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Hong Kong Immigration to Canada

In March 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported that 796 Hong Kongers out of 997 who applied for permanent residence as of January 31, 2022, under Canada’s new immigration programs (Hong Kong Public Policy For Permanent Residence) were granted admission.

For immigration advice on how to obtain permanent residence in Canada or what you require to be eligible for any of the immigration programs available to individuals of Hong Kong descent, call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today

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    Canada Immigration for Hong Kong Immigrants

    On November 12, 2020, the Canadian government announced new measures to support Hong Kong residents, Canadians, and permanent residents in Hong Kong, including the new three-year open work permit and two new pathways to permanent residence.

    As proof, new IRCC data showed that 10,143 Hong Kong residents and British Nationals Overseas obtained Canadian work permits in 2021, a major increase compared to 931 people that got work permits in 2019.

    This was due to a situation in Hong Kong that has caused Hong Kongers to seek economic and political stability outside their home country. The Canadian government wants Hong Kong emigrants to choose Canada to study, work and settle as many of them continue to cast their eyes abroad.

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    The situation in Hong Kong

    On June 30, 2020, a national security law for Hong Kong was passed by China, sparking a wave of arrests of Hong Kong residents such as democracy activists, former lawmakers, district councilors, and pro-democracy journalists and publishers.

    In a recent report by the BBC, the UK’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss asserted that the authorities have cracked down on free speech, free association, and free press since the national security law was passed.

    For this reason, the government of Canada launched a range of programs specifically for Hong Kongers. These special programs go beyond Canada’s existing immigration programs that are available to all foreign nationals including Hong Kong residents.

    Immigration Programs for Hong Kong Residents

    On June 1, 2021, the Canadian government introduced a temporary public policy for Hong Kong residents currently in Canada, providing a pathway to permanent residence for eligible applicants and their families.

    Depending on eligibility, applicants may apply under two streams which are:

    • Stream A: In-Canada graduates
    • Stream B: Canadian work experience

    Stream A: In-Canada graduates

    This stream offers permanent residence specifically to Hong Kong residents who are graduates from a post-secondary institution in Canada within the last three years.

    Eligibility requirements

    Applicants who desire to immigrate under this stream must:

    • Be physically present in Canada both when they apply and when they get permanent residence.
    • Possess a valid passport (issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China or the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) as a person born, naturalized, or registered in Hong Kong).
    • Be prepared to live in any province or territory in Canada except for the province of Quebec.
    • Hold valid temporary resident status in Canada.
    • Have graduated from an approved post-secondary learning institution in Canada within the last three years before they apply, and with at least 50% of the program completed in Canada (either in person or online).
    • Also, they must have completed studies for a diploma or degree (from Canada or abroad) as a prerequisite to this graduate or post-graduate program within the last five years before commencing it.

    Stream B: Canadian work experience

    This stream is an official route to permanent residence for Hong Kong residents that have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada or abroad. Also, they must have at least one year of work experience in Canada.

    Eligibility requirements

    Applicants who desire to immigrate under this stream must:

    • Be physically present in Canada both when they apply and when they get permanent residence.
    • Possess a valid passport (issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China or the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) as a person born, naturalized, or registered in Hong Kong).
    • Hold valid temporary resident status in Canada.
    • Be prepared to live in any province or territory in Canada except for the province of Quebec
    • Have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full-time, or an equal amount of part-time hours in the last three years before they apply.

    Have graduated sometime in the past five years before they apply with one of the following approved documents:

    • A diploma (not graduate or post-graduate) for a program of at least 2 years, or a university degree (for example, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a doctorate) from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada. new data
    • A graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least 1 year from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada
    • A foreign educational credential equivalent to one of the following:
      • A Canadian post-secondary degree.
      • A Canadian post-secondary diploma (not graduate or post-graduate) for a program of at least 2 years.
      • A Canadian graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least 1 year.

    Furthermore, they must have concluded post-secondary studies for a diploma or degree (from Canada or abroad) as a prerequisite to this graduate or post-graduate program within the last five years before commencing it.

    To meet the hours of work required, applicants must have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full-time, or an equal amount of part-time hours (at least 1,560 hours in total) in the 3 years before they apply to this immigration program.

    They must have either had a valid work permit, or you were exempt from needing a work permit. This validates their work hours. They are, however, not allowed to include any time they spent:

    • Working outside Canada.
    • As a full-time student.
    • Unemployed.
    • On an extended absence outside Canada.
    • Self-employed
    • On leave from their job for reasons such as medical or parental reasons

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      Designated Learning Institutions

      A designated learning institution (DLI) is a school that is approved to accept international students for study programs by a provincial or territorial government in Canada.

