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Canada makes it easier for Hong Kongers to stay and work in Canada

Last updated on 12 July 2023

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Canada continues to stand by Hong Kong residents, and supports their freedom and democracy. Since 2021, Canada has opened its doors to Hong Kongers through dedicated immigration pathways, and continues working to improve these pathways and make it easier for them to remain in Canada long-term.

Today, Paul Chiang, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion (Diversity and Inclusion) and Member of Parliament for Markham—Unionville, announced on behalf of the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the removal of the education requirement under the Canadian work experience stream (Stream B) of the Hong Kong permanent residence pathways effective August 15, 2023. This means that more Hong Kongers with Canadian work experience will be eligible for permanent residence, as they will no longer be restricted by their education status. It also simplifies the application process, as applicants will no longer be required to submit proof of education.

To be granted permanent residence, applicants must intend to live in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec. Share on X

This amendment complements the recent extension and expansion of open work permits for Hong Kong residents and further assists the transition from temporary to permanent residence for Hong Kong residents. Through implementing these measures, Canada will be able to attract individuals who have already gained Canadian work experience. This will open doors of opportunity for skilled individuals from Hong Kong to contribute their unique skills and experiences to Canada’s diverse workforce.

“In recognizing the extraordinary skills and potential of Hong Kong’s talented individuals, Canada has taken a significant step toward fostering inclusivity and embracing the spirit of opportunity. Removing the education requirement under Stream B is a win-win situation: it means that we can welcome more Hong Kongers to Canada who need our support, while simultaneously helping Canadian businesses fill labour gaps with workers who already have work experience here. I am excited about this change, as it signifies Canada’s ongoing support for the people of Hong Kong and allows for continued meaningful exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Our government recognizes that true talent and valuable expertise are not solely defined by formal education credentials. By removing the education requirement under the Work Experience Stream B for the Hong Kong permanent residence pathway, we are ensuring that qualifications do not become a barrier to those who possess valuable experience and expertise. This change sends a powerful message of welcome and encouragement, reinforcing our commitment to building a diverse and prosperous nation.”

– Paul Chiang, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion (Diversity and Inclusion) and Member of Parliament for Markham—Unionville

“By acknowledging the exceptional abilities and high potential of individuals from Hong Kong, we are able to extend our support while enabling Canadian businesses to bridge their labour gaps with skilled professionals who have already honed their expertise within our borders. Removing the previous education requirement under Stream B is a transformative measure that will strengthen our relationship with Hong Kong and ensure a future of shared prosperity. This is a welcome announcement for not just Scarborough—Agincourt, but also for Canada.”

– Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Agincourt

“Richmond Centre and communities across Canada stand to gain talented individuals and grow in our social diversity by welcoming more Hong Kong nationals to immigrate and pursue work opportunities. This will drive economic growth and foster cultural diversity. Together, Hong Kong and Canada, are fueling our economy, creating new opportunities, and a hope for strengthened bonds.”

– Wilson Miao, Member of Parliament for Richmond—Centre

Quick facts

  •  In addition to existing permanent residence streams that are available to Hong Kong residents, a public policy creating two new pathways to permanent residence was put in place on June 1, 2021, and exists until August 31, 2026. These pathways are:
    • Stream A (for in-Canada graduates)
    • Stream B (for individuals with Canadian work experience)
  • On February 8, 2021, IRCC launched a new open work permit that allows eligible Hong Kong residents to gain valuable work experience in Canada and apply for permanent residence more quickly. This measure was recently extended and expanded, and Hong Kong residents have until February 7, 2025, to apply.
  • To be granted permanent residence, applicants must intend to live in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec. Hong Kong residents who are living in Quebec can consult the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration to learn more about immigration pathways available to them in that province.
  • As of April 30, 2023, Canada has welcomed 3,122 permanent residents under the permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents (2,358 for Stream A and 764 for Stream B).
  • This measure aligns with Canada’s recently released Indo-Pacific Strategy. It is a comprehensive roadmap to deepen engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next decade, increasing our contributions to regional peace and security, strengthening economic growth and resilience, enhancing our significant people-to-people ties and supporting sustainable development across the region.
  • Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution who have fled to another country may also be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, including the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.
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