Last updated on September 2nd, 2021

Last Updated on September 2, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

Work Permits

The public policy allows for the issuance of open work permits to eligible residents of Hong Kong, whether they are in Canada or abroad, for a period of up to three years. Eligible family members may also be issued an open work permit.

To be eligible, the foreign national must:

  • hold a valid passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the United Kingdom to a British National Overseas;
  • have graduated no more than 5 years before you apply for this open work permit, with one of the following:
    • a degree (for example, associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) from a designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada or an institution abroad; or
    • a diploma for a minimum 2-year program from a designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada or an institution abroad.

Alternatively, they can hold:

  • a graduate or post-graduate credential (for example, a post-graduate diploma) that wasreceived no more than 5 years before they apply. The credential must be for a program:
    • that is a minimum of 1 year
    • that requires a post-secondary degree or diploma, which you completed no more than 5 years before you started the post-graduate program
    • at one of the following:
      • a designated learning institution in Canada
      • an institution abroad

Work permits will be valid for up to three years.

Permanent Residence

There are two permanent resident streams.

The first is the In-Canada Graduates Stream. To be eligible she must:

  • hold a valid passport issued by one of the following:
    • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
    • United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
  • be physically present in Canada when they apply and when they get permanent residence;
  • have valid temporary resident status in Canada;
  • intend to live in Canada, in any province or territory other than the province of Quebec
  • have graduated from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada
    • in the 3 years before you apply
    • with one of the following:
      • a diploma (not graduate or post-graduate) for a program of at least 2 years
      • a degree (associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral)
      • a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least 1 year and
    • with at least 50% of theprogram completed in Canada (either in person or online).

The second is the Canadian Work Experience Stream. To be eligible for this stream, an applicant must:

  • hold a valid passport issued by one of the following:
    • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
    • United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
  • be physically present in Canada when they apply and when they get permanent residence
  • have valid temporary resident status in Canada
  • intend to live in Canada, in any province or territory other than the province of Quebec
  • have graduated in the 5 years before you apply with one of the following:
    • a diploma (not graduate or post-graduate) for a program of at least 2 years, or a degree (for example, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or a doctorate) from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada
    • a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least 1 year from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada
    • a foreign educational credential equivalent to one of the following:
      • a Canadian post-secondary diploma (not graduate or post-graduate) for a program of at least 2 years
      • a Canadian post-secondary degree
  • a Canadian graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least 1 year
    have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full time, or an equal amount of part-time hours in the 3 years before they apply.

The following is the internal memorandum to the Minister which advised on the creation of this program.

Hong Kong Memo