Mohanad Moetaz - 30 November, 2020
Canada recently announced new immigration measures supporting both Hong Kong residents and Canadians in Hong Kong.
Those new measures include offering a new open work permit to Hong Kong graduates and youth. Pathways to permanent residence will also be available to them.
Improvements have also been made to existing immigration programs to help Hong Kong nationals stay in Canada. These programs will also be helping those who wish to come to Canada when the travel restrictions are lifted.
What are the new pathways?
The first program, that is launching soon, will allow Hong Kong residents to obtain an open work permit. In order to qualify, the Hong Kong resident must have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the last five years. The open work permit will be valid for up to three years.
Two other pathways will be introduced in 2021. These pathways will provide Hong Kong residents for the opportunity of obtaining permanent residence.
One of these pathways is specific to Hong Kong residents who meet the minimum language and education requirement, and have gained Canadian work experience.
This means that once a Hong Kong resident gains Canadian work experience as an open work permit holder, they may apply for permanent residence through this pathway.
The second pathway allows Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a Canadian institution to apply directly for permanent residence. The Canadian government will also expedite study permit applications for eligible Hong Kong youth who are looking to study in Canada.
Those who are already in Canada who wish to apply to extend their stay, are now exempt from the application processing fee.
Canada will continue to promote and recruit Hong Kong youth to study in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will also restart processing of the International Experience Canada (IEC) applications for Hong Kong youth.
Hong Kong is one of the countries that has a Working Holiday Agreement with Canada. This agreement allows Hong Kong residents to work for any employer in Canada through the IEC.
Individuals may travel to Canada under the IEC as long as they have a job offer.
Canada has also introduced new measures to expedite the processing of applications for permanent residence and family sponsorships.