      Prospective international students may apply for study permits only after they have gotten offers of acceptance from such institutions.

      All primary and secondary schools in Canada are approved as designated learning institutions (DLI) but not all post-secondary institutions. Applicants must make sure they only attend a post-secondary institution that is on the list of DLIs.

      Documents required from Hong Kong Residents to apply for Permanent residency

      Overview

      The documents required from Hong kong residents to apply for permanent residency include but are not limited to the following:

      • Valid passport of travel document.
      • Language tests.
      • Post-secondary education.
      • Document showing intent to live in any province or territory except Quebec.
      • Canadian work experience (for stream B applicants only).
      • Other identity documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and change-of-name documents showing the names and the date modified.

      Language Tests

      Applicants must provide a copy of their language test results showing that they obtained a level 5 band score in all four components of the exam (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). The test may be in one of the following:

      • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for English language test-takers
      • Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French language test-takers

      Applicants may find out which language tests are approved and how to find out their language level based on their test results.

      Post-Secondary Education

      Stream A (In-Canada graduates) applicants must provide a copy of their diploma or degree and final transcripts. These must prove that they graduated from a DLI in Canada in the last three years.

      If they hold a diploma or certificate from a graduate or post-graduate program, they must include both of the following:

      • Proof that the program required them to have a post-secondary diploma or degree as a prerequisite, such as a copy of the school’s website showing all the prerequisites or a letter from the school listing the prerequisites required.
      • A copy of their post-secondary diploma or degree and final transcripts showing that they graduated no more than 5 years before the start of their graduate or post-graduate program.

      Stream B (Canadian work experience) applicants must provide a copy of their diploma or degree and final transcripts. These documents must show that they graduated in the last five years

      Applicants who hold a diploma or certificate from a graduate or post-graduate program must include:

      • Proof that the program required that they have a post-secondary diploma or degree as a prerequisite, such as a copy of the school’s website showing all the prerequisites or a letter from the school.
      • a copy of their post-secondary diploma or degree and final transcripts showing that they graduated no more than five years before the start of their graduate or post-graduate program

      Applicants who graduated from a non-Canadian school must obtain an educational credential assessment (ECA) as substantial proof that their post-secondary studies are equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree.

      Intent to live outside Quebec

      Applicants must prove their intent to live outside Quebec by providing either a detailed statutory declaration showing where they intend to live and why or documents revealing the ties they have to the province or territory they intend to live.

      Canadian work experience (for stream B applicants only)

      Applicants must show proof for each job they listed in their application. This could be a valid letter from their employer showing substantial information about the job.

      For assistance with Hong Kong Immigration to Canada, get in touch with us today. Contact Us

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        Steps to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada for Hong Kong Residents

        Applicants must apply from within Canada to be eligible for permanent residency. The steps to obtain permanent residency for Hong Kongers in Canada are outlined below:

        • Email preparation and sending.
        • Account creation with Canada Post.
        • Application completion.
        • Fee payment.
        • Application submission.

        Email preparation and sending

        Applicants must research well in advance before they start their application.

        They must enter the following text into the subject field of their email: Request to apply for the Permanent Residence Pathways for Hong Kong Residents: [put unique client identifier (UCI) or passport number].

        In the body of the email, applicants should insert only their full name, passport or UCI number, and the email address they intend to use to communicate with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

        Then, they should send the email to [email protected]. They will receive an automatic reply in their inbox or spam folder within one hour confirming that IRCC got their message.

        Account creation with Canada Post

        Applicants will get an email, in their inbox or spam folder, to sign up for an account from Canada Post within five business days after the email confirmation receipt from IRCC.

        Applicants are to follow the instructions in the email to create an ePost Connect account with Canada Post. They must submit their application through this account only. If additional information is required, applicants will be contacted through the email address they provided earlier.

        Completion of Application

        Applicants are advised to read the instruction guide (IMM 5067) to help them complete the forms.

        Checklist and forms

        Applicants are to use the document checklist to ensure they have all the documents and forms they need to fill out. The forms that must be filled regardless of stream include:

        • Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008]
        • Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669]
        • Additional Family Information [IMM 5406]
        • Supplementary Information – Your Travels [IMM 5562]
        • Additional Dependents/Declaration [IMM 0008 DEP] (if applicable)
        • Use of a Representative [IMM 5476] (if applicable)

        To complete the checklist, applicants under stream A (In-Canada graduates) must fill out Schedule 7A – Permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents: Stream A – In-Canada graduates [IMM 0135].

        Applicants applying under stream B (Canadian work experience) must fill Schedule 7B – Permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents: Stream B – Canadian work experience [IMM 0136] in addition to the general forms above.

