Historic initiative for Hong Kong residents

Minister Mendicino announced a new immigration pathway for Hong Kong graduates and skilled workers. As residents look to leave an increasing troubling and worrying situation in Hong Kong, Canada is opening its doors and welcoming qualified residents through an open work permit.

Beginning February 8 2021, residents of Hong Kong will be able to apply for work permits in Canada. The work permits will be valid for three years and will allow the permit holders to gain valuable work experience in Canada, fine tune their skills and knowledge base all while they contribute to the Canadian economy.

The announcement was made on February 4 2021 by Minister Mendicino who said

The launch of the Hong Kong immigration pathway is a historic initiative that will attract young, talented and experienced graduates who will help to drive Canada’s economy forward. With flexible open work permits and a fast-track to permanent residency, skilled Hong Kong residents will have a unique opportunity to develop their careers and help accelerate Canada’s economic recovery. This is a landmark immigration initiative that will strengthen our economy and will deepen the ties between Canada and the people of Hong Kong.

With three years of work experience in Canada, Hongkongers can easily and successfully apply for permanent residence in Canada, likely through the Express Entry system, which places greater emphasis and value on Canadian work experience.

Requirements for the work permit:

There are certain eligibility requirements that will need to be met in order to apply for the open work permit but they are quite simple.

Hong Kong residents must have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada with a diploma or a degree in the past five years. If they didn’t graduate from Canada, they must show proof of an equivalent foreign credential in a diploma program of at least two years.

Residents who are temporarily living in Canada through a student or work visa, or visitor visa can stay in Canada and apply online. These individuals may be at an advantage at this moment since travel restrictions due to the pandemic, will apply to residents applying from abroad. Individuals who have valid job offers or have a travel exemption in place will be exempt from the travel restrictions. They will however, have to comply with the public health requirements such as getting a COVID test done, going through mandatory quarantine etc.

Additional Pathways for Hong Kong Residents:

For applicants who may not meet the requirements for the new pathway, two additional pathways will be made available to residents of Hong Kong who are keen on immigrating to Canada.

The first pathway is designed for residents who meet certain education and language requirements and have least one year of work experience in Canada.

The second pathway will be targeting individuals who graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution. They will be able to apply for their permanent residency directly. More information is expected to be released regarding the new pathways in the coming months.

The February 4 announcement and the upcoming immigration initiatives for Hong Kong residents, demonstrates yet again the strong ties between the two countries as well as Canada’s commitment to stand up for human rights violations. 

The deteriorating situation with the National Security Law is becoming extremely concerning and these pathways will no doubt bring some hope to affected residents.

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