Background: Bridging Open Work Permits and Express Entry
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a special work permit
category, which allows certain Permanent Resident applicants to
receive an Open work permit whilst waiting to the PR application to
be processed. As the moniker suggests, the intent of the BOWP is to
bridge the transitional waiting period from a temporary to a
permanent resident. The authority to process such applications,
which can be made either online or via paper submission, lies with
the Case Processing Center in Vegreville, Alberta.
Regulatory changes from December 1, 2015 and clarifications
provided on February 11, 2016
On December 1, 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Canada (IRCC) released a program delivery update (PDU) informing
that certain Express Entry PR applicants can submit a BOWP
application immediately after submitting the electronic application
for permanent residence (e-APR). Following the submission of the
e-APR, IRCC will automatically generate an initial
Acknowledgement of Receipt letter which simply confirms
that the application has been received, and a file number created.
It is no longer required that applicants wait until they receive a
second Acknowledgement of Receipt letter from IRCC, which
confirmed that a determination with regards to an R10 completeness
check had been made.
On February 11, 2016, IRCC sought to further clarify the
previous PDU, by specifying that despite being able to apply for
the BOWP once a positive eligibility assessment had been made, the
actual processing of the BOWP will only commence once the
completeness check has been performed. Additionally, IRCC specifies
that these program delivery instructions will only
apply to those PR applicants processed under the Express Entry
program. Other PR categories, such as the Provincial Nominee or the
caring for people with high medical needs class, do not benefit
from this update.
Lastly, it is important to note that the processing office will
hold the BOWP application, however should the Centralized Intake
Office reject the e-APR as incomplete, the BOWP application will
also be refused.
BOWP Eligibility Parameters
In order to be eligible to apply for a BOWP, applicants
be currently in Canada;
have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within
the next four (4) months;
be the principal applicant on an application
for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Class
(FSWC), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled
Trades Class (FSTC), the caring for children class or the caring
for people with high medical needs class, or the Provincial Nominee
Class (PNC) as applicable to applicants for whom there are no
employer restrictions or nominations;
have complete one of the following APR stages:
their electronic application for permanent residence (e-APR)
submitted under Express Entry has passed the R10 completeness check
(note: this is the aforementioned second Acknowledgement of
Receipt letter. The regulatory changes described above provide
a variation to this requirement); or
they have receive a positive eligibility assessment on their
paper APR submitted by mail under one of the economic classes
have applied for an open work permit;
have paid the work permit processing fee (CAD$155) and the open
work permit holder fee (CAD$100); and
have provided (only as applicable), evidence (e.g. nomination
certificate) that their provincial nomination is unrestricted.
The December 1, 2015 PDU and the clarification on February 11,
2016 by the IRCC will allow qualifying foreign nationals to apply
for a BOWP quicker. This change will be beneficial for those
temporary residents whom are nearing the expiration dates of their
existing work permits, but are still waiting for a completeness
check on their e-APR. It can reduce the chances of PR applicants
having to depart Canada at the expiry date of their work permits,
and provides an avenue to extend their temporary resident status,
until a decision has been made on their PR applications.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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