Bridging Visa, Canada, Permanent Residency, Travel

Applying for a Bridging Visa (BOWP): A How to Guide

Purchase my simple step by step guide on applying for a bridging visa if you found my other guides useful.

Applying for a Bridging Visa

This will help you apply for a bridging visa in Canada. A bridging visa is required if your work permit is set to expire, but you haven't gotten your PR yet.


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62 thoughts on “Applying for a Bridging Visa (BOWP): A How to Guide”

  1. Hey, thanks a million for all the detail above, it’s been really helpful.
    I’ve been following everything step by step, but unfortunately CIC have changed some of the questions, which i’m hoping is the reason that it’s saying i’m not eligible. My visa is up in 3 days so i’m panicking a bit now.
    1. The question “I applied for permanent residence to an office in Canada and was determined to be eligible for permanent resident status (first stage approval)” has changed to the following “I applied for permanent residence and was found eligible (first stage approval) under one of the following classes: Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada; or Humanitarian and Compassionate cases; or Protected Persons in Canada; or Live-in Caregiver in Canada” – which I wouldn’t fit into so I had to answer No.
    2. Furthermore, there are some questions following this that are a bit off-putting:
    2a. Have you been told by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office that you are approved in principle for permanent residence in Canada? (To which I answered No)
    2b. Have you submitted a permanent resident application in Canada? (To which I answered Yes)
    2c. Do you have a written job offer? (To which I answered No)

    Any light you could shed on this would be greatly appreciated, and again thanks for the article,

    1. Hey Leanne, no problem. That’s strange I wonder why they changed q 1 above, and yes after reading it I agree that you would have to answer no to the question (unless you did fall under one of those classes).
      For 2a I would answer yes (even though realistically the answer would be no), that question was on it when I applied, or something very similiar and I said yes. I think you’re answers for 2b and 2c are correct, so maybe it’s just 2a that is causing the problem and therefore saying you are not eligible. Try change that one to yes and see if that works. Let me know how it goes, Rachel

  2. Hi! Thanks for the guide, it’s very useful because it can get really confusing. I have a question regarding Form IMM5710E. In the section “Details for intended work in Canada” I selected Open work permit and then left all the other spaces blank given it’s an open work permit, is that what you did?


    1. Hi Monica,sorry for the delay, I was on vacation with no internet access!! I selected open work permit too but I did input the details of my current employment, but if you didn’t I think it will be fine!!

  3. Hi Rachel, thank you so much for doing the post on the bridging work permit, its not easy to navigate where to apply. Both me and my partners visa is running out at the same time and we have applied through the PNP and we are waiting for our AOR letter so we can apply for bridging. I am going to be going on my partners visa as common law, can you advise how as common law I am to apply through his application? Thank you in advance Mairead

    1. Hi Mairead, glad you found the post helpful! Will you be applying for bridging visa online or through paper route? If online, the main applicant does it through their CIC account and as you progress through the application it asks if you want to add anyone to the application, at that point the common law spouse can be added. If its paper I believe you just send all bridiging visa docs for both of you together in one envelope and mail it!

    1. No, if you’re applying online your partner does it through his CIC account then when asked if he wants to add anyone to the application he adds you. You will then have to input your info and then at the end you’ll be asked to upload docs for you both and pay for you both.

  4. Thanks again Rachel for answering all my questions 🙂 Just one last question, what supporting documents do I add in the letter of explanation? I fill out forms IMM5710 and IMM5707 and add my passport photocopy including stamped pages, I’m afraid to submit in case I have left out something in my section (the family member part) Under option documents – Letter of explanation.

    1. Hi Mairead, I also included Form IMM5713 which is use of a family representitive form which I believe is required for common law. You don’t have to upload anything under letter of explanation that’s just if you need to provide extra docs or an explanation about anything in your application, however, that’s where I uploaded my AOR.

  5. I am applying for BOWP with IMM5710 which has a question #3 I am applying for one or more of the following. a) A work permit with the same employer b)An initial work permit or a work permit with a new employer c)Restoration of your status as a worker d)Temporary Resident Permit.

    Nothing really fits as I am applying for open work permit. And I tried to contact CIC and it fell through 🙁

  6. Hi ,I am applying for BOWP and already got my file number under AINP Stream.When I try to do it there is a question :
    Have you been told by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office that you are approved in principle for permanent residence in Canada?
    I called Cic they said answer it NO But if I said NO It will not give me a option for Open work permit.
    Any suggestion please ?

  7. Hello!

    My common law partner and I are both applying for BOWP as we have submitted our PR applications with him as the primary applicant. Both of us have ongoing jobs which makes answering Q3 of the first section on Form 5710 a bit confusing. Obviously we have current work permits which will be expiring in Jan, but from the four options, we’re a bit unsure what to put – I was thinking No.1 but I saw you had put No. 2?
    1. a work permit with the same employer
    2. an initial work permit or a work permit with a new employer
    3. restoration of status
    4. temporary resident permit

    Appreciate any light you can shed – CIC are the WORST!

