Open Work permits for Hong Kong recent graduates (OWP)

Open Work Permits for Hong Kong recent graduates

As a Hong Kong recent graduate, you may be eligible to apply for an open work permit under a temporary public policy for Hong Kong residents.  The open work permit is valid for up to 3 years.

Who can apply

To be eligible, you must

  • meet the education requirements for post-secondary, graduate or post-graduate studies.
  • hold a valid passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the United Kingdom to a British National Overseas.
    • Your work permit will be valid for up to 3 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
      • 1. For example, if your passport is valid for 6 months, then you will be issued an open work permit for 6 months.
      • 2. To maximize the duration of the open work permit, make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 years from the date of approval.
      • 3. Tell us how long you want your work permit to be valid.

On November 12, 2020, Minister Mendicino announced new immigration measures to support Hong Kong residents who wish to come to Canada to study, work and settle.

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

These measures apply to Hong Kong residents who hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport.

1 year work experience in CA can apply for permanent residence (PR)
Hong Kong SAR passport or BNO can apply

Education requirements for post-secondary studies

You must have graduated no more than 5 years before you apply for this open work permit, with one of the following:

  • 1. a degree (for example, associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) from a designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada or an institution abroad.
  • 2. a diploma for a minimum 2-year program from a designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada or an institution abroad.

Education requirements for graduate and post-graduate studies

(Effective May 17, 2021)

You must hold a graduate or post-graduate credential (for example, a post-graduate diploma) that you received no more than 5 years before you apply for this open work permit.

The credential must be for a program:

  • 1. that is a minimum of 1 year
  • 2. that requires a post-secondary degree or diploma, which you completed no more than 5 years before you started the post-graduate program
  • 3. at one of the following:   ♦a designated learning institution in Canada   ♦an institution abroad

If you applied before May 17, 2021

You may still be eligible for this public policy if both of the following apply:

  • 1. You hold an eligible graduate or post-graduate credential.
  • 2. We haven’t made a decision on your application.

If you got your education abroad

You don’t need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to apply if you got a degree (for example, associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) outside Canada, but an officer may request one later.

If you got a post-secondary, graduate or post-graduate diploma outside Canada, you must provide an ECA.

The ECA must be from an organization or a professional body designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They’ll give you a report that tells you what your education is equal to in Canada.

Processing times and costs vary by the organization or professional body.

Once you choose a designated organization or a professional body, they’ll tell you how to submit your documents to get your assessment.

Designated organizations

You must use one of these designated organizations:

  1. 1. Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies  : designated: April 17, 2013
  2. 2. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada : designated: April 17, 2013
  3. 3. World Education Services : designated: April 17, 2013
  4. 4. International Qualifications Assessment Service : designated: August 6, 2015
  5. 5. International Credential Evaluation Service : designated: August 6, 2015

After you apply

Find out what to do and what happens after you apply for your work permit.

If you plan to apply for permanent residence

There is a Canadian work experience stream under the permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents. You can use the work experience you gain with this open work permit or any other work permit to meet the hours of work requirement for this pathway.

If you’re outside Canada when your work permit application is approved

We’ll issue you a letter of introduction with a deadline to enter Canada. If you delay your travel to Canada, you might not be able to get the work experience you need before the permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents close on August 31, 2026.

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