Good news for aspiring permanent residents:


Canada has now made it easier for you to obtain a bridging open work permit (BOWP) while you wait for a decision on your PR application! 

Previously, IRCC rules stated that one could only apply for a BOWP within the 4 months preceding their current work permit’s expiry date. However, as per new rulings released in September, this time limit no longer exists. Work permit holders can now apply for a BOWP even if their current work permit has expired, as long as they are eligible to restore it, or are on ‘maintained status’. 



If you meet the following conditions, you may be eligible to apply for a BOWP:

  • Must apply from within Canada
  • Must be the principal applicant who applied for PR through one of the following programs:
    • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
    • Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)
    • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
    • Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) 
    • Caring for children class, or caring for people with high medical needs class (note: before June 18, 2019)
    • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP) (note: for applicants who apply online and provide their approval-in-principle letter)
    • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) (note: for applicants who selected ‘Open Work Permit’ on their application form and have no restrictions on nominations)
  • Must have passed a completeness check for the following classes (usually demonstrated through Acknowledgment of Receipt – AOR):
    • CEC
    • FSW
    • FST
    • PNP (when the applicant is accepted through the provincial or territorial Express Entry stream)



IRCC has also expanded the validity period of certain kinds of BOWPs. If you are a PNP or QSW applicant, you can now enjoy a BOWP for up to 24 months, or until your passport expires (whichever comes first). BOWP validity for applicants from other programs remains limited to 12 months.

Excited about the new BOWP guidelines? Need help applying for one? Contact us today!