In response to the new National Security Law affecting the state of human rights in Hong Kong, Canada has announced several new measures to help recent graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong gain faster permanent residency in Canada. In November 2020, the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced that starting February 8, 2021, Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for new open work permits. To qualify, applicants must have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree within the last 5 years, or hold an equivalent foreign credential. Hong Kong residents who are currently in Canada, including visitors, students and workers, can apply online from within Canada. Those applying from abroad are unfortunately still subject to travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later this year, Canada will implement two additional pathways to permanent residence for Hong Kong residents. Applicants with at least one year of Canadian work experience who meet the language requirements; and applicants who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada will be able to directly apply for permanent residence. The exact dates of the rollout for the last two pathways are not yet announced, but the aim is for the programs to become effective in 2021.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.