Shabnam Akrami Blogs

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

The Benefits of a Bridging Open Work Permit

The Benefits of a Bridging Open Work Permit

How to Benefit from Applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit

There are certain programs in Canada which lead to permanent residency. These programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, the Canadian Experience Class or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs. In order to apply to any of these programs, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. Additionally, the application process for these types of programs is often timely. Thankfully, there is a solution to continue working in Canada while Canadian Immigration processes your permanent residency application; the solution is a bridging open work permit. Therefore, in this article, I will explain what a bridging open work permit entails, who may apply for a bridging open work permit and lastly how to apply for a bridging open work permit.

What is a Bridging Open Work Permit

The bridging open work permit is different than any other work permit in Canada. This specific work permit is intended for foreign nationals who have applied for permanent residency in Canada and are currently working in Canada but have an impending expiration of their work permit. They must apply for this bridging open work permit at least four months before their existing work permit expires. In order to continue legally working in Canada, they may apply for a bridging open work permit. This allows the foreign worker to continue working in Canada while they await the decision of their permanent residency application.

The Benefits of a Bridging Open Work Permit

The bridging open work permit is both beneficial for the applicant who applied for permanent residency in Canada and wishes to continue working in Canada while they await the decision and also very beneficial for the Canadian government. If the bridging open work permit did not exist, the foreign national would either have to leave Canada temporarily; remain in Canada under a visitor visa status; or, find a Canadian employer who would agree to go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment process and then proceed to apply for a regular job-specific work permit. Therefore, evidently, the bridging open work permit benefits many individuals.

Additionally, the bridging open work permit is essentially an open work permit. An open work permit is much more flexible than a job-specific work permit. The open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any Canadian employer anywhere in Canada. They are not restricted to a specific employer or a specific area in Canada. The open work permit provides the foreign national with the opportunity to explore the different opportunities available in the Canadian economy and labour market.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit

Much like any other immigration application, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met in order to apply for a bridging open work permit. Below is a detailed list of the eligibility requirements in order to apply.

  • The foreign worker must be residing in Canada
  • The foreign worker must have valid a valid work permit that will expire within four months
  • The foreign worker must be the principal applicant on the application for their permanent residency under these programs - The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class - The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Class - The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) - Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  • The foreign worker must have received a positive eligibility on their permanent residency application
  • The foreign worker must have applied for an open work permit

Who is Ineligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit

There are also conditions that may make foreign nationals ineligible for a bridging open work permit. Below is a detailed list of factors that will make a foreign national ineligible.

  • The foreign worker in residing in Canada under section 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (work permit exempt) circumstances
  • The foreign worker has let their authorized status in Canada expire
  • The foreign worker’s work permit is valid for longer than four months and they have received a new LMIA that may be utilized for a new work permit application
  • The foreign worker is applying for a bridging open work permit at a Canadian port of entry
  • The foreign worker is either the spouse or dependent of the principal applicant on the permanent residency application
  • The foreign worker is a provincial nominee who has not submitted their nomination letter with the application for the bridging open work permit and/or their nomination letter includes specific restrictions on their type of employment

How to Apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit

In order to apply for a bridging open work permit, you must ensure to submit the required documentation and forms that are listed on the government of Canada’s document checklist for a bridging open work permit. If you miss any documents or fail to provide sufficient information, this can hinder the chances of a successful approval. Additionally, one of the most crucial pieces of information that you must submit when applying for a bridging open work permit is a copy of the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter. This letter would be automatically sent if you applied for permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry category. However, if you applied outside of the Express Entry category, then the letter will be sent by the visa office that is processing your application after they have positively verified that your application is complete. Please note that if you applied through a Provincial Nominee Program, you must also include a copy of your nomination letter.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you have applied for permanent residency in Canada through one of these programs and would like to apply for a bridging open work permit, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying. Bridging open work permit applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients continue to work in Canada while they waited for the decision of their permanent residency application. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a bridging open work permit while you wait for your permanent residency decision, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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