Canada Stream B is one of the immigration programs under the “Canada Hong Kong Pathway”. Hong Kong residents with at least one year of full-time work experience in Canada have the opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residency through Stream B. Another pathway in the “Canada Hong Kong Pathway” is called Stream A. Stream A is for Hong Kong residents with Canadian study experience to submit their applications for Canadian permanent residency.
TWA is a team of experienced Canadian immigration law consultants who have successfully assisted millions of clients in immigrating to Canada. Whether you are interested in Stream A or Stream B for immigration to Canada, or if you wish to learn about other federal or provincial immigration pathways, you can contact TWA for a free consultation.
Canada Stream B: Latest News
On July 11, 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the relaxation of application requirements for Canada’s Stream B pathway. Hong Kong applicants are no longer restricted by the education requirement of graduating within the past 5 years. It allows more qualified individuals to be eligible to obtain Canadian permanent residence through this immigration method.
In other words, Hong Kong residents interested in working in Canada have multiple options. They can work in Canada through the open work permit in the “Canada Hong Kong Pathway.” Additionally, they can explore other means, such as employer-sponsored work permits (LMIA-based closed work permits) and working holiday visas.
For those who would like to learn more about the pathways to work in Canada, please contact TWA for a comprehensive assessment of your situation and to decide on the best immigration method.
Stream B Requirements
If you meet the following application requirements, you may be eligible to submit a Canadian permanent residency application through Stream B. Starting from August 15, 2023, if you apply under Stream B (Canadian work experience) immigration pathway, a higher education background will no longer be required to be eligible.
- Hold a valid HKSAR passport or BNO passport.
- Be present in Canada when applying for and obtaining permanent residency.
- Hold a valid temporary resident status.
- Intend to reside outside the province of Quebec.
- Within the three years before applying, have worked full-time in Canada for at least 12 months, or an equivalent part-time hours (1,560 hours).
The application deadline for the Canada Stream B program is August 31, 2026, and as of August 1, 2023, the application fee charged by IRCC is CAD$1,085.
Stream B Application Documents
In addition to meeting the above application requirements, Stream B applicants should prepare the following documents and upload them when submitting their applications:
- Proof of English language proficiency, achieving at least CLB Level 5 in all four sections of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. The recognized tests include:
- the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), and
- the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Proof of residence in any city or province in Canada (excluding Quebec).
- Proof of Canadian work experience.
Canada Open Work Permit (OWP) For HK
The Open Work Permit (OWP) in Canada is not a direct pathway to Canadian permanent residency (Canada PR). However, having an Open Work Permit allows you to work legally for any employer in Canada and opens the possibility of applying for Canada PR in the future. Once you have accumulated the required work hours, you can then apply for Canada PR through Stream B.
The Open Work Permit is also one of the measures under the “Canada Hong Kong Pathway,” and its application requirements are as follows:
- Hold a valid HKSAR passport or BNO passport.
- Meet the education requirement of having a post-secondary, graduate or post-graduate degree or certificates.
Detailed education requirements are as follows:
When applying for the Open Work Permit, you must have graduated within the last 10 years and meet one of the following requirements:
- Obtain a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a post-secondary designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada or abroad.
- Complete at least a two-year diploma program at a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada or abroad.
- Complete at least a one-year graduate or post-graduate program. Additionally, you must have the prerequisite of a higher education degree or diploma before applying for admission to the program. You must have obtained a higher education degree or diploma within five years before starting the graduate or post-graduate program. This program must be from one of the following institutions:
- Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada
- Foreign learning institution
On February 6, 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the extension and expansion of the Open Work Permit program for Hong Kong residents. The eligibility for the HKOWP has been expanded to HK residents who graduated from a Canadian or foreign higher education institution within the past 10 years. Also, the application deadline for the OWP has also been extended to February 7, 2025.
With the expansion and extension of the Open Work Permit in Canada, more Hong Kong residents can benefit from it. Hong Kong residents who graduated from a post-secondary institution within the past 10 years can apply for an OWP, which allows them to work for any employer in Canada for a period of up to 3 years.
In addition to the Canada Open Work Permit (OWP), Hong Kong residents have the option to apply for other work permits in Canada. These work permits can help them meet the one-year full-time (or equivalent part-time hours of 1,560 hours) work experience requirement for Stream B. Meeting this requirement gives them the opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residency through Stream B.
Other types of work permits available include the Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP), Working Holiday Visa, Employer-Sponsored Work Permit through Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and others.
Canada Stream B: Conclusion
Canada Stream B (Canadian Working Experience) is a fast-track immigration pathway designed by the Canadian government for Hong Kong residents. It is one of the immigration programs under the “Canada Hong Kong Pathway.” Hong Kong residents with one year of full-time work experience in Canada and who meet other Stream B application requirements can submit an application for Canadian permanent residency.
Due to the relaxation of Canadian immigration policies towards Hong Kong, it has become easier to immigrate to Canada through the work-to-PR stream. You may consider contacting TWA for a free consultation to determine if this immigration method suits your individual circumstances.
If your situation does not allow you to immigrate to Canada through the work stream, you can also consider another program under the “Canada Hong Kong Pathway.” This pathway is Stream A study-to-PR Immigration to Canada.
Stream B: FAQs
Is there an age limit for Canada Stream B?
No, there is no age limit for Canada Stream B.
Are there any restrictions on the type of work in Stream B?
The Stream B application requirements do not impose restrictions on the type of work applicants can do. However, applicants should check if there are any prohibited occupations listed on their work permit.
What part of Stream B has been relaxed?
During the press conference on July 11, 2023, Paul Chiang, the Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Canada, announced on behalf of the Minister of Immigration (IRCC) Sean Fraser that the education requirement for Stream B will be removed starting from August 15, 2023.
This means that Hong Kong applicants for Canadian permanent residency through Stream B will no longer be restricted by the “graduated within the past 5 years” condition.