“The launch of the Hong Kong immigration pathway is a historic initiative that will attract young, talented and experienced graduates who will help to drive Canada’s economy forward. With flexible open work permits and a fast-track to permanent residency, skilled Hong Kong residents will have a unique opportunity to develop their careers and help accelerate Canada’s economic recovery. This is a landmark immigration initiative that will strengthen our economy and will deepen the ties between Canada and the people of Hong Kong.”
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Starting February 8th, eligible Hong Kong residents can apply for a 3-year open work permit, designed to give highly educated Hong Kong residents the opportunity to gain valuable employment experience and make significant contributions to Canada.
To qualify for an open work permit under this new pathway to Canada, applicants must:
- Hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport;
- Have graduated from a post secondary diploma or degree within the last 5 years that was at least 2 years in duration.
This new initiative also allows for eligible spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, to apply for a study or work permit.
It should be noted that due to current travel restrictions pertaining to the control and management of COVID 19, applicants may not be able to travel to Canada at this time, even if they are approved for the open work permit under this program.
In addition to the work permit initiative, the government of Canada are set to implement 2 additional pathways to permanent residence for young Hong Kong residents, due to be released later this year. The first will be for Hong Kong residents with at least 1 year of work experience in Canada and who meet the language and education criteria. The second will be for Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada; who can then apply directly for permanent residence.
To apply from within Canada in addition to holding an eligible passport and having the required educational background, applicants must:
- Have valid Canadian status as a visitor, student or worker; or
- Have applied to extend your status before it expired (‘implied status’), or
- Be eligible to restore your status.