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Hong Kong Residents Now Eligible For a 3 Year Canada Work Permit

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Canada Work Permits, Permanent Residence and Hong Kong Immigration

Hong Kong Residents Now Eligible For a 3 Year Canada Work Permit

Beginning February 8, 2021, Hong Kong residents who are recent graduates are eligible to apply for a new open work permit that is valid for up to 3 years. The work permit will allow Hong Kong residents to gain valuable experience in Canada that will help them apply for Permanent Residence in Canada. Canada is s deeply concerned about Hong Kong's new National Security Law and the deteriorating human rights situation there, and is opening new opportunities for Hong Kong residents to move to Canada. Eligible spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children can also apply for a study or work permit.

When announcing the new open work permit plan for Hong Kong Residents on February 4, 2021, Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), also discussed several new initiatives to help more Hong Kong residents come to Canada first announced on November 12, 2020.

“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

Canada also implemented an exemption to the 12-month bar on a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) for Hong Kong residents and some individuals who were previously ineligible may now get another, updated assessment on whether they can stay in Canada.

Are You a Hongkonger Who Wants To Move To Canada?
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How Hong Kong Residents Can Apply for a Canada Open Work Permit

To apply for the new 3-year open work permit, Hong Kong residents must have:

  1. Graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree within the last 5 years, or hold an equivalent diploma foreign credential
  2. A post-secondary diploma within the last 5 years from at minimum a 2-year from a DLI (designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada) or abroad

Who Can Apply

From within Canada:

  • Visitors
  • Students
  • Workers

From outside Canada:

  • Hong Kong residents
  • The new immigration measures apply to those who hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport.
    • Hong Kong residents abroad are subject to all travel restrictions and exceptions including a job offer or qualifying for a travel exemption.

Path To Permanent Residency

The Government of Canada is continuing plans to implement two new (2) pathways to permanent residence for young Hong Kong residence which will be available later this year. The following programs will assist in obtaining Canadian Permanent Residency:

  1. Hong Kong residents with at least 1 year of work experience in Canada who meet the language and education criteria
  2. Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada, who can apply directly for permanent residence

Strong Relationship Between Canada and Hong Kong

There are strong cultural ties between Hong Kong and Canada. Canada's 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan is designed to encourage recent Hong Kong graduates and those with essential work experience to choose Canada as a place to study, work, and settle. There are many Canadians of Hong Kong descent living in Canada now, and an estimated 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, which is one of the largest Canadian communities abroad.

Learn More:

Are You a Hongkonger Who Wants To Move To Canada?
At Ackah Business Immigration Law, our goal is to make Crossing Borders Seamlessly a reality and to smooth your way to new opportunities in Canada.

Evelyn L. Ackah is the founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law and has exclusively practiced immigration law for over 20 years. Ackah Law is headquartered in Calgary with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly at [email protected].


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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