Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP): Through Base Nominations

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows a worker or professional to continue his or her stay in Canada while his or her application for permanent residence is in progress. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that are not Express Entry aligned are processed as per the norms and timelines stipulated by the province that nominated the person.

Once the bridging open work permit is issued, the person may continue to stay in Canada until the time Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made a decision on his or her immigration application. When a person applies for permanent residency under a base or regular nomination, he or she is eligible to apply for the bridging open work permit based on the provincial nomination. Such applicants will have the following advantages:

  • Depending on the province or territory, the base or regular nominations are often fast-tracked application categories;
  • It allows the applicant as well as his or her spouse and dependents (if applicable) to continue to stay in the province or territory where they are residing and/or working;
  • A much smoother way to integrate themselves (and their family, if applicable) to the Canadian way of life.

Once the applicant has received the base nomination, they need to apply for permanent residency with the federal government. The process is complete only once medical and police/penal clearance is completed by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Irrespective of the fact under which National Occupation Category (NOC) the applicant is employed during the time the BOWP is issued, he or she may also choose to bring his or her spouse or common-law partner as well as dependents to Canada. If the spouse or common-law partner is coming to Canada under an open work permit, then the validity of such an open work permit will be the same as the applicant’s BOWP.

Under all circumstances, the applicant’s dependents need to obtain an LMIA if they wish to work in Canada, or else, they must fall under the LMIA exempt category.


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