Canada Employment Immigration

Canada Announces New Bridging Open Work Permit Regulations to Ease the Application Process

A Bridging Open Work Permit is issued to immigrants who have made applications for permanent residency in Canada. The permit allows these immigrants to keep working in the country while the IRCC processes their request for a final verdict. Canadian immigrants can now breathe a sigh of relief as the government takes steps to roll out new bridging open work permit regulations meant to ease the process. Among other changes, the new rules make it possible to apply for the permit even after your work permit has expired.

The New Changes

Foreign nationals will now be allowed to apply for the bridging open work permit after their work permits have expired. The rules before this mandated that foreign nationals apply for the bridging work permit four months before the expiry of their work permit. Extending the application period allows the eligible foreign nationals to keep working while waiting for the IRCC permanent residency results.

In addition to this new rule, the Canadian government also opened the bridging open work program applications to the following applicants;

  • The Quebec Skilled Worker Class (QSWC) can now apply for the BOWP
  • If you are a Quebec Skilled Worker Class member, you can now apply for the BOWP after your file goes through a thorough completeness check.
  • Provincial Nominee Program applicants

If you can prove that you were nominated using a nomination letter, you can apply for the Bridging Open Work Permit. The nomination letter has to specify that your employment is unrestricted. Lastly, you would also need to select the open work permit on your application form.

  • Agri-Food Pilot applicants

To be eligible, this category of foreign nationals has to go online and apply from there. They are also required to provide their approval in the client information section of the application form.

The increased timeline will ensure that Quebec skilled workers and PNP applicants have enough time to wait for the IRCC’s final verdict, their BOWP can last up to two years or until their passports expire, whichever comes first.

On the other hand, bridging open work permit for different immigrant categories will last for a year. It is also important to note that a BOWP does not apply to your significant other. If you’d like your spouse to stay and work in the country, advise them to apply for BOWP as the spouse of a skilled worker or a spouse of a full-time student, whichever applies in your case. There is a slight catch for spouses of study permit holders; you will only be eligible for the BOWP if you qualify for a post-graduation work permit.

Why Do These Changes Matter?

The new regulations are a downgrade from the previous set of rules. They significantly eliminate the majority of limitations placed on immigrants. Furthermore, the new regulations allow workers to buy time while awaiting the finalization of their PR applications. Waiting times have also been affected, with the Covid 19 pandemic affecting operations in government offices.

Who is Eligible for the BOWP?

What would you need to apply for the BOWP? Here is a comprehensive list to guide your application process;

1.You must currently work and live in Canada after being authorized to enter as a temporary resident under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act s. 22.

2.You must also meet the following requirements

  • Applicants must have valid temporary resident status and authorization to work in Canada as holders of a valid work permit.
  • Under paragraph 186 (u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations(IRPR), You must have a maintained status as well as authorization to work in Canada. This status must be a consequence of applying to renew their temporary work permits as guided by subsection R20(1): or be eligible for restoring the temporary resident status with continued authorization to work under a work permit.

1.The applicant must also have submitted an APR as the principal applicant under one of these classes;

  • Canadian experience class
  • Federal skilled traders class
  • Federal skilled workers class
  • Agri-food Pilot
  • Quebec skilled worker class
  • Provincial Nominee Program for applicants with no employer restrictions on nominations
  • Care provider for children or people with high medical dependency before June 18, 2019

1.Applicants must also have completed at least one of the following stages, depending on their category.

  • APR under the Quebec skilled worker class and have passed the section R10 completeness test
  • An applicant can also be the recipient of a positive eligibility assessment on their non-express entry ARP which can be done online or via mail. This requirement applies to caregivers dealing with children or those with high medical dependency, AFP, and PNP.
  • Applicants can also submit electronic applications for permanent residence, otherwise referred to as e-APR. You should submit this under Express Entry and have passed the Section R10 check. This requirement applies to FSW, PNP, CEC, FSTC.
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