Relaxed rules for Bridging Open Work Permit in Canada

Well, for those who are eager to get their work permit in Canada here is a bundle of good news for them. As per the latest changes it is sorted that the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) program will be made more accessible. The program is open to the eligible work permit holders who have applied for further Canadian permanent residence.

This is important so that the already working people should be allowed to keep working in Canada as they wait for Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to make a final decision on their permanent residency application.

open work permit for spouse of international student processing time

This comes as hopeful news: the changes announced in September, shared that there is no limit on the worker  as to when they can apply for the BOWP. Earlier, the aspirant could only apply in between the four months of the already existing work permit’s expiry date.

As per the new rules the aspirant is also eligible if the work status has expired and you are eligible to revive your current status and get a work permit. Another option is  if you are in Canada you have maintained your status as a worker then also you are eligible.

According to the previous rules, only those aspirants were allowed to apply for the BOWP who had a work permit. If there was no work permit or if it expired then such applicants were not considered for permanent residency. The work permit for spouses of international student processing time has also been affected. 

In addition to the above, the BOWP is also considering the following types of applicants:

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants –

  • A copy of the nomination letter is required indicating that their employment is unrestricted and they are selected “Open Work Permit” on their application form.

Agri-Food Pilot –

  • This is the next category. If the applicants have submitted their application online, and further show their approval in principle letter in the “Client Information” field along with their application.

Quebec skilled workers are also eligible to apply under BOWP after their file passes a complete required check- 

Further, the BOWP for the Quebec skilled workers and also PNP applicants can be considered for 24 months or until their passports expire, whatever is first. The time limit is to keep a check that these applicants have enough time in Canada so that they can wait through the processing period. On the other hand, BOWPs issued to people through  other immigration categories will only be valid till 12 months.

Another important announcement is that the spouses of BOWP holders will not automatically get a BOWP. They need to apply through another channel. If the spouse is interested in  working in Canada, they may then apply as a spouse of a skilled worker or as a spouse of a full-time student, whichever is suitable.

They are granted open work permits for spouses of international students, the processing time may differ. The spouse can get the visas if the students are eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Who is eligible for a BOWP?

According to the BOWP, it allows people who are already working in Canada and further want to continue working at their jobs while their permanent residency application is in process. Moreover, under this program they do not need to have a  Labour Market Impact Assessment, which is required of work permit holders sharing that the workers Canada is providing an economic benefit to the country.

For this visa the applicant must be within Canada since, in the government’s eyes, your presence here is allowing you to be exempt from an LMIA.

If the applicant is looking for permanent residency under one of the following programs, you may be eligible for a BOWP:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class before June 18, 2019
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for applicants for who do not have employer restrictions on nominations
  • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
  • Quebec skilled worker class (QSWC)

Treatment for spouses and common-law partners of BOWP holders

If the spouse or common-law partner is interested to work in Canada while the applicant is here on the BOWP.

They are supposed to provide additional required documentation, which is shared on the work permit holder’s instructions on the government website.

Also, the BOWP of the partner must be valid for a minimum of six months, irrespective of the program you applied for. Under this the applicant under the program BOWP should be in Canada, but the partner may be anywhere. The plus point is that if you both are in the country then you can submit your applications together, which is called the C41 WP.

Another consideration is that the spouse’s work permit cannot be issued before the main applicant. So, if they are outside Canada they will have to wait until the applicant receives the BOWP before they can apply for the spousal open work permit.

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