On November 12 2020, Canada’s immigration department announced a higher priority for Hong Kong passport holders to remain temporarily or file for permanent status in Canada. Interestingly refugee pathways for Hong Kong passport holders who have failed in their refugee claim are also being enhanced.
The changes are beneficial to youth and students in Hong kong. Also benefitting are persons with Hong Kong passports who are already in Canada irrespective of their rage.
Higher priority in terms of speed of processing is being allocated to documents destined to Hong Kong nationals to study, work, permanently reside in Canada. The Canadian diaspora and close family who are in Hong Kong will enjoy a faster processing of documents that are necessary for them to return to Canada. Similarly, Super Visa applications are to be promoted to those Hong Kong passport holders who have qualified Canadian children who can support a Super Visa application.
Younger Hong Kong Residents Entry to Canada
Work and study permits for Hong Kong passport holders shall be processed more quickly, reflecting the increase in demand for such permits from Hong Kong residents. A relatively unique program aimed at Hong Kong residents who have acquired post-secondary education in Canada or outside of Canada within the past five years. Dependent family members of such persons can also benefit through the ability to apply for a work or study authorization.
The Canadian government will honour the processing of Hong Kong Youth who have filed for an IEC work permit, if they have a valid job offer. Previously, such IEC work permit applications were paused due to Covid-19. The general requirements for this are here.
Permanent Resident Pathway for Hong Kong Residents
In 2021 a new pathway for permanent residence status will be available after a Hong Kong candidate works in Canada for one year, as long as they possess a certain level of language facility in English or French and a certain level of (presumably) post-secondary education.
An additional pathway would relieve the Hong Kong candidate from the normal Canada Experience Class requirement of one year of Canadian work experience. Rather, the new program would allow such a person to apply for permanent resident status after completing a post-secondary program in Canada. These programs would allow the study or work permit holder to also include their immediate family in the application for permanent resident status.
Elimination of Government Filing Fees
Hong Kong passport holders already in Canada seeking to extend their status shall not have to pay for the filing fees for an extension of visitor, study, or work status. The benefit of this perhaps is to help secure Hong Kong’s educated and/or skilled youth a more solid footing in Canada.
Refugee Related Pathways
Canada’s immigration department has confirmed that some arrests of Hong Kong activists by the Chinese government may corroborate the legitimacy of a refugee claim. Similarly, the Pre Removal Risk Assessment will be available to Hong Kong passport holders (who were unsuccessful in their refugee claim at the Immigration Refugee Board), contrary to failed IRB cases from other countries.