How the Bridging Open Work Permit Can Help You Keep Working in Canada 

Waiting to get the results of your permanent residence application can be a stressful time. The results of that application will determine the trajectory of you and your family’s life.  

What can make that wait much easier is a BOWP, or Bridging Open Work Permit. A BOWP allows you to keep on working, as you wait for the results of your permanent residency application. 

What is the BOWP? 

The BOWP is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a bridge from one work permit to (hopefully) permanent residency as you play the waiting game. Before you even think about applying to a BOWP, you have to submit your permanent residency application to one of the following programs: 

1. Permanent residence using Express Entry 

2. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) 

3. Quebec skilled workers 

4. Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot 

5. Caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class 

6. Agi-Food Pilot 

The Bridging Open Work Permit after you applied for Permanent Residency 

You could write a book about the differences and similarities between each permanent residency program, and how each different program affects your BOWP. For the sake of simplification, you just need to know that the requirements and conditions for your BOWP can change depending on what you program you applied for. 

But for a not-so-simple example, if you applied for the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot PR programs, these requirements are needed, and the following conditions apply: 

1. To be eligible for a BOWP, you have to live in Canada, but intend to live outside Quebec at the time you apply for your BOWP 

    • During this time, you are permitted to leave Canada 
    • But if your work permit expires when you leave Canada, you can’t work until your new application is approved

2. Your eligibility is also dependant on if you are approved in principle for permanent residence, able to prove you have 24 months for qualifying work experience, and meet one of the following criteria: (1) have a valid work permit, (2) have applied to extend your work permit before your original permit expired, and (3) be eligible to restore your status and get a work permit 

3. When applying for your BOWP, you need (1) the supporting documents listed in the document checklist and (2) a copy of the letter we send you after your permanent residence application is approved in principle 

If you applied for permanent residency through the Express Entry program (specifically, through the sub-programs of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class or Federal Skilled Trades Program), your eligibility for the BOWP and its conditions vary in the following ways: 

1. Instead of the criteria of having applied to extend your work permit before your original permit expired, you can have an expired work permit as long as you have maintained your status of a worker 

2. You must be a principal on your PR application 

3. Have submitted a complete application for permanent residency and passed the completeness check 

4. Have your acknowledgement of receipt letter and a copy of it, instead of a copy of the letter they send you after your PR application is approved in principal 

What you need for the BOWP – Summary 

And again – that’s only the differentiating criteria between two PR programs. But, in essence, (and we’re speaking in generalities here) here’s what you need for a BOWP: 

1. Having already been in Canada through some type of visa 

2. Relevant documentation detailed in the document checklist the government provides. 

But there is one thing that can really take the stress out of your BOWP and PR journey, whether you already live in Canada, or are trying to get here… 

Live in Canada as a PR: and 

For those looking to live in Canada, or are here and need to get their BOWP and/or PR, and our partners can help you. Contact us and our professionals can worry about the complicated process of immigration, so you don’t have to worry. 






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