Canada Launches Two Permanent Residence Programs for Hong Kong Residents

On June 8th 2021, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced 2 new permanent residence streams for eligible Hong Kong residents in Canada. Pursuant to the commitment made in February 2021, these 2 new permanent residence streams are now open for applicants, offering both workers and recent graduate with strong ties to Canada, a pathway to Canadian permanent residence.

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Who qualifies for the Hong Kong permanent residence program?

In launching this initiative, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has opened 2 streams for eligible Hong Kong residents to apply under.

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria for one of the two introduced streams, applicants must also meet the following conditions:

  1. Hold a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), or the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas), as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
  2. Applied for Canadian permanent residence following the instructions provided for this public policy
  3. Achieved a minimum of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 5 on each area of one of the approved French or English language exams with results that are less than two years old at the time the permanent residence application is received.
  4. Is physically present in Canada at the time when an application for permanent residence under this public policy is made, and at the time of granting of permanent residence
  5. Holds valid temporary resident status in Canada
  6. Intends to reside in a province other than Quebec
  1. Is not inadmissible to Canada

Candidates must also meet the eligibility requirements for one of the following two streams:

Stream A:

For this steam, candidates must have completed one of the following qualifying Canadian education credentials in the last three years:

OR

  • Post-graduate diploma, certificate or credential that is at least one year in length from a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution, and
    • requires that a post-secondary degree or diploma have been completed as a pre-requisite for acceptance to the program, and
    • have graduated with a degree or diploma no more than five years before commencing the above qualifying one-year credential.

NOTE: The program of study can have been in any field. At least 50% of the studies must have been completed while physically present in Canada, whether completing classes online or in class.

Stream B:

This stream requires candidates to have completed at least one year of qualifying Canadian work experience within the past three years in addition to completing a qualifying education credential within the last five years.

Qualifying work experience for this stream include least one year of full-time or equivalent part-time work experience in Canada in the last five years.

Work experience can be in any skill type and must have been completed while on valid status in Canada.

NOTE: Periods of work during full-time studies or self-employed work experience is not considered toward one’s eligibility for this initiative

Candidates also must have completed a qualifying foreign or Canadian education credential in the last five years. Qualifying credentials include:

  • Degree or diploma at least two years in length from a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution, or
  • Degree or diploma at least two years in length from a foreign post-secondary institution that is equivalent to at least a two-year Canadian degree or diploma as demonstrated through a valid Education Credential Assessment report, or
  • Post-graduate diploma, certificate or credential that is at least one year in length from a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution, and
    • requires that a post-secondary degree or diploma have been completed as a pre-requisite for acceptance to the program, and
    • have graduated with a degree or diploma no more than five years before commencing the above qualifying one-year credential, or
  • Post-graduate diploma, certificate or credential from a foreign post-secondary institution that is equivalent to a at least a one-year Canadian credential as demonstrated through a valid Education Credential Assessment report, and
    • Requires that a post-secondary degree or diploma have been completed as a pre-requisite for acceptance to the program, and
    • Have graduated with a degree or diploma no more than five years before commencing the above qualifying one-year credential

How much does the Hong Kong permanent residence program cost?

The government processing fee ($550 CAD) and right of permanent residence fee ($500 CAD) required for this application total to $1050 CAD. This amount must be paid by both the principal applicant and any accompanying spouse, if applicable. The fee to add a dependent child to an application is an addition $150 CAD per child.

Can I include my spouse and dependent children on the application?

Qualifying family members may also be included on this application for permanent residence. To be included as accompanying, dependents must meet the IRCC’s definition of “family member”, and not be inadmissible to Canada.

How long will this program be available?

This public policy is set to expire on August 31, 2026 but can be revoked at any time.

Is there a quota set for how many applications will be accepted for each stream?

There is no quota on the amount of applications IRCC will process under these 2 new streams.

How do I apply for the Hong Kong permanent residence program?

Applicants are asked to submit their applications by epost Connect. If unable to submit online due to a disability or technical issue, candidates can submit on paper.

Those interested in applying must send an email to [email protected] to state their intention to apply through the Hong Kong public policy initiative.

Applicants will receive an automated response notifying them that they will be receiving an email from Canada post with next steps and can create an epost account while awaiting instructions on how to submit the application.

What documents do I need to apply for the Hong Kong permanent residence program?

Applicants should be prepared to provide the following documents as part of their application:

  • Completed application forms;
  • Proof of status in Canada;
  • Proof of physical presence in Canada;
  • Proof of intent to reside outside of Quebec (if applicable);
  • Civil status documents;
  • Copy of education credential, transcripts or proof of enrolment at a post-secondary educational institution;
  • Police Certificate and Clearances from all countries you have lived in for six months or longer past the age of 18;
  • Copy of your education report from a designed body (if applicable);
  • Copy of valid results from approved language exam showing a Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in each area
  • Copy of your Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National Overseas passport (all pages must be included);
  • Proof of payment for applicable government fees
  • Evidence of your Canadian work experience (Stream B only) including reference letters, tax documents, and any other documents to support this experience;
  • Digital photo

Can I apply from within the Province of Quebec?

Applicants must demonstrate an intent to reside outside the province of Quebec. Any applicant that applies from within Quebec, should submit with their application, evidence that they intent to leave Quebec. Applicants intending to reside in Quebec should review their Quebec immigration options.

Evidence of intent to reside outside of Quebec can include:

  • a statutory declaration explaining where you plan to live and why
  • documents showing any ties you have to the province or territory (outside Quebec) where you plan to live, including:
    • proof of employment;
    • job offers;
    • job applications you’ve submitted;
    • job interviews you have scheduled;
    • proof you have family living in the area;
    • lease agreements or mortgages.

How long will it take to process my Hong Kong permanent residence program?

The public policy gives no indication as to how long IRCC will take to process this application however he we go back the regular processing times of other immigration programs, we can expect the process to take between 6 and 12 months.

Can I travel to Canada as a Hong Kong permanent residence with current COVID 19 travel restrictions?

Applicants under this stream must be in Canada at the time of applying and at the time the application has finalized. We would therefore advise against any international travel  Those wishing to travel from Hong Kong to Canada must check Canada’s current travel restrictions before proceeding.

Can I get a Canadian work permit while I wait for my Hong Kong permanent residence application to be processed?

While a bridging open work permit is not available for this application type, the IRCC has issued a public policy allowing certain Hong Kong residents to apply for a three year open work permit.

If you’re interested in beginning your Canadian immigration journey in 2021, get started today by filling out our free online assessment and a member of our team will reach out to discuss the best option for you!

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