Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Bridging Open Work Permit

Bridging Open Work Permit

Can I extend my Work Permit for Canada?

Are you currently employed in Canada as foreign worker and have applied for permanent residence and forgot to renew your Work Permit? If so you may be eligible to apply for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). What this means you can continue your work as a foreign worker until a decision is made on your permanent residence application.

To be eligible for Bridging Open Work Permit you must have applied under one of these programs:

You must also meet the following conditions for Bridging Open Work Permit

  • currently be in Canada

  • the applicant must be on a work permit that is set to expire within four months

  • the applicant must have submitted a permanent residence application under one the FSWC, the CEC, the FSTC, the PNC or one of the two caregiver classes

  • the applicant must have completed either an electronic application for permanent residence (e-APR) submitted under Express Entry and has passed the R10 completeness check or the applicant has received a Positive Eligibility Decision on their APR under of the economic classes that was submitted by mail

  • the applicant has completed an Open Work Permit application

  • the applicant has paid the Work Permit processing fee and Open Work Permit Holder fee

  • the applicant has provided evidence (e.g., nomination certificate) that their provincial nomination is unrestricted (if applicable)

    To be eligible for the Bridging Open Work Permit as foreign national under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) you must provide copy of the nomination letter by the province or territory it was issued from along with your application. Also, there should be no employment restrictions as conditions of the nomination. If there are restrictions then the applicant is not eligible to apply for the Work Permit under the Bridging Open Work Permit.

Bridging Open Work Permit and Express Entry

The big difference between Express Entry and Pre Express Entry is that with Pre Express Entry you would receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) email from SIO Sydney once you had submitted your permanent residence application. Depending under which class you had applied under you would receive an email that had your UCI number, file number, indication that your application is in processing, fees have been received etc. That email you were than able to use with your Bridging Open Work Permit application. Now you do not get an email confirmation which causes major confusion for applicants. The big confusion is that once you submit your Electronic Permanent Residence Application or E-APR you receive a PDF from CIC account which can be mistaken as an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) email. So the PDF you receive after you submit your E-APR is not an AOR email for Bridging Open Work Permit application. So what you should be looking for is the AOR letter or the R10 completeness check letter which is sent weeks or months later. Sometimes Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not even send the R10 letter and automatically ask for passport requests to have their PR application finalized through the Express Entry. This can be very frustrating for applicants that need a Bridging Open Work Permit. So until you do not receive AOR letter you cannot make a Bridging Open Work Permit application.

How does the Bridging Open Work Permit affect PNP Applicants?

Before the introduction of the Express Entry, Federal PNP applicants simply had to include their federal Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) with their Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) application. In 2016, for certain employer-driven streams the Provincial Nominee Class (PNC), the nominating province or territory may impose employment restrictions on a successful nominee until the person becomes a permanent resident. If employment restrictions are put in place then Citizenship and Immigration Canada cannot issue an Open Work Permit to the foreign applicant under Bridging Open Work Permit LMIA exemption. If there is no employment restriction then CIC can issue an Open Work Permit to the foreign applicant under Bridging Open Work Permit.

Who does not qualify for Bridging Open Work Permit?

  • Foreign nationals that do not qualify for Bridging Open Work Permit include:

  • applicants that are exempt from the work permit, these are foreign nationals that fall under section 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR)

  • applicants that have no status in Canada (can apply for restoration to restore their temporary resident status)

  • applicants whose work permit are valid for longer than four months or applicants who have a new LMIA that can be used for the new work permit

  • applicants that are applying for Bridging Open Work Permit at the port of entry or visa office

  • spouses and dependants of principal permanent resident applicants

  • applicants that have inadmissibility issues to Canada

Is there Restriction on Employment location when applying for Bridging Open Work Permit?

If you are issued a Bridging Open Work Permit for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Class, the employment location on the Work Permit is restricted to the nominating province. So when you complete your application the province destination value must be selected, followed by the city of destination value to show the province or territory NES (not elsewhere stated). For example:

  • Province of Destination: AB
  • City of Destination: Alberta NES

If Bridging Open Work Permit got issued through one of the FSWC, FSTC, CEC or caregiver classes then the applicant is not restricted to one employment location. So when completing the application the province of destination value must be set to “UNK” first and then the city of destination value set to “Unknown”. For example:

  • Province of destination: UNK
  • City of destination: Unknown

Contact Akrami & Associates

Looking to extend your work permit and not sure if you are eligible for Bridging Open Work Permit? Contact Akrami & Associates and our immigration experts will be glad to assess your eligibility to apply. Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients with extending or restoring their temporary residence status in Canada and we can help you too. Contact us today at 416-477-2545.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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