Immigration Initiatives to Residents of Hong Kong

Canada and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“Hong Kong”) have deep and strong tie with each other rooted back in 150 years ago. According to the 2016 Canadian census, it was reported that 215, 775 Canadian residing in Canada were born in Hong Kong. By a survey done by Vancouver – based Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in 2011, it also reported that Hong Kong has the highest concentration of Canadian citizens in Asia, with approximately 300,000 Canadian citizen of all ethnic backgrounds living in the city. The mobility between Canadians in Hong Kong and Hong Kong residents in Canada, the trade and business interaction, the connection between the two is no doubt significant.

On November 12, 2020, as new immigration initiatives to attract students and youths from Hong Kong or those who have been studying or working in Canada to continue making contribution to the Canadian economy, the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced various new temporary and permanent pathways for Hong Kong youth, including:

  1. Expediting the processing of permits for young people from Hong Kong who are eligible and desire to come to Canada to work or study;
  2. Offering a new work permit initiative specific to Hong Kong youth which provides an open work permit of up to 3 years which will eventually open up an opportunity to apply for Right of Permanent Residence in Canada;
  3. Offering 2 direct pathways to Permanent Residence:
    1. For those former Hong Kong residents who have gained a minimum of 1 year of authorized work experience in Canada and who met other criteria such as language and education level; or
    2. Those who have recently graduated from a post – secondary institution in Canada

Both of these direct pathways, principal applicants will be able to include their in – Canada spouses, partners and dependent children in their application;

  1. Waiving application processing fees for Hong kong residents in Canada on a temporary basis who apply to renew their status to extend their stay, be that as study permit, visitors record or work permit;
  2. Offering priority processing to residents of Hong Kong including but not limited to: passport applications, permanent resident travel document (PRTD), visitor visa, electronic travel authorization (eTA); work permit; study permit or even family sponsorship.

The new work permit initiative has been open for accepting application since February 8, 2021 and is expiring on February 7, 2023. The two new Permanent Residence Pathways are also now open for accepting application effective June 1, 2021 and expiring August 31, 2026.

Hong Kong residents who are seeking more information about this new policy or have any question about how to proceed with your application are encouraged to contact PKF Lawyers.

Elaine Chan, a lawyer at PKF Lawyers, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is holding dual practising status as Hong Kong Solicitor and Manitoba lawyer with a practice focusing on corporate & commercial, real estates and immigration laws.

Having a background as a Hong Konger herself and being proficient in Chinese, Elaine has the right experience and connection with various professions in Hong Kong in assisting any immigration needs required by Hong Kongers.