        Applicants should use the instruction guide provided to complete their application

        Fee Payment

        Applicants are advised to pay the right of permanent residence fee together with their application fees to avoid delays in their application. The fees apply to them and anyone else they include on their application.

        They should also check the application guide to know which fees they must pay. Payments are to be made online.

        Applicants may use personal debit, credit, or prepaid cards or otherwise. If applicants pay before they apply and cannot submit the application because the stream reached its limit, they can request a refund.

        If an application is successfully submitted and it is refused for any reason, only the fee for the right of permanent residence will be refunded. Applicants should remember to include all their receipts in the application.

        Application Submission

        Applicants must upload or scan all forms and documents, preferably in the order they appeared on the checklist, to their ePost account.

        If you have any questions about Hong Kong Immigration to Canada, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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          Additional Requirements after Submission of Application

          If applicants completed their application, submitted all required documents, meet all requirements, and paid all fees, they will then be asked to provide their biometrics along with those they included in their application.

          They will also be asked to complete a medical exam, along with everyone they include on their application. Applicants and family members included in their application will be sent medical forms and instructions on finding doctors who are approved to carry out immigration medical exams.

          Applications may be delayed if:

          • There are any criminal or security problems or need for more background checks.
          • The application was not clear regarding their family situation for issues such as divorce, an incomplete adoption, or unresolved child custody issues).
          • The processing office has to contact other IRCC offices in or outside Canada to confirm the information given.

          Possible outcomes of Permanent Residency Application for Hong Kong Residents

          The possible outcomes of applications for permanent residency are:

          • Approval of application– As evidence that they have been approved to become Canadian permanent residents, successful applicants would be issued a confirmation of permanent residence document.
          • They would also be mailed their permanent resident (PR) card through the mailing address they specify.
          • Refusal of application– If the application is refused, applicants will be sent a letter that explains the reasons behind the refusal.

          Additional Measures for Hong Kong Immigration to Canada

          The following are further measures implemented by the Canadian government to support Hong Kongers:

          • IRCC has been providing passports or travel documents to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to return home.
          • Application processing fees have been waived temporarily for Hong Kong residents in Canada who choose to apply to renew their status and extend their stay.
          • Promotion and recruitment efforts have been increased to attract Hong Kong youth to study in Canada and to other program areas, including International Experience Canada.
          • Information sessions on pathways to Canada, including special measures, are provided by the Consulate-General in Hong Kong on a bi-weekly basis.
          • Promotion of super visas, which are multi-entry visas for parents and grandparents that allow for multiple entries to Canada, up to 2 years at a time for a validity period of up to 10 years.
          • Resources have been directed to speed up the processing of Hong Kong permanent residence applications, including for family sponsorship. Spouses or common-law partners who have applied for permanent residence from within Canada can apply for an open work permit.
          • We have been ensuring that qualifying permanent residents can access pre-arrival and in-country settlement information and services.
          • Due to the worsening conditions in Hong Kong that could put some individuals at risk, IRCC implemented an exemption to the 12-month bar on a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) for Hong Kong residents who received a final negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada or the Federal Court, or a final PRRA decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on or between November 13, 2019, and November 12, 2020.

          How Can IAS Immigration Lawyers Help?

          If you have questions about the Canadian public policy applicable to Hong Kongers or are a Hong Kong resident looking to get permanent residency in Canada, our immigration lawyers are available to help.

          We are immigration experts with knowledge and experience in handling various Canadian applications and have represented clients in various complex and high-profile cases successfully.

          We can help with any immigration service you are looking for. Speak to our customer client team on +1 844 290 6312 to learn more about our packages and to receive the professional help you need to succeed.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Hong Kongers may apply for Canadian citizenship. To be eligible, however, they:

                    • Must be a permanent resident of Canada.
                    • Must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the 5 years immediately before they apply.
                    • May need to file personal income taxes for at least 3 years within the 5-year period.
                    • Must demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French (if they are between 18 and 54 years old when they apply).
                    • Must demonstrate they have knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (if they are between 18 and 54 years old when you apply—this is assessed after they apply).
                    • Must not be inadmissible, be under a removal order, or have any unfulfilled conditions related to their permanent resident status.

                    Rules vary depending on the type of passport you carry. Be sure to check with your transportation company about passport requirements.

                    Travelers who hold Canadian passports must make sure their passports are valid for the travel period and at least one month before they leave Hong Kong.

                    You can obtain permanent residence by applying to either of the twin permanent resident pathways established specially for Hong Kong residents for which you are eligible.

                    Alternatively, you may obtain permanent residence by applying through the various immigration programs available to other foreign nations once you have met eligibility requirements.

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