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The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a way to allow a foreign national in Canada to continue working while his or her application for permanent residence is being processed.


In-Canada applicants who have applied for permanent residence under one of the eligible economic immigration programs may be considered for a BOWP if they already hold a valid work permit, have maintained status and authorization to work as a result of submitting an application to renew their work permit, or are eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit.


A foreign worker legally working in Canada who has submitted an application for permanent residence under the following economic immigration programs may then continue to work until a decision is made on his or her application for permanent residence:

This is beneficial for the federal government, Canadian communities and employers, as well as applicants and their families, because otherwise, applicants and their dependents (spouse and children) would have to either leave Canada temporarily, stay in Canada under visitor status, or find an employer willing to go through the process of applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).


An open work permit, which allows its bearer to work for any employer in Canada, is preferable as it provides applicants with better flexibility to integrate and navigate the Canadian labour market, given that they have already been found eligible for permanent residence and are currently working in Canada.


Eligibility for Bridging Open Work Permits

To be eligible for a BOWP, the following parameters must be met:

The foreign national is currently in Canada after being authorized to enter as a temporary resident;

The foreign national: 

Have submitted an Application for Permanent Residence (APR) as the principal applicant under one of the following programs:

Have completed one of the following APR stages depending on the program they are applying to:

Spouse or Common-law Partner and Dependants

Certain conditions are required to be met by the holder of a BOWP in order for his or her spouse to also be eligible for an open work permit: