Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced several new initiatives to help more Hong Kong residents come to Canada:
Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for new open work permits beginning on February 8, 2021. Valid for up to 3 years, these permits will allow Hong Kong residents to gain valuable employment experience and make significant contributions to Canada. Hong Kong residents must have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree in the last 5 years, or hold an equivalent foreign credential. A post-secondary diploma program must be a minimum of 2 years.
Hong Kong residents currently in Canada temporarily, including visitors, students and workers, can apply online from within Canada. Those applying from abroad remain subject to current travel restrictions and may not be able to come to Canada at this time, unless they have a job offer or meet a travel exemption and comply with all public health requirements. More details will be available on the IRCC website on the launch date.
In addition to open work permits, the Government of Canada continues to implement 2 other pathways to permanent residence for young Hong Kong residents, which will be available later this year. The first will be for Hong Kong residents with at least 1 year of work experience in Canada and who meet the language and education criteria. The second will be for Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada; who can then apply directly for permanent residence. More information will be available in due course.
- On November 12, 2020, Minister Mendicino announced new immigration measures to support Hong Kong residents who wish to come to Canada to study, work and settle.
- Eligible spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, can also apply for a study or work permit, as appropriate.
- These measures apply to Hong Kong residents who hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport.
- We have also implemented an exemption to the 12-month bar on a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) for Hong Kong residents—meaning that some individuals who were previously ineligible may now get another, updated assessment on whether they can stay in Canada.
- Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution who have fled to another country may also be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, including the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.