On June 8, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino unveiled two new immigration streams, which provide a path to permanent residence for eligible Hong Kong people in Canada who are working or recent graduates.
The programs are now open for applications. Mendicino initially announced the measures in November 2020 and launched work permit options last February. The initiative to facilitate the immigration of Hong Kong people is a response to China's imposition of the National Security Law, which has led to a crackdown on free speech. The federal government of Canada has denounced the arrests of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and also how the electoral system has deteriorated.
Eligible applicants must have valid temporary resident status in Canada at the time they submit their application and when their permanent resident status is granted. They must also meet the specified language, education, work, and eligibility requirements, and they are subject to Canada's regular immigration application and selection processes and eligibility requirements. To confirm their residence in Hong Kong, they must hold a valid passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China or by the United Kingdom to a British (overseas) citizen of Hong Kong.
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To be eligible for Stream A of the new programs, applicants must have a post-secondary diploma from a Canadian designated educational institution, obtained within the last three years. They must have completed at least half of their program in Canada, in person or online. Eligible degree programs must last at least two years. Graduate or postgraduate degrees must have a duration of at least one year, previous degrees obtained at most five years before the start of the program.
Stream B is intended for applicants who have at least one year of full-time work experience or 1,560 hours of part-time work experience in Canada within the past three years. They also need an eligible post-secondary diploma obtained within the past five years. Stream A and eligible post-secondary programs are the same, except that they don't require to be completed in Canada.
To get a Canadian permanent residence, candidates are required to have the intention to settle in a Canadian province or territory. This is because Canada does not have the jurisdiction to impose permanent residency channels in Quebec. Hong Kong residents living in Quebec can consult the Ministere de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Integration (MIFI) to learn more about the immigration routes available to them.
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