Hong Kong Residents Have a New Immigration Initiative in Canada
Posted on 13/11/2020
One Country Two Systems was the landmark framework for planning the future integration of Hong Kong and Macau into mainland China and was worked out in the early 80s in negotiations between China and the UK. Recent developments in Hong Kong with the passing of the National Security Law in June 2020 have shaken assumptions about this framework and many Hong Kong residents are considering new options.
In response to the events in China and specifically Hong Kong over the past year or so, the government of Canada has enacted a new policy (or immigration initiative as the government has called it) that will facilitate the immigration to Canada of those Hong Kong residents with ties to Canada or with appropriate skills. While Canada’s ties with China are significant, their links to Hong Kong go back generations and are a key part of Canada’s history and culture. More details will become available in the months ahead, but we already have a broad outline of what to expect from this new policy.
Hong Kong Youth – New Pathways to be Offered
- If you are a young professional living and working in Hong Kong, you will soon be able to apply for an open work permit with a validity of up to 3 years. You will need to have recently finished post-secondary studies and be working either in Canada, or abroad.
- A path to permanent residence for In-Canada Hong Kong residents will also be created and rolled out next year in 2021. To be eligible, the criteria will include the following:
- Minimum language levels
- Minimum education levels
- 1 year of Canadian work experience
- Study permit applications will be expedited for Hong Kong residents as well with the possibility of a dedicated pathway to permanent residence after their studies in Canada have been successfully completed.
- Canadians and Canadian permanent residents who are currently in Hong Kong will have their applications for documents needed to return expedited in order to help family sponsorships and to speed up the processing of permanent residence applications by Hong Kong residents.
- Application fees for Hong Kong residents in Canada who wish to renew their temporary resident status in Canada for an additional length of time will be waived.
As the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Hon. Marco E. L. Mendicino has stated:
The people-to-people ties between Canada and Hong Kong are strong and deep, and these new measures celebrate those long-standing relationships. Newcomers from Hong Kong, including students, have made outstanding contributions to Canada, and the changes we’re announcing today will strengthen our relationship with the people of Hong Kong and bring us closer together.