can leave Canada while we process your application.
    • However, if you leave Canada after your work permit expires, you can’t work until your new application is approved.
  • either
  • be the principal applicant on your permanent residence application
  • be approved in principle for permanent residence

Supporting documents

When you submit your BOWP application, include

  • the supporting documents listed in the document checklist
  • a copy of the letter we send you after your permanent residence application is approved in principle (approval in principle letter)

If you apply online

Upload your approval in principle letter in the “Client information” field.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for extending or changing the conditions on your work permit.

When you apply, make sure you

  • select “Open work permit” as the type of work permit
  • pay the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee

In most cases, you must apply online.

If you’re having problems applying online, you can apply on paper.

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