150 years ago, the first Hong Kong residents arrived in Canada and the ties have only grown stronger with time.
With the recent change in Hong Kong’s National Security Law and the cases of disrespect for human rights violations rising in Hong Kong, Canada is committed to the cause of persecuted nationals and enabling provisions to settle in Canada. Honourable Macro E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), the Government of Canada announced several initiatives in support of immigration from Hong Kong to Canada in the month of November 2020.
Continuing with the trend, Minister Mendicino announced that the residents of Hong Kong can apply for open work permits, with effect from 8th February 2021. These work permits will be valid for 3 years, enabling them to gain valuable employment experience and actively participate in the socio-economic life of Canada. Certain eligibility criteria to apply for the open work permit has to be fulfilled such as the applicant must have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree in the last 5 years, or hold a foreign equivalent. A post-secondary diploma must be of a minimum 2 years.
Who all can apply?
All the Hong Kong residents currently living temporarily in Canada, including visitors, students and workers, can apply online. All those applying from outside Canada may not be able to come to Canada owing to the travel restrictions unless they have a job offer or qualify for travel exemption subject to fulfilling public health requirements.
Yet another relief for Hong Kong residents to become permanent residents of Canada, the government will roll out two other pathways by the end of 2021. The first being for applicants with one year work experience in Canada, who meet the language and education criteria. The second being for applicants who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada. Stay tuned for more updates.
P.S. These measures apply to the Hong Kong residents who hold Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HGSAR) or British National (Overseas) passports.