Public policy: 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.

On this page

Who can apply

To be eligible, you must

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:

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

If you applied before May 17, 2021

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

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:

How to apply

You must apply for the open work permit online. You can’t apply at a port of entry.

If you’re outside Canada

Due to current travel restrictions, you may not be able to travel to Canada at this time even if you’re approved for the open work permit. To travel to Canada you must

  • have a letter of introduction for your open work permit
  • have a valid job offer
  • be able to work once you complete your 14-day quarantine in Canada

Find out more on how temporary workers are affected by the travel restrictions.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you need

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents
  • a valid credit or debit card

Step 2: Pay your fees

You’re exempt from paying the open work permit holder fee (CAN$100). Don’t pay this fee.

You must pay the

Because you’re exempt from paying one of the fees (open work permit holder fee), you need to pay your fees before you apply online.

  • Go to fees for temporary residence applications.
  • Scroll down to the row for workers.
  • Select Work permit (including extensions) – per person.
    • Enter the number of applications you’re paying for.
      • If you’re applying for just your own work permit, enter “1.”
    • Find out if you need to give biometrics.
      • If you need to give biometrics, scroll down to the row for biometrics.
      • Enter the number of applications you’re paying for.
        • If you’re applying for just yourself, enter “1.”
        • If you’re applying for 2 or more people, choose Biometrics – per family and enter “1.”

The system will calculate the total amount you need to pay when you click Submit.

Keep your receipt

After you pay your fee, keep a copy of the receipt. You’ll need to upload it when you apply online for your work permit.

Step 3: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to

  • submit your application forms
  • check your status

How to start your application

Once you sign in to your account, you need to

  • go to the Start your application section on the account welcome page
  • click Apply to come to Canada
  • on the next page, scroll down to the I do not have a personal reference code section
  • click on the Visitor visa, study and/or work permit button
  • on the next page, select Work

Get your document checklist

You must answer some questions to create a personalized document checklist.

Make sure you answer these questions correctly
  • You would like to work temporarily—more than 6 months
  • Answer “Yes” to the question Will you be coming to Canada under an active public policy or special measure announced by IRCC?
  • Select “A work permit under an active public policy or special measure announced by IRCC” as the type of work permit you want to apply for.
  • Answer “Yes” to the question Have you visited or lived in any one of the designated countries for 6 consecutive months in the last year? if one of the following applies:
    • You’re a resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
    • You’ve lived in any other designated country or territory for 6 months in the last year.
  • Answer “No, I am exempt from paying fees for this application” to the question There are fees associated with this application. Will you be paying your fees or are you fee-exempt?

Read the instruction guide and complete the application

You should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. Once you get your document checklist, fill out the application form and supporting documents. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Special instructions for this public policy

When you fill out the work permit application form:

  • Select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit you’re applying for in the Details of Intended work in Canada section.
  • Enter “HKPPTR” as the Job title.
  • Enter “Hong Kong public policy – open work permit” in the Brief description of duties field.
  • For Duration of expected employment, we need to know the start and end date for your work permit.
    • Enter the date you expect to enter Canada as the Start date.
    • You can ask for an End date that’s up to 3 years from the start date.
      • You can’t ask for a date beyond the expiry date of your passport.
Upload the correct documents

Your documents must show that you’re eligible for the public policy. You must upload the completed application form and include the following documents with your application.

Required document Where to upload the file in your account
Copy of fees receipt Proof of fee exemption
Copy of education credential, transcripts or proof of enrolment at a post-secondary educational institution Proof that you Meet the Requirements of the Job Being Offered
Copy of your Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National Overseas passport (all pages must be included) Passport
A copy of your work history CV/résumé
Digital photo Digital photo
Family Information Form (IMM 5707) Family Information Form (IMM 5707)

Depending on your situation, you may also need to

Upload a sheet of paper with the words “Not applicable” if you’re asked for the following documents:

  • employment reference letter
  • letter from current employer
  • employment records
  • employment contract
Create an account or sign in

If you’re in Canada

To be eligible, one of the following must apply:

If you need to restore your status

When you apply under this public policy in Canada, you’re exempt from paying the

  • work permit processing fee (CAN$155)
  • open work permit holder fee (CAN$100)

However, if you’ve lost your status, you need to

  • restore your previous status
  • pay the restoration fee (CAN$200)

How to pay your restoration fee

You need to pay your restoration fee before you apply online:

  • Go to Pay your application fees online (make an additional payment or pay other fees).
  • Go to the row to pay a Custom amount.
  • In the quantity column, enter “200.”

Keep your receipt

After you pay your restoration fee, keep a copy of the receipt. You’ll need to upload it when you apply online for your work permit.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you need

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents
  • a valid credit or debit card

Step 2: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to

  • submit your application forms
  • check your status

How to start your application

Once you sign in to your account, you need to

  • go to the Start your application section on the account welcome page
  • click Apply to come to Canada
  • on the next page, scroll down to the I do not have a personal reference code section
  • click on the Visitor visa, study and/or work permit button
  • on the next page, select Work

Get your document checklist

You must answer some questions to create a personalized document checklist.

Make sure you answer these questions correctly
  • You would like to work temporarily—for more than 6 months.
  • Workers and students must select “Worker” when asked What is your current immigration status in Canada?
    • For students, this is a temporary measure while we update the application system.
  • Answer “yes” when asked:

    Does one of the following apply to you?

    • I am subject of a removal order that is unenforceable
    • I applied for a study or work permit before entering Canada that was approved, but not issued at a port of entry
    • I am in primary or secondary school, or a visiting or exchange student, in Canada with visitor status
    • I am applying for an open work permit under an active public policy or pilot program announced by IRCC
    • I am a student who has completed a program of study that is a prerequisite to my enrolment at a designated learning institution with visitor status in Canada
    • I applied for permanent residence and was found eligible (first stage approval) under one of the following classes:
      • Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada
      • Humanitarian and Compassionate cases
      • Protected Persons in Canada
      • Live-in Caregiver in Canada
  • Answer “No, I am exempt from paying fees for the application” to the question: There are fees associated with this application. Will you be paying your fees or are you fee exempt?

Read the instruction guide and complete the application

Once you get your document checklist, complete the application forms. You should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Special instructions for this public policy

When you fill out the work permit application form:

  • Select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit you’re applying for in the Details of Intended work in Canada section.
  • Enter “HKPPTR” as the Job title.
  • Enter “Hong Kong public policy—open work permit” in the Brief description of duties field.
  • For Duration of expected employment, we need to know how long you’d like your permit to be valid.
    • Enter the date you’d like to start working as the Start date.
      • It may not be possible to finalize your application by the start date you ask for.
    • You can ask for an End date that’s up to 3 years from the start date.
      • If we don’t finalize your application by your requested start date, we’ll update the end date of your work permit in line with your new start date.
      • You can’t ask for an end date beyond the expiry date of your passport.

Upload the correct documents

You need to include the following documents with your application:

Required document Where to upload the file in your account

Upload one of the following :

  • a letter stating “I am exempt from paying fees under the Hong Kong Special Measures”
  • a receipt for the fee paid to restore your status (if you needed to restore your status)
Proof of fee exemption
Copy of education credential, transcripts or proof of enrolment at a post-secondary educational institution Client Information
Copy of your Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National Overseas passport (all pages must be included) Passport
Digital photo Digital photo
Family Information Form (IMM 5707) Family Information Form (IMM 5707)

Depending on your situation, you may also need to

Create an account or sign in

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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