HK Pathways

Open Work Permit & Stream B Pathway


In most cases, a Canadian employer needs to first receive government approval before hiring a foreign worker. This comes in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Since we are mainly focusing on immigration, we are not going into much details about work permit.

Having said that, if you get a LMIA job offer and are already in the Express Entry pool, you will gain 50 additional points with a skilled worker position job offer and as many as 200 additional points with a senior management job offer.

There are many other types of work permit in Canada. One that Hong Kong people would be interested is a special path to obtain an open work permit for recent Hong Kong graduates, known to someone as a “Lifeboat” open work permit.


加拿大救生艇計劃 Stream B Pathway

As of August 15, 2023, IRCC has removed the post-secondary requirement for PR applications under the Stream B pathway. This means that Hong Kong citizens no longer need to have graduated within the last 5 years before PR application with a degree (e.g. bachelor’s or master’s), or a 2 year diploma program. This announcement has made it easier for Hong Kong citizens to apply for Canadian PR. After fulfilling the one year of Canadian work experience requirement, Hong Kong citizens may now be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Stream B Pathway. These two pathways will be in effect until August 31, 2026.


What are the eligibility criteria for PR application under the Stream B Pathway?

  1. Hold a valid HKSAR Passport or BN(O) Passport;
  2. Be physically present in Canada when you apply and when you get permanent residence;
  3. Have valid temporary resident status in Canada;
  4. Intend to live in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec;
  5. Have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full-time, or an equal amount of part-time hours (1,560 hours) in the 3 years before PR application;
  6. Have a level 5 score in all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) in English or French on one of the following scales:
    • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)
    • Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)


Are there any restrictions on the type of employment to meet the Stream B working hours requirement?

If you are holding a valid Canadian work permit without employment conditions (e.g. open work permit, spouse open work permit or working holiday permit) you are free to work for any employer of your choice to meet the working hours requirement under the Stream B pathway. Those who are holding an LMIA based work permit or closed work permit will have to continue working for their designated employer as outlined in the conditions of the issued work permit. Nonetheless, to be eligible Stream B PR application, you must have worked in Canada at least 12 months full time, or an equal amount of part time hours (at least 1,560 hours in total) in the 3 years before you apply. 


What types of employment do not count towards the hours of work requirement?

  • Hours of work while being a full-time student in Canada
  • Self-employment
  • Working outside Canada


What documents will I have to provide as proof of Canadian work experience to apply for PR under the Stream B pathway?

You will have to provide proof for each job you list out on your application. Proof may include a sufficient combination of documents:

  1. Employment reference letters which include all the following information:
    • Letter must contain company letterhead;
    • Your name and your position;
    • The specific period of your employment (to and from dates);
    • Your total monthly/annual salary and benefits;
    • The number of hours you worked per week;
    • Employer’s name and position, their signature, full company address, telephone number and email address
  2. Bank deposits showing salary payments
  3. Pay Stubs
  4. Copies of T4 tax information slips and Notice of Assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency


What are the language test requirements for PR application under the Stream B pathway?

You must provide a copy of your language results to demonstrate that you have reached a least level 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) scale, or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) scale.

For approved English language tests, you may take either the:

  1. IELTS General Training Test, or
  2. CELPIP General Test

Both English proficiency tests will evaluate the test taker’s ability in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

If you choose to take the IELTS General Training test, you must score at least 5.0 in speaking, listening, and reading, and at least 4.0 in writing.

If you choose to take the CELPIP General test, you must score at least 5.0 in all four categories (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

Those who are concerned about their proficiency in English may prepare in advance by doing additional practice tests or attending revision courses to improve their test-taking strategies. Please note that your language test results must not be more than two years old on the date your application for Canadian permanent residence is received by IRCC.


If you have met the requirements under the Stream B pathway and would like to apply for PR, speak with our company’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) today to see how we can assist you to achieve your Canadian immigration goals.

For further enquiries, please contact us at 2868 3780 or email 


【Read More加拿大救生艇計劃Open Work Permit 10年內畢業可申請! 

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Learn more about open work permits for Hong Kong recent graduates from IRCC's website below:
Public policy: Open work permits for Hong Kong recent graduates

Permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents



The information provided above is for general private reference purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive explanation of Canadian immigration laws or a substitute for professional legal advice. Rothe International Canada is not responsible for any losses caused by the use of the above information.

If you have any specific questions, you are welcome to contact Rothe International Canada directly at (852) 2868-3780 or fill in our online enquiry form.