Hong Kong Open Work Permit

Feb. 4th Announcement – Open Work Permit for Hong Kong Residents

This is a 2-year temporary public policy that expects to end on February 7, 2023.

Starting from February 8, 2021, Hong Kong residents can apply for an open work permit (OWP). The policy exempts Hongkongers from the requirements addressed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), paragraph R200(1)(c), R200(3)(e), and R199(a) to (i), which means visitors in Canada can apply inland, and those who have engaged in unauthorized work or study in Canada or have failed to comply with the conditions of a previous permit or authorization are also eligible for an OWP.


According to the special measures, foreign nationals who hold either a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) or British National Overseas (BNO) passport are eligible to apply for an up to 3-year open work permit, allowing them to gain valuable employment experience in Canada! Once they have obtained at least 1-year eligible work experience, they have the chance to become a Canadian permanent residence.

1. Post-secondary applicants must hold either a

a. Degree (e.g. associate, bachelor, master, doctorate) issued by a post-secondary designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada or an equivalent institution abroad, or

b. Diploma from an institution unmentioned in the DLIs with an educational credential assessment (ECA) from a certification agency approved by IRCC.


2. Graduate or postgraduate applicants must hold a

a. Graduate or postgraduate credential from a Canadian DLI or

b. An equivalent overseas institution credential along with an ECA from a certification agency approved by IRCC.

Ship with red flags on water

Education Certificates

  • The graduate or postgraduate program of study must last a minimum of 1 year, and the completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma must be a program prerequisite.
  • The postgraduate credential must have been given in the 5 years immediately preceding application submission.
  • The post-secondary credential must have been obtained in the 5 years immediately preceding the start of the postgraduate program.


  • Eligible spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children are also qualified for work or study permits.
  • Hong Kongers at risk of persecution who have fled to another country may also be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, such as the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government’s Refugee Assistance Program.

To note, applicants can be residing in Canada or overseas at the time of application, they are however cannot apply for this OWP at a port of entry.

You are welcome to contact us for professional advice on pathways for Hong Kong residents. We will also provide any assistance to help you and your family settle in Canada.