In the Express Entry application process, the authorities send a notice and a letter to the applicants. The applicants can only use the letter i.e. the Acknowledgement of Receipt for supporting their Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWPs).
The officers issue a notice (the Electronic Receipt of the Application for Permanent Residence (APR)) to the applicants automatically on receiving their electronic application submission. This notice specifies the following:
“Your application is being checked to determine whether it meets the requirements of a complete application pursuant to section 10 and section 12.01 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.”
However, it is worth noting that applicants cannot use this notice for supporting a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). This is because this notice does not reflect that the applicants have received a positive eligibility assessment, which they need for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).
The officers issue a letter i.e. the Acknowledgement of Receipt to the applicants after their applications have cleared a completeness check. This letter specifies the following:
“CIC has reviewed your application and determined that it meets the requirements of a complete application as described in section 10 and section 12.01 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.”
It is worth noting that this is the official Acknowledgement of Receipt letter. Therefore, applicants would need to use this for a supporting a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), if they meet all the other requirements prescribed.
The Process for Determining if the Nomination has Employment Restrictions
The officers would need to determine whether the applicants are subject to restrictions on employment. To facilitate this, the authorities have provided provinces and territories (PTs) with a new nomination template letter. Several provinces and territories (PTs) have already implemented this letter, while others are in the process of implementing it still.
The letter contains a box that officers of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) could use for determining whether the nomination has any restrictions. The authorities have instructed provinces and territories (PTs) to select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ under employment restrictions. This will provide Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officers with a confirmation of whether the nominee is eligible for applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). Typically, this box contains details such as:
- The employer
- The name of the occupation and the National Occupation Classification (NOC) and,
- The restrictions on employment fields
Provinces and territories (PTs) could display the above-mentioned details and still indicate that there are no employment restrictions. In these cases, the applicants would be eligible for an open work permit as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria. Therefore, officers would need to avoid requesting applicants or the nominating province to confirm that no employment restrictions exist.
Some previous versions of nominations might not carry specific indications on the letter highlighting that there are employment restrictions. In this scenario, the applicants would be eligible for an open work permit as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria. Therefore, officers would need to avoid requesting applicants or the nominating province to confirm that no employment restrictions exist.
- Processing officers might continue to see both the old and the new nomination letter formats
- This is because the provinces and territories (PTs) are gradually implementing the new nomination letters
- Therefore, processing officers would need to ensure that they accept both versions of the nomination letters
The Process for Bridging the Issuance of the Work Permit
Applicants would need to indicate that they are applying for an open work permit. For this, they would need to submit an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker form i.e. IMM 5710.
Situations could arise where officers receive work permit applications that make no mention of requesting an open work permit. In this scenario, the officers would need to process these applications based on the services requested. For instance, consider that an applicant submits a work permit application along with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Assuming normal entitlements, the processing office would need to issue the work permit restricted to the employer specified on the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
In some situations, officers might find that complex or contentious issues or concerns exist on the permanent residence application. In this scenario, they would need to refer the work permit application to a local office for additional review. The local office has the authority to issue the work permit following the same instructions. However, before doing this, it would need to be satisfied about the resolution of any existing complex or contentious issues.
On receiving the application, the processing office would need to confirm that:
- The permanent residence application under one of the following classes is eligible:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) and,
- The Provincial Nominee Class (PNC) [with no employment restrictions as a condition of the nomination]
- The applicant is in Canada currently
- The applicant currently holds a work permit that will expire within the next four months and that there are no other issues of concern
- The work permit application is for an open work permit and,
- The applicant has paid the Open Work Permit Holder fee along with the processing fee
The authorities would need to issue the open work permit under the authorities given in paragraph 205 (a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Thereafter, they would need to code the open work permit as follows:
- Validation Exemption Code: A-75
- NOC: 9999
- Intended Occupation: Open
- Case Type: 27 – Under examination
- Duration: 12 months
In addition, officers would need to consider subsequent requests from applicants to extend their stays on an open work permit on a case-by-case basis.
The office would need to impose the following conditions if they find that:
- A medical examination has not been conducted previously or,
- The results of the medical examination have expired
The conditions specify that the applicant is:
- Not authorised for working in childcare, primary or secondary school teaching, or health services field occupations and,
- Not authorised to work in agricultural occupations
In all cases, the officers would need to input the visible remark ‘APR Pending’ on the work permit. This remark, as also the Case Type code, would ensure the eligibility for continued health care coverage by the province or territory.