Downtown Vancouver - Open Work Permit

On May 7th, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a new temporary public policy for Hong Kong residents who are currently present in Canada and have applied for Canadian Permanent Residence (PR). The policy, which will become effective on May 27th, 2024, will enable eligible Hong Kong residents to apply for an Open Work Permit (OWP) while they wait for a decision on their PR application.

To be eligible, an applicant must meet both of the following criteria:

    1. Applicant must have applied for permanent residence under the 2021 temporary policy for Hong Kong residents (outlined below), and
    2. Applicant must have held a work or study permit in the 3 years prior to when their application for permanent residence was received by IRCC.

The abovementioned 2021 temporary policy for permanent residence came into effect on June 1st, 2021, and is currently set to expire on August 31st, 2026. The policy was updated in 2023, and Hong Kong residents may now apply for PR under one of the following two streams:

      • Stream A: graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution in the immediate 3 years prior to when their application was received by IRCC, with at least 50% of the program completed while physically present in Canada.
      • Stream B: completed at least 1 year of full-time Canadian work experience or part-time equivalent in the immediate 3 years prior to when their application was received by IRCC, excluding self-employed work and work done while holding full-time student status.

This new policy for OWP was introduced in light of the high volume of permanent residence applications received by IRCC under the 2021 public policy for Hong Kong residents. As a result, processing times are delayed, and the new policy will allow Hong Kong residents to extend their stay and work in Canada while their PR applications are being processed. The policy will be valid for 5 years from the day it comes into effect. Currently, IRCC has not prescribed a cap on the number of applicants under this policy.

If you would like to learn more about how you may benefit from this policy and discuss your options for temporary and permanent residence in Canada, please contact our office.


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