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Immigration to Canada for Hong Kong residents



As of February 6, 2023, Canada has extended and expanded measures for Hong Kong residents, staying true to their announced plans in 2020 where they introduced new pathways to help Hong Kong youth immigrate to Canada. These pathways are in response to Canada’s “concerns about the new National Security Law and the deteriorating human rights situation there.”

There are a total of three pathways to assist those moving from Hong Kong to Canada.

  1. Open work permits to Hong Kong residents who have completed post-secondary studies within the past ten years.

  2. Permanent resident status (PR) for those who have previously studied Canada.

  3. Permanent resident status (PR) for those who have previously worked in Canada.

Open Work Program - Recent Graduates

This pathway was launched in February 2021, and it enables Hong Kong residents who reside in Canada or abroad to apply for an open work permit in Canada. These permits will be valid for a period of up to three years. Eligible applicants must be Hong Kong residents that have completed a post-secondary diploma or degree from a program of at least two years, and have completed within ten years prior to applying. The credential can be completed anywhere, but if completed outside of Canada, applicants must show a credential equivalent to a Canadian diploma/degree. Moreover, Hong Kong residents who are currently in Canada as visitors, students, or workers, may apply for the new open work permit online.

** This open work permit program is set to be in place until February 7, 2025.


PR For Hong Kong Residents With Canadian Work Experience

Hong Kong citizens with eligible Canadian work experience may apply for Canadian permanent resident status through a programme sponsored by Canada from June 1, 2021, to August 31, 2026. Applicants who meet the requirements may list their dependent family members on their application (spouses, common-law partners, and/or dependent children).

Candidates must have worked in Canada for at least 12 months at a full-time job (or an equivalent number of hours at a part-time job) within the three years before applying in order to be eligible for this programme. Candidates must also possess one of the following sorts of academic certificates and have graduated within the five years prior to applying:

  • a diploma (not graduate or postgraduate) for at least a two-year programme

  • a degree

  • a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for at least a one-year programme.

Candidates must receive an educational credential assessment proving that the foreign credential is equal to a credential in Canada at the eligible level if the schooling was not completed in Canada. Candidates must also be physically present in Canada and have legal status at the time of application.


PR For Hong Kong Residents With Canadian Education

Hong Kong residents with qualifying Canadian education may apply for Canadian permanent residence status through a programme sponsored by Canada from June 1, 2021, to August 31, 2026. Applicants who meet the requirements may list their dependent family members on their application (spouses, common-law partners, and/or dependent children).

Candidates must have completed a postsecondary designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada within the three years prior to applying in order to be qualified for this programme. A diploma (not graduate or postgraduate) for a programme of at least two years, a degree (associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral), or a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a programme of at least one year are the only types of credentials that candidates may possess.

Additionally, the educational programme had to have been completed in Canada (online or in person) for at least 50% of the time. Candidates must also be physically present in Canada and have legal status at the time of application.




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