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New Pathways to Permanent Residence for Hong Kong Citizens

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Hong Kong Immigration

New Pathways to Permanent Residence for Hong Kong Citizens
Canada has launched two new pathways to permanent residence for Hong Kong citizens.

Canada has launched two new pathways to permanent residence for Hong Kong citizens. First announced in November 2020, the new IRCC temporary public policy for Hong Kong residents who are currently in Canada provides a pathway to permanent residence for eligible applicants and their families. Canada has implemented the new ways for Hong Kongers to live and work in Canada as a response to "deteriorating human rights" under Hong Kong's new national security law.

The new pathways to permanent resident status are for in-Canada Hong Kong residents who meet specific eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Requirements for Hong Kong Citizens to Become Permanent Residents

IRCC released the eligibility requirements for the 2 new streams for Hong Kong citizens to become Canada permanent residents, including:

Stream A: In-Canada Graduates
The graduate pathway to permanent residence is for Hong Kong residents in Canada who graduated from a Canadian post-secondary educational institution:

  1. in the immediate 3 years preceding the date when the application is received, graduated from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada, as defined in section 211.1 of the Regulations with
    1. a degree
    2. a diploma for completion of a program that is at least 2 years in length or
    3. a graduate or post-graduate diploma, certificate or credential
      • for completion of a program that is at least 1 year in length. To be eligible, that program must require the completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma as a prerequisite for acceptance into the program and
      • the post-secondary degree or diploma must have been obtained no more than 5 years before the commencement of the graduate or post-graduate program
  2. the program of study was completed in any field of study, with at least 50% of the program of study (total courses) completed while physically present in Canada, either in class or online.

Stream B: Canadian Work Experience
The Canadian work experience pathway's criteria include minimum language and education levels and 1 year of work experience in Canada:

  1. in the immediate 3 years preceding the date when the application is received, completed at least 1 year of full-time work experience, or the equivalent to 1 year of work experience through part-time work, in Canada:
    1. work can be completed in any skill level, but must meet the definition of work as per section 2 of the Regulations, and have been authorized by virtue of a work permit, work permit exemption under section 186 of the Regulations or a public policy under section 25.2 of the Act
    2. any period of employment during which the foreign national was engaged in full-time study or was self-employed shall not be included in calculating a period of work experience
  2. in the immediate 5 years preceding the date when the application is received, graduated with
    1. a degree from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada, as defined in section 211.1 of the Regulations or
    2. a foreign diploma, certificate or credential along with an equivalency assessment as defined in subsection 73(1) of the Regulations that indicates that the foreign diploma, certificate or credential is equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary degree or
    3. a diploma from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada, as defined in section 211.1 of the Regulations for completion of a program that is at least 2 years in length or
    4. a foreign diploma, certificate or credential, along with an equivalency assessment as defined in subsection 73(1) of the Regulations that indicates that the foreign diploma, certificate or credential is equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary diploma for a program that is at least 2 years in length or
    5. a graduate or post-graduate diploma, certificate or credential from a post-secondary designated learning institution as defined in section 211.1 of the Regulations
      • for completion of a program that is at least 1 year in length. To be eligible that program must require the completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma as a prerequisite for acceptance into the program and
      • the post-secondary degree or diploma must have been obtained no more than 5 years before the commencement of the graduate or post-graduate program or
    6. a foreign diploma, certificate or credential along with an equivalency assessment as defined in subsection 73(1) of the Regulations that indicates that the foreign diploma, certificate or credential is equivalent to a Canadian graduate or post-graduate diploma, certificate or credential for a program that is at least 1 year in length:
      • the graduate or post-graduate diploma program must have required the completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma as a prerequisite for acceptance into that program and
      • the post-secondary degree or diploma must have been obtained no more than 5 years before the commencement of the graduate or post-graduate program

These temporary permanent resident programs are in effect from June 1, 2021, to August 31, 2026.

New Programs to Encourage Hong Kong Residents To Move To Canada

In addition to the new pathways to permanent residence, in November 2020 Canada announced several new initiatives to encourage Hong Kong residents to move to Canada:

New Pathways for Hong Kong Youth

  • Expedited Processing of Work and Study Permits
    Minister Mendicino announced that after their studies are completed, Hong Kong students studying in Canada will have a new dedicated pathway to permanent residence.
  • Open Work Permit
    A new open work permit valid for up to three years, to allow eligible Hong Kong residents in Canada or abroad who have completed post-secondary studies in the past 5 years to apply for an open work permit.

New Measures for Canadian Permanent Residents in Hong Kong and Hong Kong Residents In Canada

  • Waived Fees
    Hong Kong residents already in Canada can extend their stay without paying application processing fees. Processing fees are being temporarily waived for Hong Kong residents in Canada on a temporary basis who apply to renew their status to extend their stay.
  • Expedited Processing
    Canada will speed up the processing of permanent residence applications, including family sponsorship and study and work permits.
    • IRCC will promote super visas for parents and grandparents. This will allow them to come to Canada multiple times over a 10 year period for up to two years at a time.

Are You A Hong Kong Citizen Who Wants to Become a Canada Permanent Resident?
At Ackah Business Immigration Law, our goal is to make Crossing Borders Seamlessly a reality and to smooth your way to new opportunities in Canada.

Evelyn L. Ackah is the founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law and has exclusively practiced immigration law for over 20 years. Ackah Law is headquartered in Calgary with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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Amazing Thanks all! Congrats Tim and Anne! Stoked to see you soon.

- Simon, on Tim's Permanent Residency

View All Testimonials