Hong Kong
Hong Kong Residents and Students Open Work Permit Updates

Posted on 05/07/2024

Hong Kong residents and Hong Kong recent graduates of a Canadian Designated Learning Institute, please listen up. IRCC has updated the rules for obtaining an Open Work Permit to help you establish yourself in Canada in the spirit of the regulatory framework set up in May, 2023 which created a pathway to Permanent Residence for HK residents and students. In general these changes make it easier for you to extend an open work permit and/or your temporary status in Canada, or obtain your first open work permit.

Let’s dive into the details.

I: Hong Kong residents who have applied for Permanent Residence under the pathways program announced in 2023.

IRCC will now grant exemptions from several requirements in order to make it easier for you to extend your temporary resident status (or to renew it) while your permanent resident application is still being processed.

  • This policy is in effect from May 27, 2024 to May 27, 2029 (5 years)
  • You cannot apply for an open work permit extension at a Port of Entry. You must apply online.
  • You are now able to apply for a work permit from within Canada (inland). In other words, after you arrive in Canada.
  • You can apply for a work permit even if you have studied or worked in Canada without authorization.
  • However, if you have worked in certain restricted industries (like striptease, erotic dancing, escort services, etc.) you cannot be issued a work permit.
  • You are exempt from the Open Work Permit Fee of $100


  • You have submitted an application for permanent residence under the HK pathways program and the application has not been rejected, nor have you withdrawn the application.
  • You hold either:
    • An HKSAR passport issued by the People’s Republic of China, or
    • A BNO passport issued by the UK
    • A Hong Kong Identity Document is NOT acceptable – you need a passport as detailed directly above.
  • You are in Canada either with:
    • Valid temporary status, or
    • Your temporary status expired less than 90 days before you apply for an open work permit and you have applied for restoration of your status.
  • You have held a work or study permit within 3 years previous to applying for permanent residence.
  • You may leave Canada but it is generally not a good idea to do so because you must be present in Canada when your application is approved (or rejected) and you must have valid temporary status at that time or be eligible for restoration of status.

How to apply online for this policy

  • Enter in the online application tool that you are:

Applying for a work permit under an active public policy or special measure announced by IRCC

This will trigger the open work permit process and results.

  • In the job title box enter:


  • In the brief description of duties box enter:

HK OWP – APR applicant in Canada public policy

  • Your required documents are:
    • Copy of HKSAR or BNO passport
    • IMM 5707 Family information form
    • Digital photo
    • Payment receipt uploaded to the slot for Proof of Fee Exemption
  • The remaining documents which are NOT required so you must put Not Applicable in the slots for those extra documents.

Dependents & Work Permits

Your spouse, common-law partner, or dependent children may be also be eligible for an open work permit if they:

  • Are included as accompanying dependents in your Permanent Residence application,
  • Are in Canada with valid temporary status or have their status expired less than 90 days from the date of application for your open work permit and have applied to restore their status,
  • Are at least 18 years old at the time of application.


II: Open Work Permits for Recent Hong Kong Graduates – Revised Instructions

  • The policy expires February 27, 2025 (it may be extended of course, but this is by no means certain at all)
  • Do NOT apply at a Port of Entry
  • As with the previous section, you can apply in Canada as a visitor for an open work permit if you meet the eligibility requirements below.
  • You can apply even if you have done unauthorized studies or work in Canada as long as you haven’t worked in a restricted industry (see above – mostly sex-trade related)
  • You are exempt from paying the Open Work Permit Fee of $100


  • You are a Hong Kong Resident
  • You graduated from a Canadian DLI within the last 10 years previous to your application for an open work permit, OR …
  • You graduated from a foreign institute and you have an ECA from an authorized Canada organization.
  • You are an immediate family member of Hong Kong residents who will be working and/or studying in Canada (in the case of accompanying family members of the principal applicant).
  • If you submitted an application by May 17, 2021 and it has NOT been finalized yet, you may also be eligible for an open work permit.

Proof of Education

  • You must have a degree or diploma from a credited DLI or an overseas equivalent with an accompanying ECA (educational credential assessment).
  • If you hold a diploma the program must have been at least 2 years in length.
  • Your degree of diploma must have been granted within 10 years of applying for an open work permit.
  • If you hold a post-graduate degree or diploma it must have been from a DLI or an overseas equivalent degree/diploma with an ECA.
    • Your graduate program must have been at least 1 year in length and have been granted within 5 years of applying for an open work permit.

Required Documents

  • Copy of educational credentials, transcripts, proof of enrollment
  • Copy of HKSAR or a BNO passport
  • Form 5707 – family information
  • CV or resume (unless applying from within Canada in which case it is not required)
  • Digital photo
  • Payment Receipt (upload in Proof of Fee Exemption slot)

Documents “Not Applicable”

  • Employment Reference Letter
  • Letter from current employer
  • Employment records
  • Employment contract

However, you may be asked to provide a police certificate to ensure that you are not criminally inadmissible.

Dependents and Work Permits

Spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children (18 and older) can also apply for open work permits.

Posted in News Tips and tagged Hong Kong students, Open Work Permit

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