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Canada: New Pathways to Permanent Residence for Hong Kong Residents

The government just announced two additional pathways to permanent residency in Canada for Hong Kong residents and their families. These are the latest initiatives offered by the Canadian government to attract Hong Kong residents to relocate to Canada and contribute to their economy, society and culture. 

Previously, an open work permit was introduced back in February 2021, which expedites the permit process for Hong Kong residents looking to study and work in Canada. As an open work permit, there was no specific job requirement, minimum net worth, or limitation on a region. As long as you are above 18 years old, hold a valid Hong Kong or British National Overseas (BNO) passport, and have graduated no more than 5 years prior from a Canadian post-secondary diploma, degree, or equivalent foreign credential, you can apply. 

Like the Open Work Permit, the two new pathways target Hong Kong residents in Canada who have valid temporary resident status and are looking to become Canadian permanent residents (PR). Stream A is for recent graduates, while stream B is for those with work experience. Both programs are in effect from 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2026. Although both streams are similar and allow applicants to get Canadian permanent residency, they differ in terms of their education and work requirements. 

 

Stream A

To be eligible for this stream, you must: 

  • Hold a valid Hong Kong or BNO passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the United Kingdom.
  • Be physically present in Canada when you apply and when you are granted Canadian PR status.
  • Have a valid temporary resident status in Canada.
  • Demonstrate intention to live in any Canadian province or territory other than the province of Quebec.
  • Receive a minimum of Level 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) Level 5 in either English or French in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • Have graduated from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada where at least 50% of the program was completed in Canada in person or online. The diploma, degree, graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate must be completed within the 3 years of applying.

 

Stream B 

To be eligible for this stream, you must: 

  • Hold a valid Hong Kong or BNO passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the United Kingdom.
  • Be physically present in Canada when you apply and when you are granted Canadian PR status.
  • Have a valid temporary resident status in Canada.
  • Demonstrate intention to live in any Canadian province or territory other than the province of Quebec.
  • Received a minimum of Level 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) Level 5 in either English or French in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • Have graduated within 5 years of applying with a diploma or degree for a program that is at least 2 years in duration, or a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least 1 year from post-secondary designated learning institutions in Canada. You can also apply if you have a foreign educational credential equivalent of a Canadian post-secondary diploma for programs of more than 2 years, a Canadian post-secondary degree, or a Canadian graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for programs of at least 1 year in length.
  • Have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full-time or an equal amount of part-time hours (at least 1,560 hours in total) in the 3 years before application. For these hours to count, you must have been allowed to work legally in Canada.

There are many other initiatives offered by the Canadian government that help Hong Kong residents to receive permanent residency in Canada. Find out which program is more suitable for you with Simard & Associates. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers, consultants and global immigration experts are here to help you get started on your immigration journey. Enjoy up-to-date immigration news and comprehensive assistance with the immigration process towards becoming a Canadian PR. Get in touch to realise your immigration dreams.