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Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) program is offered to foreign nationals currently working in Canada. It allows them to extend their work permit when they wait for a decision on their application for permanent residency. The BOWP is available only to those who have submitted a permanent residency application already. They must also have a valid work permit. If approved, it can lead to an open work permit. Such a permit allows you to work for multiple employers in any location of your choice.


To apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), you must first satisfy the following conditions:

  • You must have already submitted an application for permanent residence
  • Your work permit is nearing expiration in four months or less
  • Your current work permit is valid
  • You are presently staying in Canada

It is important to note that all permanent residence programs are not eligible for the BOWP. Applicants to the following programs can apply for it.

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Agri-Food Pilot Program

BOWP is a program that benefits all the players, including the Canadian government, the employers, applicants, and their families. In the absence of such an arrangement, the applicants and their families would have to leave Canada for some time or stay as a visitor. Else, they would have to find an employer who can go through the process of applying for an LMIA or Labor Market Impact Assessment.

Eligibility for Spouses and Common-law Partners of BOWP Holders

Does your spouse or common-law partner want to work in Canada while you are here on the BOWP? They will have to fulfill a few conditions.

They must provide additional documents details of which are available on the relevant government website

Your BOWP must be valid for at least six months, irrespective of the program you are pursuing

It doesn’t matter if your partner is inside or outside Canada, but you, as the principal applicant, must be in the country. If both are in Canada, you can submit your BOWP applications jointly. Don’t expect your spouse’s application to be issued before clearing your application. If they are outside Canada, they must wait until you receive your BOWP. They can then apply for a spousal open work permit.

Implied Status in Canada

As a foreign national, you must submit your BOWP application before the expiration of your current work permit. If your existing work permit expires prior to receiving a decision about your BOWP application, you are allowed to continue working in Canada under implied status. This arrangement can continue until a final decision is made regarding your BOWP application. However, if your BOWP application is denied, you will have to stop working in Canada immediately. If you continue without a valid work permit, the repercussions of such a move can be serious. It will adversely impact all your applications for Canadian immigration in the future.

Employment Location Rules

IRCC has implemented specific rules with regards to the employment location of certain applicants.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

When issuing a BOWP for the permanent resident under the PNP program to an applicant, the employment location on the work permit must be that of the nominating province. You may show your preference for province/territory by selecting the province of destination and then the city of destination value.


When issuing a BOWP for permanent residents in Quebec, you must choose Quebec as the place of employment on the work permit.

If you have any confusion regarding the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) or want more clarifications about the process, contact us. ASI Immigration is one of the leading immigration consultants in Canada. We provide a range of immigration services to help our customers have a smooth passage in their quest for a permanent residency.

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