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An Overview of Canada’s Open Work Permit Program

The Canadian government has recently introduced several immigration initiatives to attract Hong Kong residents to move to Canada. Taking effect from February 8th, 2021 and expiring on February 7th, 2023, the new open work permit expedites the permit process for Hong Kong residents to study or work in Canada as a way of gaining valuable employment experience and contributing to Canada’s economy, society and culture.

As an open work permit, this program is not job specific. There is no need for an additional Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), proof of employment or employment compliance fees, making it one of the most straightforward and flexible pathways to move to Canada from Hong Kong. Since this is a program that targets a younger demographic, there is no minimum net worth or limitations on specific regions. With over 200,000 Hong Kong people living in Canada, this is an ideal program for recent graduates that want to relocate.

Eligibility Requirements

Canada’s latest open Work permit program, valid for up to 3 years, targets educated Hong Kong youth, skilled workers, and Hong Kong people who are already in Canada under existing work and study permits. In order to apply, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  Hold a valid Hong Kong or British National Overseas (BNO) passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the United Kingdom: The work permit is valid for 3 years upon the approval date or until the passport expires.

  Have graduated no more than 5 years prior: Hong Kong residents must have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma, degree, or an equivalent foreign credential for a minimum 2-year program within the last 5 years. Institutions outside of Canada must provide an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an organization or professional body that is designated by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

  Be 18 years of age or older

Application Guidance

Additional documentation, like marriage certificates, if you are married, may be required. The application form may ask for an employment reference letter, a letter from the current employer, employment records, or an employment contract. Submit the application online. The office will contact you if a medical exam is needed. This could add an added three months to the waiting process. Once the application is approved, an approval letter, called the Port of Entry Letter of Introduction, will be sent directly stating that the applicant is now eligible to work in Canada. This letter must be brought when travelling to Canada and presented at the port of entry to receive a work permit.

FAQs

1) Can I stay in Canada and become a permanent resident with this permit?

Yes. The Canadian government is introducing new initiatives and pathways for Hong Kong residents in Canada to become permanent residents as long as they meet the minimum language, education level, and work experience in Canada.

 

2) Can my family members also join me in Canada?

Eligible spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, can apply for a study or work permit as appropriate if they wish to join you in Canada.

 

3) How much is the application if I’m already in Canada?

Normally the permit costs CAD$ 255 for the work permit fee and the open work permit holder fee. However, Canada is temporarily waiving the processing fee for Hong Kong residents in Canada that are applying as a way to extend their stay in Canada.

 

4) How long is the whole process?

An open work permit application takes approximately 4 – 5 months to process. However, the processing time for Canada’s open work permit for eligible Hong Kong people will be expedited according to the Canadian government. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, exact processing times cannot be given.

Immigration policies are constantly changing. In addition to Canada’s new open work permit, Canada is introducing different initiatives that allow Hong Kong people to move to Canada. Stay on top of immigration news with Simard & Associates, or get in touch with our team of experienced immigration lawyers, consultants and global immigration experts today to start your journey. With years of professional insight and expertise in immigration matters, we can answer your questions and provide comprehensive assistance with the immigration process, increasing your chances of moving to Canada from Hong Kong.