    1. Sorry for the delay Sally. I chose an initial work permit or a work permit with a new employer as I did not want my BOWP to be tied to my current employer (I’m not definite that option 1 would result in you being tied to your current employer though!) Good luck, CIC are the worst, I agree, so confusing!!!

  8. So, actually the form is not named Bridging Visa what actually made me confused. It is just a regular application for an extension, but I need to upload an application to proof my PR docs are submitted. Right?
    And in the list of documents to upload it doesn’t ask me for my current work permit. My current work permit is closed (I can work just for a particular employer). Does that mean I will get my Bridging visa also as a closed work permit or it will be opened?

    1. You should upload your ITA along with your application for BOWP. You can attach your ITA to the letter of explanation part. Hmm, I’m not actually sure, I believe the bridging visa is just an extension of the current permit you are under so in that case yours would be a closed work permit as that’s what you have now, but again, I am not entirely positive about that.

  9. Hi, thanks for this post as I was so confused on how to apply as a common law partner for Bowp. One question is whether I need to upload a digital photo as well as the principal applicant? There is only one digital photo upload spot. Also with the letter of explanation I will write a letter explaining that we want an open work permit and upload the Acknowledgement of Receipt and PNP nomination with it, is there anything else required? Do we both need to put up a letter of explanation or will one be sufficient?

  10. Hey gal, thanks so much for this article! This was extremely helpful. Quick question, form IMM5710, in the section on Details on Intended Work in Canada, question two it asks you to state the details of your prospective employer. Did you fill in your current employer? And if so, did you attach the original letter of agreement like it says in brackets to do so? Probably been ages since you looked at this form but any help would be so appreciated. Thanks again!!

  11. Hello – I have a question on this ridiculous process. I’m getting asked to submit an Optional document which is Schedule 1 – Application fora Temporary Resident Visa made outside of Canada (IMM 5257) but I’m in Canada, working and the questionnaire was filled out correctly. Should I just not upload it and leave it??? So confused!

      1. even i could see the IMM5257 as an optional application (which is not mandatory or not applicable) at the bottom of my application. otherwise, I have IMM5710 as my main application.

        BUT, one question, within the IMM5710, the third question saying
        3) im applying for one or more of the following
        a) apply for workpermit with the same employer
        b) apply for workpermit for firts time or with a new employer
        c) restore my status as worker
        d) get the new temoporary resident permit

        none of the answers are applicable, but when I selected option C (which looked like relevant), then it was asking me to select either A or B as MANDATORY. I am bit confused. should I not select any of those?

        please let me know

      2. OK. thank you. one more question, I was able to upload digital photo, e medicals and passport. I DONT see any option for uploading my AOR (for submitting my PR application) and I dont even see anywhere within the workpermit application (IMM5710) asking for my AOR for PR details. please let me know how do I upload this AOR?

      3. HI. My BWOP was approved yesterday. I want to say thank you very much as this blog helped me a lot. just to let you know about the question you asked: I chose option b (new employer) and I did not upload AOR in the BWOP application but I mentioned my submitted PR application number in the IMM5710 Form within the comment box of the section “have you been to Canada earlier” so that they can easily link this BWOP. and it worked out. Thanks!

  12. Great info. I’ve a question about the implied status bit. Our WHV expires July 20th. If we were to apply for BOWP today would it put us on implied status as soon as it’s received or when our WHV expires on Jul 20th. I’m flying to US on Thursday and returning Saturday 15th so worried I would be on implied status by the time I return? Can you please clarify?
    Thanks a mill

    1. So sorry I’m only seeing this now I was on holidays back in ireland. Hope you applied for BOWP and got onto implied status and got back into the country ok.

  13. Wow, that is a great a guide to BOWP! They should upload it to the CIC website 😀
    I do have a very silly question for you… How long does the BOWP last? What I infer from the CIC website is “until you receive an answer for your PR”, but today on the phone IRCC told me it is for 1 year, even if the PR gets rejected. Thank you!

  14. Hi sorry I am still confused!

    I have got my PNP and File Number for Federal.

    After answering all the questions, it gave me 2 options:-
    1. temporary visa
    2. Open work permit

    I selected Open work permit, and then it gave me the document checklist and HERE I GOT CONFUSED.

    In SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS option, it only asked me for PASSPORT COPY and DIGITAL PHOTO!

    There is no option to upload my PNP approved letter and AOR letter? So where can I upload these documents?

    Moreover, where can I find the Letter of Explanation option? I thought may be I can upload these MAIN DOCUMENTS there but I coulnt find the option?

    Yes, I got the option to upload TEMPORARY RESIDENT VISA in OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS, but i dont think i need to upload that because i am already in Canada and working fulltime.

    May be that is why it gave me the WRONG DOCUMENT CHECKLIST?

    Could you help me please?

    1. hmm, I’m realy not sure but yes possibly you answered the questionnaire wrongly. Sorry I can’t be more help, I was nominated through PNP but did not go that route as I had enough points to go under express entry.

