How to Get a Canadian Work Visa from Hong Kong

Hongkongers who would like to work in Canada are in the most favorable position to move their careers forward in the Great North. That’s because Canada recognizes the talent and skills many Hong Kong residents can bring to its workforce and economy. For this very reason, Canada introduced a new special Hong Kong work permit in November 2020 to make it easier for young Hong Kong residents to come to Canada and gain valuable work experience.

To top it off, a new pathway for permanent residency is in the works to pave the way for a permanent future in Canada for Hongkongers. If you want to grab hold of the incredible opportunities available in Canada, take the first step and find out how to get a Canadian work visa from Hong Kong that’s valid for three years! 

How to Get a Work Permit in Canada from Hong Kong


Young Hongkongers who graduated with a diploma or degree in the last five years, inside or outside of Canada, may qualify to get an open work permit in Canada. under new Hong Kong Special Measures. The fantastic news is that an open work permit is the most sought-after type of work permit issued to specific foreign workers under very special circumstances. Find out what makes this permit so unique!

What is an Open-Work Permit?

An open-work permit is extremely flexible. It allows you to work in any of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, and you typically don’t need to arrange employment in Canada to qualify for this work permit category. It has fast visa application processing times of as little as two weeks and if you do have a job offer, it does not need to be supported by a positive labor market impact assessment document.

What Do You Need to Get a Hong Kong Work Permit?

You must hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (HKSAR) or a British National Overseas (BNO) passport to apply for this special Canadian work visa from Hong Kong. The work permit will be valid for three years, from the date of approval, or until your passport expires. So, be sure to renew your passport to maximize your time in Canada.

Hongkongers applying from inside of Canada

If you’re currently living in Canada as a student, worker, or visitor, then you must apply to extend your status first then you can create an online account and submit your application forms and supporting documents. Another great benefit is that Hongkongers inside of Canada are exempt from paying the $155 work-permit processing fee under the Hong Kong Special Measures. The most common documents you require include the following:

  • Proof of fee exemption letter;
  • Copy of education credential, transcripts, or proof of enrolment at a post-secondary educational institution;
  • Copy of your HKSAR or BNO passport (all pages must be included);
  • Digital photo; and
  • Family Information Form (IMM 5707)

Hongkongers applying from outside of Canada

If you’re applying from outside of Canada then you may be affected by the current travel restrictions. To travel to Canada you need a valid job offer from a Canadian job provider before you can apply for the special Canadian open work visa from Hong Kong. If you are approved for your work permit and are issued with a letter of introduction (LOI) then you can travel to Canada and after you complete your 14-day quarantine, you can start working! The most common documents you require include the following:

  • A copy of your work history;
  • Copy of education credential, transcripts, or proof of enrolment at a post-secondary educational institution;
  • Copy of your HKSAR or BNO passport (all pages must be included);
  • Digital photo; and
  • Family Information Form (IMM 5707)

Popular Jobs in Canada for Hongkongers


Hongkongers tend to have excellent English language proficiency and are highly skilled and educated, which makes them the perfect addition to bolster Canada’s economic recovery!

1. STEM Professionals

Canada has an ongoing demand for skilled professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math. Companies in Canada typically hire workers from Hong Kong within these industries through the Global Talent Stream (GTS). It’s a special program that fast-track work permit applications in just two weeks. The Canadian work visa that you get through the GTS is not an open work permit but rather an employer-specific work permit that specifies for whom you can work, where you can work, and for how long. GTS workers have the highest success rate in becoming permanent residents of Canada because they easily qualify for immigration programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

2. Small Business Owners

Canada welcomes immigrants not only because they fill in-demand jobs across the country but also because they start businesses that create more jobs for Canadians. Hongkongers are typically business-savvy individuals that understand the means of production and know what it takes to run successful businesses.

There is a multitude of business opportunities in Canada. In fact, Richmond's Aberdeen Centre is a major Asian mall in Vancouver that is lined with Chinese restaurants, shops, supermarkets, and butcheries. You can immigrate to Canada from Hong-Kong as a business owner through the Start-Up or Investor Visa Program among other programs.

3. Healthcare Workers

Canada has one of the best public healthcare systems in the world. To maintain its excellent level of service and short waiting times, Canada welcomes more healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses, nurse aides, and caregivers from Hong Kong to work in Canada. You can get a Canadian work visa as a healthcare worker or you can directly apply to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system.

Priority Processing for Hongkongers Applying for Student Permits


As part of the special measures, Hongkongers who want to study in Canada won’t have to wait a few months to get their student permits. If you have a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution in Canada such as the University of Toronto or the University of British Columbia among many others then you can apply for a study permit, and receive it within two weeks!

Did you know?

Immigrants from China represent the second-largest foreign-born group in Canada, and by 2023, Canada plans on welcoming over 1-million new permanent residents. Those with Canadian work experience have the upper hand because they automatically qualify for even more immigration programs.

If you need help to apply for your Canadian work visa from Hong Kong, put your application in the trusted hands of our certified visa professionals.