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Canada extends and expands open work permit program for Hong Kong residents

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Canada continues to stand by Hong Kong residents and supports the freedom and democracy that are cherished by many. The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today that Canada is extending and expanding the open work permit program for eligible Hong Kong residents.

Canada is extending the deadline to apply and expanding eligibility to Hong Kong residents who have graduated within the past 10 years from a post-secondary learning institution in Canada or abroad. This means that more Hong Kongers can pursue their career goals and gain valuable work experience in Canada for up to 3 years. Previously, applicants had to have graduated within the past 5 years.

In addition, the Government of Canada has established 2 pathways to permanent residence for eligible Hong Kong applicants and their families. These measures will allow Canada to attract even more skilled individuals, including those who have already acquired work experience, which will help them quickly integrate into Canada’s workforce.

“Canada will continue to support the many meaningful exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong while standing up for the people of Hong Kong. By extending and expanding Canada’s open work permits for Hong Kongers, we are giving Canadian employers more skilled workers to hire at a time when we need them most and providing valuable work experience, all while also showing our support for the people of Hong Kong.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“At a time when the world is facing many challenges, Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the rights and freedoms of individuals around the globe. The expansion of open work permits and the creation of pathways to permanent residency for Hong Kong residents are a testament to this commitment and will help bring even more skilled and talented individuals to our country.”

– Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Agincourt

“I welcome this decision by our government to extend and expand such a pathway program. I know that, as the demand for these visas continues to grow, today’s announcement will ensure that Hong Kong residents who share Canada’s values of freedom and democracy will continue to be able to seek opportunities to settle and succeed in Canada.”

– Han Dong, Member of Parliament for Don Valley North

“As a social service agency, we understand intimately the needs of incoming and growing populations. As a publicly funded provider, we are mindful of the challenges in our local economic and employment sectors. We strive to capitalize on the efficient use of resources to align needs from both sides to create a win-win situation for newcomers and for Canada. This policy update serves just that and imports talents that are ready, willing, and able to contribute to Canadian economy and are supportive of the core values within our charter.”

– Dr. Anna Victoria Wong, Executive Director, Community Family Services of Ontario

Quick facts

  • The extended deadline for eligible Hong Kong residents to apply for an open work permit is February 7, 2025.
  • Under the Hong Kong open work permit public policy, spouses or common-law partners and dependent children are also eligible to apply for a study or work permit.
  • These measures apply to Hong Kong residents who hold a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National (Overseas) passport.
  • This measure aligns with Canada’s recently released Indo-Pacific Strategy. It is a comprehensive roadmap to deepen the engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next decade, increasing our contributions to regional peace and security, strengthening economic growth and resilience, enhancing our significant people-to-people ties, and supporting sustainable development across the region.
  • Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution who have fled to another country may also be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, including the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.
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