Canada recently announced new immigration measures to help Hong Kong residents and Canadians in Hong Kong.There will be new immigration pathways and initiatives for all the Hong Kong residents who want to come and live in Canada.
The new immigration initiatives are launched to attract Hong Kong students and youth to come to Canada, giving them an opportunity to obtain a new work permit that will open ways to their Canadian permanent residence.
Also, many improvements have been made to the existing immigration programs that will support the Hong Kong nationals to stay in Canada, as well as those who want to start planning for their arrival in Canada when the COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted.
New pathways for Hong Kong youth
A new program is to be launched soon, that will allow all the Hong Kong residents in Canada or abroad to apply for an open work permit. Eligible candidates must be graduates from the post-secondary institutions within the last five years. The work permit will be valid for up to three years and will allow Hong Kong residents and, youth in particular, to come to Canada to gain valuable work experience.
There are two more pathways that will be launched in 2021, which will lead to permanent resident status for Hong Kong residents in Canada.
The first pathway will be fore all those Hong Kong residents who meet minimum language and education level eligibility criteria and have gained Canadian work experience.
The government is also going to expedite study permit applications for all the eligible Hong Kong youth who wish to study in Canada. Once they complete their studies, these students will be able to apply directly for permanent residence through the second pathway.
Under these new programs, applicants will be able to include spouses, partners and dependent children residing in the country as part of their application.
New measures for Hong Kong residents
Hong Kong residents in Canada applying for an extension of their stay are temporarily exempt from the application processing fee.
The Government of Canada is also increasing its promotion and recruitment efforts to attract Hong Kong youth to study in Canada. The immigration department will resume processing of International Experience Canada (IEC) applications for Hong Kong youth, which were earlier suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hong Kong is one of the countries that has a Working Holiday Agreement with Canada, which allows Hong Kong residents to work for any employer in Canada. Even with travel restrictions, individuals can travel to Canada under the IEC as long as they have a job offer.
Finally, Canada has allocated resources to speed up the processing of applications for permanent residence, including family sponsorships. This is a measure that will greatly benefit all the applicants from Hong Kong.
Canadian economic-class immigration programs
Express Entry is the most popular pathway to Canadian permanent residence. Express Entry ranks eligible applicants against each other based on human capital factors, and then invites the top-scoring applicants to apply for permanent residency.
Those from Hong Kong may be well placed to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry because of their high level of education and English language skills, which are particularly valuable factors on the CRS.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are another immigration option available. More than 240,000 people are expected to get Canadian permanent residence through PNPs between now and 2023.
The family sponsorship is one the immigration priority by IRCC. There are a lot of immigration pathways which help residents of Canada to sponsor their relatives.
International Experience Class Working Holiday Program
Every year, the International Experience Class has brought tens of thousands of people from more than 30 countries to work in Canada. Hong Kong is one of the countries that is in a Working Holiday Agreement with Canada, that allows Hong Kong residents to work in Canada and also shift jobs and workplaces after their arrival. To be eligible to take advantage of this immigration channel, the applicant must be between 18 and 35 years of age to apply and a limited quota system is in place.
Keeping in mind the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, Canada has implemented a waiver of the 12-month pre-removal risk assessment rule for all the Hong Kong residents. With this exemption, some people who were previously ineligible may now be eligible for another assessment before being removed from Canada. usually, a person whose refugee claim is rejected cannot reapply for at least one year from the date of the decision.
In addition, Hong Kong residents are at a risk of persecution who have fled to another country and they may be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs such as the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government’s Refugee Assistance Program.
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