Bridging Open Work Permits for Certain Federal Economic Class Applicants

December 17, 2012

On December 15, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada issued Operational Bulletin 485. The title above and the contents below are self-explanatory.

Summary

Effective December 15, 2012,qualifying foreign nationals currently in Canada who have submitted an application for permanent residence (PR) under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and who meet program eligibility requirements, may be considered for a bridging open Work Permit (WP) if their current WP will soon expire.

Issue

Foreign nationals, in Canada, who have been approved under one of these Economic Class programs and whose temporary residentWPs are due to expire, require facilitation that enables them to maintain their status and allows them to continue working in Canada while they await final decisions on their PR applications. Furthermore, efficiencies are gained by avoiding unnecessary requests to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for subsequent labour market opinions (LMOs).

Background

Qualifying foreign nationals who have submitted an application for PR and are awaiting a final decision may find themselves in situations where the validity of their current temporary WP is set to expire.

The applicant is then required to persuade his/her current employer to reapply for another LMO through HRSDC, or find a new employer altogether who is willing to hire him/her and go through the application process in obtaining an LMO. As an alternative, the applicant could apply to remain in Canada and extend their status as a visitor but then they would be unauthorized to work. Otherwise, they must leave Canada as they no longer have status.

Conversely, applicants who apply under in-Canada PR classes (Live-in Caregiver class, Spouses or Common-law Partners in Canada class, Protected Persons, etc.) become eligible for open WPs once their application has been “approved in principle”, or upon submission of their application. Furthermore, they do not require an LMO or job offer from an employer in support of the open WP.

An open WP, which allows a foreign national to work for any employer in Canada, will provide these applicants with better flexibility to integrate and navigate the Canadian labour market given that they have already been found eligible for PR in an economic program and may even be currently working in the Canadian labour market.

 

For full details please see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2012/ob485.asp

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