Canada’s Welcoming Embrace: New Policies Facilitate Hong Kongers’ Journey to a Bright Future

New policy for Hong Kongers

Canada continues to support the freedom and democracy of the people of Hong Kong. Hong Kongers have been able to enter Canada through designated immigration paths since 2021, and Canada is always trying to make these pathways better and make it simpler for them to live there permanently.

On July 11, Paul Chiang, Member of Parliament for Markham—Unionville and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion (Diversity and Inclusion) announced the withdrawal of the educational requirement under the Canadian job experience stream (Stream B) of the Hong Kong permanent residence pathways. The change will take effect on August 15, 2023.

“Canada has made considerable progress in promoting inclusivity and embracing the spirit of opportunity by acknowledging the remarkable abilities and potential of Hong Kong’s bright people. Removing the education requirement under Stream B is a win-win situation: it means that we can welcome more Hong Kongers to Canada who needs our support, while simultaneously helping Canadian businesses fill labor gaps with workers who already have work experience here. I am excited about this change, as it signifies Canada’s ongoing support for the people of Hong Kong and allows for continued meaningful exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

A public policy announced two new streams for permanent residence. The policy was implemented on June 1, 2021, and it is in effect until August 31, 2026, in addition to the current permanent residence streams accessible to Hong Kong citizens. These are the pathways:

  • Stream A (For Canadian grads only)
  • Stream B (for those having prior job experience in Canada)

With no restrictions based on their educational background, more Hong Kongers with Canadian work experience will qualify for permanent residency. Additionally, the lack of a requirement for candidates to provide proof of academic qualifications streamlines the application procedure.

Hongkongers are eligible for permanent residence after being employed for at least a year. Experience you gain through Canada’s working holiday program is also considered.

Before, applicants had to be residents who had graduated within the previous five years. Chiang, however, stated that to be eligible to apply for an open work permit, which permits the bearer to immigrate to Canada without first finding employment, Hongkongers must still have graduated within the previous ten years.

A backlash from some older candidates, notably those who graduated in 2016 and 2017, who would be disqualified to apply after doing work for the required one year, was a contributing factor in the change.

This amendment helps Hong Kong citizens migrate from temporary to permanent residency and goes hand in hand with the recent increase and extension of open work licenses for Hong Kong residents. As of April 30, 2023, Canada accepted 3,122 permanent citizens through the paths for Hong Kong residents (2,358 through Stream A and 764 through Stream B).

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