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Extend Your Work Permit - Bridging Your Open Work Permit


Extend Your Work Permit - Bridging Your Open Work Permit

Jade Calver

The bridging open work permit is different than traditional Canadian work permits, such as the Temporary Work Permit or the Working Holiday Visa. The bridging open working permit was designed for foreign nationals who are currently in Canada and have applied for Permanent Residency (PR). With this permit, an individual can continue to work in Canada while they wait for the results of their PR application. In other words, it allows applicants to bridge the gap between the time their work permit expires and the final decision on the permanent residency application.

Who is eligible for bridging an open work permit? You may be eligible for a bridging open work permit if you meet the following criteria:

  • You applied for permanent residence;

  • Your current work permit expires in 4 months or less;

  • You have valid status on your work permit;

  • You are currently in Canada;

  • You applied to one of these permanent residency programs:

    • Federal Skilled Worker Program,

    • Canadian Experience Class,

    • Federal Skilled Trades Program,

    • Provincial Nominee Program,

    • Caring for Children Class, or

    • Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class

Why should I apply for a bridging open work permit?

The bridging open work permit benefits both the applicant and the Canadian government. Without a bridging open work permit, the foreign national would need to:

  • Leave Canada temporarily;

  • Remain in Canada under a visitor visa status; or

  • Find a Canadian employer who would agree to go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment process and then proceed to apply for a regular job-specific permit

Furthermore, the bridging open work permit is more flexible in terms of the positions the foreign national is able to hold while awaiting acceptance of their PR application. With an open work permit, applicants can work for any Canadian employer; they are not restricted to a particular location in Canada nor are they obligated to work for a specific employer. This flexibility allows the applicant to explore a variety of job opportunities and locations in Canada.

How do you apply for a bridging open work permit?

  1. When you log in to your CIC account, you must select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit when you complete your work permit application. You must also pay the work permit processing fee and the Open Work Permit Holder fee.

  2. When you submit your work permit application, you should include the supporting documents and forms listed on the Government of Canada’s document checklist for a bridging open work permit. You should also include a copy of your Acknowledgment of Receipt letter.

  3. Mail your application to the appropriate Government office.

If you apply for this program through the Express Entry system, the Government of Canada will send the letter to your account after they receive your application. It’s important to note that you must apply for a bridging open work permit at least four months before your existing work permit expires.

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