The IRCC has introduced two new Hong Kong permanent residence programs for qualifying Hong Kong residents residing in Canada. This follows the IRCC’s November 2020 announcement introducing initiatives to facilitate Hong Kong residents’ temporary and permanent settlement in Canada.
These initiative have been implemented in reaction to China’s recent national security law, enacted June 2020; the law broadly criminalized “secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces” . The vague definitions in the law have been widely criticized as undermining human rights and democratic values. In response, the IRCC has sought to offer additional immigration support to Hong Kong residents with strong ties to Canada.
With young Hong Kongers casting their eyes abroad, we want them to choose Canada. Our Hong Kong immigration pathway is a historic initiative, intended to attract talented applicants who will drive our economy forward. Skilled Hong Kongers will have a unique opportunity to both develop their careers and help accelerate our recovery. This landmark initiative will strengthen our economy and deepen the strong ties between Canada and the people of Hong Kong.—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Who is eligible to apply under this public policy?
The Hong Kong permanent residence program is open to applicants with a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport or a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) from Hong Kong. Eligible applicants must have also hold valid French or English language results with minimum of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 5 on each area of the exam. Candidates must be physically present in Canada with valid temporary resident status; this is required both at the time of applying and when permanent residence is granted. Those applying through this stream must not be inadmissible to Canada and must intend to live in a province outside of Quebec.
Candidates must also meet the eligibility requirements for one of the following two following streams:
For this stream of the Hong Kong permanent residence program, candidates must have obtained a qualifying Canadian education credential within the past three years. Candidates must have completed their education at a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution; the credential obtained must be either a minimum two-year degree or diploma or a minimum one-year credential that requires a post-secondary degree or diploma to have been completed as a pre-requisite for acceptance. If a candidate has completed a one-year Canadian credential, no more than five years can have passed between the time the pre-requisite degree or diploma was completed and the one-year credential commenced.
NOTE: The program of study can have been in any field. Applicants must have completed at least 50% of the studies while physically present in Canada, whether online or in class.
This stream requires candidates to have completed at least one year of qualifying Canadian work experience within the past three years in addition to completing a qualifying education credential within the past five years of applying.
Qualifying work experience for this stream include least one year of full-time or equivalent part-time work experience in Canada in the last three years. Eligible Canadian work experience can be in any skill type; applicants must have completed work experience while on valid status in Canada. The IRCC does not consider self-employed work experience or work experience completed during full-time studies toward this program’s eligibility requirements.
Candidates must have also completed a qualifying education credential within the last five years. Applicants can qualify with a credential from either a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution or a foreign post-secondary institution. Candidates who have completed a foreign credential must provide a valid Education Credential Assessment report to demonstrate the Canadian equivalent. The Canadian credential or the Canadian equivalent demonstrated through the Education Credential Assessment report must meet the same requirements as the education credentials indicated in stream A.
The Hong Kong permanent residence programs demonstrate the deep ties Canada shares with the region. The Canadian government continues to express its deep concern over the human rights violations in Hong Kong; this initiative allows Canada to offer tangible support to certain young Hong Kongers affected.