A new open work permit and two pathways to permanent residence aimed specifically at Hong Kong residents have been announced by Canada.
The move comes in response to China’s imposition of a controversial national security law earlier in 2020, giving it broad new powers in Hong Kong.
Canada is also enhancing existing programs to help people from Hong Kong already here to stay, and those who want to make plans to come when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Canada continues to support the people of Hong Kong and to stand up for democracy and human rights.
“The people-to-people ties between Canada and Hong Kong are strong and deep, and these new measures celebrate those long-standing relationships,” he said.
“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.”
Open Work Permit
The new open work permit, valid for up to 3 years, is aimed at students who have completed post-secondary education in Canada or abroad in the last 5 years. Spouses or common law partners and dependent children will also be eligible for a study or work permit. The initiative is expected to launch ‘soon’, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said.
Pathways to Permanent Residence
For Hong Kong residents who come to Canada to study or work, 2 new pathways to permanent residence are being created, available in 2021.
Spouses, partners, and dependent children are included for both pathways.
- The first will target former Hong Kong residents with a minimum of 1 year of work experience in Canada and meet minimum language and education criteria.
- The second will be for graduates of a post-secondary institution in Canada, allowing them to apply directly for permanent residence.
Canada will expedite the processing of work and study permits for eligible young people from Hong Kong.
Processing Fees Waived
Canada will also waive processing fees for Hong Kong residents in Canada on a temporary basis applying to extend their stay.