Bridging Open Work Permits

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC“) International Mobility Program containing an bridging open work permit program for temporary foreign workers currently working in Canada who have submitted permanent residence applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“), the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC“), the Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“), or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP“).

Bridging open work permits are a huge and positive development for Canadian employers with employees who have filed permanent residence applications under one of Canada’s economic programs.  CIC’s introduction of bridging work permits removes a significant issue which many temporary foreign workers previously encountered, namely that they were unable to extend their work permits during CIC’s processing of their permanent resident applications without their employers first having to obtain positive Labour Market Impact Assessments, an uncertain process which often takes months.

Eligibility

Temporary foreign workers currently working in Canada are eligible to apply for a bridging work permit if they:

  • are a foreign national in Canada;
  • have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within 4 months;
  • received a positive eligibility decision on their permanent residence application under either the FSWP, the CEC, the PNP, or the FSTP; and
  • they have applied for an open work permit.

The following individuals are not eligible for open bridging work permits:

  • foreign nationals in Canada working in Canada who are work permit exempt;
  • foreign nationals who have let their status expire and must apply for restoration in order to return to temporary resident status;
  • foreign nationals whose work permits are valid for longer than four months and/or who already have a new Labour Market Impact Assessment that can be used as the basis for a new work permit application;
  • foreign nationals applying for a bridging work permit at the port of entry;
  • spouse and dependants of the principal permanent resident applicant; and
  • provincial nominees who have not submitted a copy of their nomination letter with the application for a bridging work permit, or whose nomination letter specifically indicates employment restrictions.

That last point is an important one for provincial nominees.  Provincial nominees whose nomination certificates stipulate conditions or restrictions indicating that they must work for a specific employer, or work under a specific NOC code, will not be eligible for bridging open work permits.

For the purpose of determining whether a positive eligibility decision has been made, the following must have occurred:

  • For FSWP applicants,  CIC must have sent a positive Final Determination of Eligibility Letter, or set the “Ministerial Instructions” status to “Met.”
  • For PNP applicants, the Central Intake Office must have sent the applicant an Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter, or changed the “Eligibility EC-QC/PNP” status to “Passed.”
  • For CEC applicants, the Central Intake Office must have sent the applicant an Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter, or changed the “Eligibility CEC” decision to “Passed.”
  • For FSTP applicants, the Central Intake Office must have sent the applicant an Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter.

Although no guidelines have been posted regarding Express Entry, CIC has indicated on numerous occasions that the Express Entry “Acknowledgement of Receipt” which says that CIC is performing a completeness check does not make an individual eligible for an open bridging work permit.  Rather, it is when CIC’s Global Case Management System is updated to indicate that the Express Entry application is complete.

Applicants will be issued open work permits valid for a duration of one year.  They can be renewed on a case-by-case basis if the permanent residence application has not been processed within that time.

FSWP, CEC, and FSTP applicants’ work permits will be valid for work in any province.  PNP applicants’ bridging work permits will be limited to the applicant’s nominating province.

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15 thoughts on “Bridging Open Work Permits

  1. Does this mean a PNP applicant is eligible for a work permit on an Acknowledgement of documents received? or before they get the nomination certificate?? Thanks

    1. Joseph,

      You have to be nominated by a province first, and then file your application for permanent residence as a provincial nominee with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

      Once the “Eligibility EC-QC/PNP” status has been set to “Passed” or the Acknowledgment of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) you meet that requirement of the open work permit.

      Cheers,

      1. Hi there!

        I just checked my status On-line and it says- Application received, Medical Results have been received. Does this mean I am qualified for the Open Work Permit? Thank you so much.

  2. Hi,

    I have applied for PR under FSW category. I have received email from CIC stating following line “Based on a review of the information you have provided, your application has received a positive final determination of eligibility for processing on the basis of Arranged Employment in Canada.”.

    Also file number and UCI is given in the same email.

    Does this email count towards “positive Final Determination of Eligibility Letter” to apply for bridging open workpermit?

    Thanks a lot..

  3. Hi There,

    I am currently in Canada, Montreal QC, holding a CSQ and a Work Visa w-1, I already sent all the docs to Sidney,NS (last year) to get my Permanent Resident status.. am I eligible to get this bridging open work permit?

    Thank you in advance!

  4. Hi,

    My PR application is showing as “Application Received”, I have received an email from Centralize​d-Intake-Of​fice in Dec 2012 saying

    “Upon review of the information you have provided, your application is considered complete based upon the requirements of the Instructions and Regulation 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
    Your application will be forwarded to a visa office for further processing.”

    Could you please suggest if I am eligible to apply for Bridging Open WP?

    Thank you.

    1. The OB states:

      Determining if a Positive Eligibility Decision has been made

      For the purposes of determining if a positive eligibility assessment has been made, the processor will review if the Eligibility Assessment value is set to “Passed” in GCMS. If this decision has not been entered yet, for the purposes of this Operational Bulletin (OB), a “positive eligibility decision” will also be considered made when it is confirmed in GCMS that:

      FSWP: the “Ministerial Instructions” status has been set to “Met” or a positive Final Determination of Eligibility letter/ e-mail has been sent.

      PNP: the “Eligibility EC-QC/PNP” status has been set to “Passed” or the Acknowledgment of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO).

      CEC: the “Eligibility CEC” decision has been set to “Passed” or the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent from CIO.

      FSTP: the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent from CIO.

      1. Hi! I received the same e-mail from CIO as per posting by Anonymous above. I am not sure if this was the acknowledgement of Receipt that was mentioned in the OB below.

        PNP: the “Eligibility EC-QC/PNP” status has been set to “Passed” or the Acknowledgment of Receipt letter/e-mail has been sent by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO).

        Then I received a separate e-mail from client update miss a jour with Medical Instruction Form is attached. My work permit will expire on March 19, 2014. Am I qualified to apply for Bridging Work Permit? Many thanks for your response.

  5. Hi there,

    I’m currently on a closed work permit for a IT consulting firm, my
    work permit would be expiring on _______ 2013. I had applied for my
    permanent residency under Federal Skilled Worker category and received
    a positive response from the immigration on Oct ___ 2012 i.e an email
    from them stating that my file would be sent to the visa office for
    further processing and received my file no.

    Now that my existing work permit with my employer is expiring as per
    the new rules I had applied from my work permit extension i.e an open
    work permit and am expecting to receive my open work permit before
    April 15th 2013.

    Once I receive my open work permit and considering that my permanent
    residency file would be in process under Federal Skill Class, would I
    be eligible to become an Independent IT consultant i.e can I open my
    own incorporation ( along with the friend of mine who is a permanent
    residence in Canada) and update my permanent residency stating that
    I’m Self Employed or would my options be limited to working with the
    same employer or any new employer on my open work permit.

    Please let me know.

    Thank you for you help !

    R

    1. Thanks for your message. I removed your e-mail address, name, and some dates to preserve your anonymity. There is currently alot of uncertainty involving Arranged Employment and Open Work Permits. I would suggest contacting an immigration representative to get a more thorough and personal answer.

  6. Hi,
    I applied for my AINP and received the file number via email.
    My work visa expires on April but I will get my AINP only after May.
    Can I apply for bridging work permit with my AINP file number?

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