Canada is inclined to retain deserving temporary foreign workers as a way to sustain its economic growth. This means there are concrete steps that can be taken so workers can smoothly transition into permanent residency.
On December 15, 2012, the Government of Canada introduced the Bridging Open Work Permit which is intended to help temporary foreign workers stay in Canada pending results of their PR application. This eases the pressure on both the workers and their employers in Canada while the application process is ongoing.
Bridging Open Work Permit (BWP) Basics
Foreign workers know that their temporary work permits are set to expire at a certain date while their PR applications are in process. Prior to the introduction of the BWP, these workers had to go through a long process applying to renew their work permits if they wanted to keep their jobs in Canada. If they could not get a work permit, they only had two choices – stay in Canada as a visitor, meaning, no work pending results of the PR application, or leave Canada until a PR visa was issued.
Today, temporary foreign workers can get an Open BWP provided they:
• are already in Canada;
• have a valid work permit that expires within four months;
• need to be confirmed by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada as eligible for PR status through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Provincial Nominee Program or Canadian Experience Class.
Are You Confirmed Eligible for Your Permanent Residency Application?
Federal Skilled Worker Program applications are usually issued the confirmation of eligibility after the Central Intake Office has sent or emailed a positive Final Determination of Eligibility letter. For those applying under the Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominee Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the confirmation is coursed through a mailed or emailed Acknowledgement of Receipt.
If you have not received any of these documents, you have to get in touch with CIC or ask for notes pertaining to your application to check if your application has been confirmed for processing eligibility.
Getting Your Bridging Open Work Permit
The validity of a Bridging Work Permit is one (1) year after issuance. Within this time, you should be able to receive notice of a decision on your PR application. If you have not received a decision, you can request to have your BWP extended, depending on the details surrounding your case.
If you are applying for PR status via a provincial nominee program, your open work permit will only be valid within the particular province that you have applied to.
An open work permit offers long overdue help for both Canadian employers and foreign workers who can now easily stay in Canada while waiting for the results of the PR application. This is one way the Canadian government shows how much it values these people.