      1. So when you applied for the open work permit through Express entry letter, did you upload the approval letter and AOR in letter of explanation entry or did it give you a seperate space to uplaod these docuemnts just like a seperate space for passport and digital copy?

        Sorry I know I am asking lame question.

  15. Thank you very much, this is the most helpful site for BWP, most people go wrong by saying NO to the question “””I applied for permanent residence to an office in Canada and was determined to be eligible for permanent resident status (first stage approval)”””” . I said NO, then it took me to the workpermit but where i needed to have LMIA as mandatory.

    then, i refreshed the questionnaire, I changed my response to yes to the same question, then it took me to the right Workpermit. However, i still dont understand why do I have to say Yes if this question is not applicable to me..its still confusing.

    importantly, I could see another question within the first group of questions saying “””i applied for study or workpermit before entering canada which was approved but not issued at the port of entry””” this question was applicable to me because I had applied for study visa and it was approved in 2014 when I was in my home country and it was not issued at the port of entry. so, I had to say YES to this group of questions anyways.

    thank you for your help!

    1. Glad you found the blog post helpful!! Yes, I agree that some of the questions in the questionnaire are very confusing and sometimes you have to give an answer which seems incorrect but that’s the system unfortunately. Good luck in your application!!

  16. Hey, thanks for the helpful post. When I go to submit, it just says $155 for fees. Do we need to go somewhere to pay the additional $100 separately?

    Thanks so much!


    1. Hi Johanna,
      Did you figure out where you need to go to pay the additional $100, or if extra steps need to be taken? I am having the same problem.
      thank you!

      1. Thanks for your comment.
        So i’m reapplying for PR and hopefully in about 10 days, i can send then the new AOR so that they don’t reject by BOWP. Let’s see.

  17. Thank you so much for this post – so helpful!
    Re: medical exam: do you have any insight on the difference between the 1017E (which I have already completed for my PR application) and the 1017B that is required for this application? My PR application shows that i passed my medical exam – can I just attach this?
    thank you

  18. Hello, Thanks for this post!!! Just a quick question, I applied for PR through PNP in Nova Scotia. One of the Eligibility parameters for bridging open work permits is : “have provided, as applicable, evidence (e.g., nomination certificate) that their provincial nomination is unrestricted”. Mine is restricted to only my employer. What Can I do about this? It does exist a closed work permit for my case?? thanks

    1. Hi, sorry I’m actually not sure!! Because I didnt go through the PNP route in the end I dont know all of the process. Sorry I cant help but hope you get the answers you need!

  19. Hi,
    Thank you for the useful information on bridging work permit application. It was a hassle filling out the questionnaire and receiving the correct document checklist until I read your post. Thank you again, it was indeed helpful!

  20. Thanks for the insightful information. One question.
    My current work permit is expiring in a few weeks time. I called IRCC to inquire about AOR for my PR application that I submitted end of Dec 2018. The IRCC guy told me that my data has been entered in the system but not verified. That I will get my AOR sometime in April, some 2-3 months after expiry of my post graduate work permit. What do I do? Can I apply for BOWP without AOR? Kindly advise.

  21. Hello,

    Thank you so much for this blog post, it’s definitely helped me to understand the BOWP process a lot more! I have a question regarding BOWP application form IMM5710.
    Some background: currently on IEC working holiday visa, applied for PR under CEC, I have a job (NO JOB OFFER OR LMIA).

    I am stuck on the employment section of the form, because I am applying for an open work permit and I have a job, but no job offer/LMIA and I obviously don’t want to be tied down to my current job on a new visa (same as you described above). I am reading a lot about just leaving my current employment details blank, but I’m a little concerned. Please let me know what you think.

    I also have a question regarding health insurance, which I will be renewing. I am guessing you also had to do the same? How long did you purchase insurance for? I am unsure of the duration of BOWP and if the insurance has to reflect that.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi, glad you found the blog post helpful!! I did fill in my employer info but I believe you can prob leave it blank if you want. I did not purchase insurance after my 2 year Visa was up because I had OHIP then and also insurance through work.

      1. Thank you for your helpful answers. I am also wondering about the health insurance. Did you mention or provide any proof of OHIP and work insurance with your supporting documents?

      2. Thank you for the reply! This helps a lot because it’s very unclear in terms of the supporting documents that are generated by the system and no mention of the insurance in the online application.

  22. This just saved my life! Some of the questions are a little different now but most of it remains the same. After roaming around the website for 2 days and not being able to talk to someone I was at the end of my rope. You are just a god send.

  23. Hi there!

    My partner and are currently in the express entry pool as common law with her as the main applicant, once we get drawn out/submit our PR profile do we also apply for BOWP together? does it give this option for common law? I’ve seen arguments both for this being true and also for having to do it separately, any input would be greatly appreciated! thank you!

    1. Yes, when I ws applying for the BOWP, it gave me the option to add my spouse online! So unless it has changed, you should still be able to do it that way!

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