The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows a worker or professional to continue his or her stay in Canada while his or her application for permanent residence is in progress.
A foreign worker or professional who is working in Canada under a work permit holds only a temporary resident status in Canada. Such persons are expected to leave Canada when their temporary resident status expires. That is, when their work permit expires. However, under the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) program, a worker or professional whose work permit will expire in less than four months may choose to apply for a bridging open work permit if he or she has successfully submitted an application for Canadian permanent residency under one (or more) of the below economic immigration programs:
Once the bridging open work permit is issued, the person may continue to stay in Canada until the time Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made a decision on his or her immigration application. This mitigates the risk of the person (along with family, if applicable) requiring to leave Canada, or, applying for a LMIA for the job with the current employer or a new one. The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows the person to work for any employer anywhere in Canada. That is, there are no job-specific or geography-specific restrictions if a person is working in Canada under a bridging open work permit, except if the permit was issued based on a provincial nomination.
Eligibility Criteria To be eligible to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), the following criteria are to be met:
Open work permit for spouse or common-law partner of BOWP holders
The spouse or common-law partner of BOWP holders can apply for open work permit to work anywhere in Canada, provided the following criteria are met: