Canada launched its open work permit program for Hong Kong residents

Skilled workers and graduates from Hong Kong will be able to apply for a new Canadian open work permit starting February 8.

Applicant from Hong Kong will be able to gain valuable work experience in Canada. Their Canadian experience will help them become permanent residents. The Express Entry system values candidates who have Canadian work experience.

Those who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the last five years, whether from Canada or from abroad, may be eligible to apply for the open work permit. The duration of the programs needs to be at least two years.

The new open work permit will be valid for three years.

International students, temporary workers and visitors who are already in Canada have the option of applying for the work permit online.

Those who are applying from overseas will still be required to follow Canada’s travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements.

To enter the country, Hongkongers must be exempt from the current travel restrictions. For example, if they have a job offer, they may be exempt.

Canada will also be introducing two new permanent immigration pathways for Hongkongers. The first pathway is specific to those who have at least one year of Canadian work experience. They must also meet education and language requirements.

The second immigration pathway is for international students. Hongkongers who graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution will be able to apply directly for permanent residence. Hong Kong residents who hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) passport, or a British National (Overseas) passport are eligible for the new immigration measures.

Those who have fled to another country for fear of persecution may also be eligible under one of Canada’s resettlement programs. For example, they may be eligible under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program, or the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.

These new immigration measures are part of an effort to support Hongkongers who wish to immigrate to Canada. They were first announced by Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino in November 2020.

Mendicino said that Hong Kong residents will have the opportunity to develop their careers and help Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

If you are from Hong Kong and are interested in this initiative and would like assistance on your work permit application,  let us know, and one of our immigration consultants will get in contact with you.

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