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According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada has approved 7,920 study permit visas for students from Hong Kong this year, up from about 6,300 in 2021. In the past, Canada issued fewer than 3,000 student permits each year.

 

UK data shows that between January and September this year, more than 5,000 study permits were issued to Hong Kong students, while Australia issued more than 2,000 as of October 31.

【Obtaining Canadian Permanent Residency through Education】

In 2021, Canada opened a fast-track for Hong Kong residents who graduated from university to obtain Canadian permanent residency. The program will run until 2026. IRCC said in a statement: “The increased opportunity to stay in Canada permanently has encouraged many Hong Kongers to come and study here.”

 

Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area are the main areas where students settle, and this path attracts people of all ages to pursue different levels of education.

【Professionals also choose to study in Canada】

Even professionals, they can actually come and pursue a master’s degree and strengthen their knowledge, and many of them have a professional job and they want to learn something else. This helps them to contribute to staying in Canada, which benefits both parties, and it is also true for Canada.

【CANADIAN STREAM A COURSE TYPE AND YEAR OF STUDY】

Most of the diplomas or above courses of a designated Canadian institution of higher education meet the requirements of the Lifeboat Program Stream A, and at least half of the courses must be completed in Canada. Hong Kong people who have completed a diploma or degree within 5 years can choose a minimum of one year of post-bachelor’s degree and postgraduate diploma programmes, which can apply for permanent residence in as little as one year.

 

Diploma or above at a designated institution of higher learning in Canada:

  • Two years or more of the Diploma Program
  • Associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree
  • Diploma or postgraduate diploma program after one year or more (the diploma or degree required for enrolment must be obtained 5 years before the start of the course).

 

The application deadline for the Canadian Lifeboat Program Stream A is August 31, 2026, and applicants must graduate before the deadline to meet Stream A’s conditions and submit their application. Therefore, Hong Kong people who wish to apply to become permanent residents of Canada through Stream A should plan to enrol in the course on or before 2024.

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