Canada’s Work Permit Program For People From Hong Kong

The Government of Canada in response to China’s imposition of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong, has announced a new Open Work Permit program aimed at Hong Kong residents who have completed a post-secondary education in Canada or abroad in the last 5 years. The new open work permit allows Hong Kong residents, particularly young people, to come to or stay in Canada. This allows them to gain valuable employment experience. In addition, to follow this experience, two (2) programs to gain permanent resident status will be implemented soon for Hong Kong residents.

The immigration lawyers at Kahane Law Office help clients from around the world come to Canada to visit, study and work.

Term Of The Open Work Permit?

The new open work permit is valid for up to 3 years.  This mean Hong Kong residents have ample time to gain work experience in Canada and in turn make you eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada. In order to maximize the duration of the open work permit, make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 years from the date of approval.

Who Is Eligible To Apply For This Hong Kong Resident Program?

To be eligible, you must be:

  1. Hong Kong resident.
  2. hold a valid passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) or the United Kingdom to a British National Overseas (BNO)
  3. have graduated no more than 5 years before you apply for this open work permit, with:
    1. a degree from a designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada or abroad, or
    2. a diploma from a post-secondary DLI in Canada or the equivalent credential from an overseas institution. The program of study must be at least 2 years in duration.

Hong Kong Residents Applying With A Degree Or Diploma From Abroad?

Hong Kong residents who obtained their degree or diploma outside of Canada, must provide an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an organization or a professional body designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  For example, below is a list of agencies approved by IRCC:

Designated organizations

You must use one of these designated organizations:

Ability Of Close Relatives To Apply

This Hong Kong residents program recognizes the importance of family members contributing to Canadian society. Therefor Canadian law also allows some family members from Hong Kong to apply for the open work permit. For example, the rules include the following close family:

  • Spouses;
  • Common law partners;
  • Dependent children.

An open work permit may be issued, under LMIA exemption to the spouse or common-law partner. The law permits this  if the principal application is approved for a work permit under the new program. Further, dependent children who have reached the age of majority (that is, 18 years of age and older) are also eligible to apply for an open work permit. In addition, minor children can apply for a study permit under existing study permit streams or may study without one at the K–12 level, if they are already in Canada.

Can Visitors To Canada Apply For An Open Work Permit?

Unless under special circumstances, generally a visitor to Canada cannot apply for a work permit.  However, the new Open Work Permit program, however, allows Hong Kong residents in Canada as visitors to apply for Open Work Permit under the public policy.

Ability To Apply For A Work Permit If Previously Engaged In Unauthorized Work Or Study In Canada.

Under public policy, Hong Kong residents can be issue Open Work Permit , even if they have engaged in authorized work or study in Canada or failed to comply with the conditions of their previous temporary resident permits.

Open Work Permit A Pathway To Permanent Residence

Gaining relevant work experience in Canada certainly helps you gain permanent residency in Canada. This is a result of your eligibility to apply for permanent residence. You make this application under the Express Entry or under a provincial program.

In addition, Hong Kong residents who come to Canada to study or work, will soon have two (2) new options to apply for permanent residence.

  1. Firstly, a program aimed at Hong Kong residents with a minimum of 1 year of work experience in Canada. In this situation they also need to meet minimum language and education criteria; and
  2. Secondly,  is a program for graduates of a post-secondary institution in Canada, allowing them to apply directly for permanent residence.

How The Immigration Lawyers At Kahane Law Office Help

If you are a Hong Kong resident who want to obtain an Open Work Permit, call or email our firm today.  Kahane Law Offices has the experience to give you, your family, and friends the advice needed to successfully secure a work permit, relocate, and live in Canada. For the fastest service and to avoid problems with time zones, please email. Email our firm directly with this email address. Alternatively, call Kahane Law today at 403-225-8810, phone (780) 571-8463 for Calgary and Edmonton respectively, or reach us tool-free at  1-877-225-8817.

The content on this article is provided for general information purposes only. It does not constitute specific legal or professional advice of any kind.