New Canadian Immigration Pathways for Hong Kong Residents

Hong Kong residents who would like to permanently settle in Canada have yet another reason to celebrate. Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Marco Mendicino announced a new immigration initiative that will attract students and workers from Hong Kong to Canada by offering two new pathways to permanent residency and a new and exclusive open work permit. This comes shortly after the equally exciting news of Canada’s immigration targets for the next three years that aims to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers by 2023.

Canada’s immigration goals are centered around economic growth, job creation, skills transfer, and building vibrant bilateral relations. Canada believes that Hong Kong residents play a big part in achieving these goals and therefore, Canada aims to strengthen the ties between the two countries by implementing new quicker, and easier immigration pathways with very little red tape. Chinese residents make up the largest ex-pat group in Canada. And an estimated 300,000 Canadians are currently living in Hong Kong.

Mendocino took to Twitter to announce the news on 12 November 2020. He welcomes Hong Kong residents to apply for Canadian immigration to build better futures for themselves and their families in the Great North. In a press release, Canada recognizes that some of the world's “best and brightest” hail from Hong Kong. 

New Immigration and Visa Pathways for Hong Kong Residents

Specific details such as eligibility requirements and launch dates for the new initiatives have not yet been released, but according to a media release we know the following: 

1. New open work permit

Chinese graduate happy and hugging a friend

Hong Kong residents who have graduated within the last 5 years inside or outside of Canada will be able to apply for an open work permit. This permit can be valid for up to three years and allow candidates to work anywhere in Canada without needing to obtain a job offer first. Spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children can also apply for a study or work permit if they are eligible. The Government did not specify a date for when this program will begin but says it is “expected to launch soon. 

2. Two new immigration pathways for Hong Kong residents  

Two new immigration programs are set to launch in 2021.

The first program is designed for Hong Kong residents who have at least 1-year of work experience in Canada. Canadian work experience can be gained through the new open work permit initiative (above) or by applying for a different work permit altogether. Work permits are issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP). Other eligibility criteria for this immigration program include meeting the minimum education and language levels that are yet to be announced.

The second program is designed for Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution in the last 5 years. Eligible candidates will be able to apply for permanent residency immediately.

For both of these new pathways, applicants will be able to include their spouses, partners, and dependent children in their application.

3. Faster processing times and other additional benefits

Canada is also introducing new measures to speed up the processing of work permits, study permits, permanent residents, and family sponsorship applications for Hong Kong residents. This will allow Hong Kong residents to reach their goals quicker and encourage youth to study or work in Canada.

In addition, Hong Kong residents currently living in Canada don’t have to pay a processing fee to extend their visas. The immigration department will resume processing International Experience Canada (IEC) applications for Hong Kong youth, which has been paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hong Kong residents and other IEC candidates can travel to Canada under the IEC during travel restrictions as long as they have a job offer.

New Measures for Hong Kong Asylum Seekers

Happy Chinese family posing on couch for camera

China implemented a new national security law in June 2020 that undermines human rights and freedoms. Hong Kong residents who were convicted for participating in protests won’t be denied visas to Canada on grounds of criminality. Canada is also lifting the 12-month waiting period on risk assessments. These assessments examine the risk a person may face if they returned to their home country. This means that Hong Kong asylum seekers in Canada can now re-apply before being removed.

Let Us Help You Immigrate to Canada from Hong Kong

If you want to start the process of immigrating to Canada from Hong Kong or apply for a new open work permit, we can make the process easier and faster. Canadian Visa is a leading immigration agency that provides professional services to our international clients.

By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only improve your chances of success in the visa application process, but you will get expert advice on which program is best for your specific goals. Our RCICs are qualified and are granted permission by the ICCRC to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms, and submit them to the Canadian government on your behalf.

We take care of the fine print while you choose your dream destination in Canada for you and your loved ones. All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.