November 15th, 2020 by Carly Perryman

New measures have been put in place to help Hong Kong residents immigrate to Canada. Recent Hong Kong graduates can apply for a new expedited three-year open work permit. Skilled workers with essential work experience can come to Canada to continue their studies or find employment. Eligible candidates will have graduated from a recognized post-secondary school in the last five years. Their spouses and children will also be able to accompany them to Canada.

Two New Immigration Pathways

There will be two new immigration streams to permanent residency opening in 2021 for the “best and brightest”. Hong Kong citizens who have already been working in Canada for one year can apply for permanent residency. They will have to meet minimum language and education levels. The other will be for ones who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary school.

For both new programs, applicants can also include their spouses, partners and dependent children in their application for permanent residence.

Waiver of Application Fees

Canada is also waiving application processing fees for Hong Kong residents in Canada who apply to extend their stay.

Expedited Processing

Canada will speed up processing of permanent residence applications and family sponsorships.

Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Changes and Asylum Seekers

In Canada, participation in peaceful protests in not considered a crime. As such, any person arrested or convicted for protesting will not be denied entry to Canada on grounds of inadmissibility. On November 12, 2020, Canada implemented an exemption to the 12-month car on pre-removal risk assessment for Hong Kong residents. This assessment examines the risk a person may face if they are returned to their home country. Normally, people who are refused a refugee claim are not eligible to apply again for at least one year from the date of the decision. Therefore, some people who were previously ineligible can now apply for another assessment before being removed from Canada.

Hong Kong Residents who are in Canada also have access to the asylum system and through other programs such as the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.

International Experience Class (IEC) Programs for Youth

Canada will resume processing IEC applications for Hong Kong youth which was paused due to Coronavirus. Even with travel restrictions, approved IEC participants will be able to travel to Canada with a valid Canadian job offer.

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