Canadian Immigration Options for Residents of Hong Kong

By Prabhpreet K Sangha

Canadian immigration options for residents of Hong Kong who want to study, work, stay or live permanently in Canada will be more promising based on the new information released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Expedited Process:

  • Processing of permits for young people from Hong Kong who are eligible and want to come to Canada to work or study.
  • A new work permit initiative specific to Hong Kong youth will provide open work permits of up to 3 years in duration
    • Requirement: post-secondary education in Canada or abroad completed in the last 5 years.
    • Eligible spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, can also apply for a study or work permit.
    • This initiative is expected to launch soon based on IRCC’s recent announcement

Study or Work Path To Permanent Residence

  • 2 new pathways to becoming permanent residence are being created, which will be available in 2021 as follows:
    1. Former Hong Kong residents who have gained a minimum of 1 year of authorized work experience in Canada and meet other criteria such as minimum language and education levels.
    2. Those who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada. These individuals can then apply directly for permanent residence.
    3. For both these pathways, principal applicants will also be able to include in-Canada spouses, partners, and dependent children in their application.

Renew Status

  • IRCC is waiving application fees for Hong Kong residents in Canada who want to renew or extend their stay

Parents and Grandparents

  • IRCC is increasing super visas for parents and grandparents
  • Increasing processing of permanent residence applications include for family sponsorship

Refugee Claimants and Individuals At Risk Of Persecution

  • Foreign nationals in Canada, including Hong Kong residents, have access to the asylum system to make refugee claims.
  • Claims are decided on evidence presented to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), an independent administrative tribunal.
  • Due to the worsening conditions in Hong Kong IRCC has implemented an exemption to the 12-month bar on a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) for Hong Kong residents.
    • PRRA examines the risk an individual may face if they are returned to their home country.
    • Normally, individuals who receive a negative decision on their refugee claim from the IRB or the Federal Court, or on their previous PRRA application, are not eligible to apply for a PRRA for at least 12 months from the date of their decision.
    • With this exemption, individuals who were previously denied may now be eligible for another assessment before being removed from Canada.
  • Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution who have fled to another country may also have the option to apply through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.

Our lawyers at Lehal Law are happy to assist with immigration matters connected to this new Hong Kong initiative.