Last Updated on June 9, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

In 2021 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduced facilitative measures to provide open work permits to residents of Hong Kong.

The following individuals are eligible:

  • residents of Hong Kong as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, regardless of place of physical residence.  The IRPR defines residency as those who hold a passport issued by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China or the United Kingdom to a British National Overseas (a “BNO”), as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
  • immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act, Canadian permanent residents or protected persons living in Hong Kong regardless of nationality; and
  • immediate family members of Hong Kong residents who will be working or studying in Canada.

Work Permits

As of February 8, 2021, foreign nationals who hold either a HKSAR or BNO passport are eligible to apply for an open work permit under a 2-year temporary resident public policy. Applicants can be residing in Canada or overseas at the time of application. Foreign nationals are not eligible to apply for an open work permit under this public policy at a port of entry. Work permit applications must be submitted online.

Eligible spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, can also apply for a study or work permit, as appropriate.

Applicants must hold either a:

  • degree (for example, bachelor, master, doctorate) from a post-secondary DLI in Canada or an equivalent educational credential earned abroad,
  • post-secondary diploma from a post-secondary DLI in Canada or the equivalent credential from an overseas institution along with an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by IRCC to confirm Canadian equivalency. The program of study must be at least 2 years in duration; or
  • a graduate or post-graduate credential.

The educational credential must have been obtained in the 5 years immediately preceding application submission. For degrees issued overseas, officers may request an ECA report.

For graduate or post-graduate studies, the applicant must hold a

  • graduate or post-graduate credential (for example, graduate or post-graduate diploma) from a DLI in Canada or
  • an equivalent educational credential from an overseas institution along with an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by IRCC to confirm Canadian equivalency

The graduate or post-graduate program of study must be at least 1 year in duration, and the completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma must be a program prerequisite. The post-graduate credential must have been obtained in the 5 years immediately preceding application submission. The prerequisite post-secondary degree or diploma must have been obtained in the 5 years immediately preceding the start of the post-graduate program. For example, if the applicant started their post-graduate studies in fall 2019, then their post-secondary degree or diploma must have been obtained between fall 2014 and summer 2019.