The high cost of living combined with increasing political tensions and a government crackdown on protesters are making many Hong Kong residents consider moving to Canada. There are more than 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong residents have for decades chosen Vancouver when they move to Canada from Hong Kong. Vancouver realtor Dan Scarrow told the CBC there has been a noticeable increase in homebuyers from Hong Kong:
"It's going to take a while for that data to flow through the system, but it was really noticeable among our agents over the last couple of weekends. What we're seeing now is a fourth wave of Chinese immigration to Canada. Most people in Hong Kong probably have a connection to Canada already, and it's those people that are potentially going to be coming back quickly."
The United Kingdom gave control of Hong Kong back to China in 1997, known as the Handover. Many residents fled Hong Kong during the 1980s and 90s and chose Vancouver, Canada; with the 2016 census listing 74,120 people in Metro Vancouver who were born in Hong Kong.
While immigration to Canada from Hong Kong has decreased in recent years, due to the new crackdowns on protestors against China, immigration experts expect that many Hong Kong families will send their children to be educated in Canada as an opportunity to permanently immigrate.
Why Are Hong Kongers Fleeing Hong Kong?
A controversial extradition bill is proposed which would make it easier for people charged with a crime in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, to be extradited to mainland China to face trial. Protestors say this would make it easier for political protestors in Hong Kong to be extradited to China to face trial and imprisonment, versus in their home country of Hong Kong. Widely publicized violent protests have erupted across Hong Kong, increasing fears and unrest.
Hong Kong's increasing high cost of living has been concerning residents, particularly the cost of homes. Called the "world's least affordable housing market," experts expect Hong Kong housing prices to increase 5-15% in 2019.
Why Hong Kong Residents Choose Canada
- As Canada's most western major city, Vancouver is geographically close to Hong Kong with a mild winter.
- Due to the Handover, many Hong Kong residents have lived in, visited or even hold permanent resident status in Canada as dual residents with Canadian and HKSAR passports.
- Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers reside in Canada, and over 500,000 Canadian passport holders live in Hong Kong, resulting in a strong relationship between the countries.
- Hong Kong-Canadian associations, such as the Chinese Canadian Association and the Canadian University Association build a strong network and help Hong Kongers assimilate in Canada and find new opportunities.
How to Move From Hong Kong to Canada
There are many different opportunities for people to move to Canada from Hong Kong including business immigration, student visas, a job transfer or via family sponsorship. Immigration lawyers understand the many immigration options and eligibility requirements and have the knowledge and expertise to navigate complex Canadian immigration rules and regulations, to solve problems and remove obstacles to help smooth the way to new opportunities in Canada.
For work. For family. For life.
In order to study in Canada, international students usually require a Study Permit. This is a document available only after a college, university, or other accredited educational institution has accepted you. Study Permits are only available for those accepted to schools designated to accept international students. Designated learning institutions appear on the official Designated Learning Institutions list, but only at the post-secondary level. Primary and secondary schools throughout the country are automatically deemed as designated institutions.
IEC - International Experience Canada
Canada is part of an international agreement with 35 other countries including Hong Kong who provide opportunities for young adults to get valuable international work experience.
1. Working Holiday Program
Young adults aged 18 to 30 who meet IEC qualifications and have an HKSAR passport can apply for an open work permit to work in Canada for up to two years.
2. International Co-op Internship
An IEC student internship in Canada is a work permit granted to someone in graduate school who has a written job offer for an IRCC approved position that is related to their field of studies.
3. Young Professionals Work Permit
Get Canadian work experience through IEC's program for professionals with a post-secondary degree.
Whether you are an individual, a family or a business owner; we can review your situation and needs to determine what avenues are available for you to move to Canada from Hong Kong. Based on your eligibility and requirements, we can help you move to Canada with as little stress as possible. Some of the opportunities for temporary residence in Canada are:
1. Intra-company Job Transfer
If you are currently working for a company in Hong Kong and that company has operations or wants to open operations in Canada, you may qualify for an intra-company transfer. Intra-company transferees will require a temporary work permit to work in either Canada or the United States.
2. Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Work permits are required for Hong Kong citizens who want to work in Canada in a position that fills a temporary job need. To qualify for a work permit the prospective employer must complete an LMIA, Labour Market Impact Assessment. This document indicates that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker is available to do it.
3. International Mobility Program (IMP)
Some jobs do not require an LMIA and allow employers to hire temporary workers without an LMIA on an open work permit. These jobs must be reciprocated between the 2 countries and can include athletes, educations co-op and cultural jobs.
Canada work experience is a key factor in granting permanent residence, so a temporary work permit is a good step to qualifying for permanent residence. Canada wants and is recruiting foreign nationals who are educated with strong skills and work experience to help grow the economy.
1. Family Class
Canada puts a priority on family values and reunification. A Canada permanent resident or citizen can apply to sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner or dependent children.
2. Express Entry
Express Entry is Canada's skilled-worker immigration application system, launched in January 2015, to attract high-skilled foreign workers and former international students who want to live in Canada permanently.
3. Provincial Nominee Program
Each province or territory in Canada has its own specific need for skilled foreign workers, and immigration opportunities and procedures.
4. Immigration to Quebec
Quebec has a special agreement on immigration with the Government of Canada and who can move to Quebec as a permanent resident.
5. Entrepreneurs, Investors, StartUps and Self-employed
Canada's business immigration programs welcome individuals who want to move to Canada and start a business or who want to be self-employed in Canada, based on work history, skills and education.
There are many opportunities for foreigners to move to Canada. An experienced immigration lawyer has the knowledge and expertise to assess your qualifications and match them to opportunities, to understand complex Canadian immigration rules and regulations, to solve problems and to remove obstacles for Hong Kong citizens who want to leave life in the Chinese territory and immigrate to Canada.
We help you smooth the way to new opportunities in Canada.