In response to the new National Security Law affecting the state

of human rights in Hong Kong, Canada has announced several new

measures to help recent graduates and skilled workers from Hong

Kong gain faster permanent residency in Canada. In November 2020,

the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration,

Refugees, and Citizenship, announced that starting February 8,

2021, Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for new open work

permits. To qualify, applicants must have graduated with a Canadian

post-secondary diploma or degree within the last 5 years, or hold

an equivalent foreign credential. Hong Kong residents who are

currently in Canada, including visitors, students and workers, can

apply online from within Canada. Those applying from abroad are

unfortunately still subject to travel restrictions in place due to

the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later this year, Canada will implement two additional pathways

to permanent residence for Hong Kong residents. Applicants with at

least one year of Canadian work experience who meet the language

requirements; and applicants who have graduated from a

post-secondary institution in Canada will be able to directly apply

for permanent residence. The exact dates of the rollout for the

last two pathways are not yet announced, but the aim is for the

programs to become effective in 2021.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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