On February 4, 2021, the Canadian government announced that Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for new open work permits beginning on February 8, 2021.
Hong Kong Residents are Eligible to Apply for New Open Work Permits
As of February 8, 2021, Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for new open work permits. The work permits will be valid for up to 3 years, allowing Hong Kong residents to gain valuable employment experience in Canada, and thus potentially provide a fast-track to permanent residence. In order to be eligible, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Be Hong Kong residents — who hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport;
- Have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree in the last 5 years, or hold an equivalent foreign credential (A post-secondary diploma program must be a minimum of 2 years)
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, dubbed the program as an “historic initiative that will attract young, talented and experienced graduates who will help to drive Canada’s economy forward”, and stated that it would both provide Hong Kong residents with opportunities to develop their careers, and simultaneously boost Canada’s economy.
Hong Kong residents currently in Canada temporarily, including visitors, students and workers, may apply online from within Canada.
Hong Kong residents applying from abroad remain subject to current travel restrictions and may not be able to travel to Canada at this time, unless they have a job offer or qualify under current travel exemptions.
The government of Canada is also implementing two other pathways to permanent residence for young Hong Kong residents, details of which are expected to be released in the coming weeks and months. One such program will be for Hong Kong residents with at least 1 year of work experience in Canada and who satisfy language and education criteria. Another program will be for Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada, who may then be able to apply directly for Canadian permanent residence.
IRCC will continue to provide updates on these new immigration pathways for Hong Kong residents, so stay tuned as we expect to learn more in the near future.
If you wish to learn more about the program or determine if you are eligible for any other immigration pathways, please contact our office.