Minister Mendicino announced that Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for a new open work permit starting February 8.
Valid for up to three years, these new open work permit will allow Hong Kong residents to acquire valuable employment experience and make serious contributions to Canada.
Hong Kong residents must have finished with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree in the last five years to be eligible, or hold an equivalent foreign credential. A post-secondary diploma program must be a minimum of two years.
Hong Kong residents presently in Canada temporarily, including students, visitors, and workers, can apply online from within Canada.
Those applying from overseas countries remain subject to current travel restrictions and may not be able to visit Canada at this period unless they have an employment offer or meet a travel exemption and obey all public health requirements. More details will be released on the IRCC website on the launch date.
In addition to open work permits, the federal government of Canada continues to implement two other immigration pathways to Canadian permanent residence for young Hong Kong residents, which of course will be available later this year.
The first will be for Hong Kong residents with at least one year of Canadian work experience and who meet the language and education requirements.
The second will be for Hong Kong residents who concluded studies from a post-secondary institution in Canada; who can then apply directly for Canadian permanent residence. More information will be announced in due course.
The new immigration measures will only apply to those who hold a Hong Kong special administratives region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport.
Hong Kong residents are now also exempt from the twelve (12)-month bar on pre-removal risk assessment which means that some previously not qualified candidates may get a new assessment to determine whether they can live in Canada.
Those who ran off to another country, and are at risk of persecution, may also be qualified under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, such as the Government-Assisted Refugees Program or the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino had announced these new measures last year November, as part of an effort to support Hongkong residents who wish to immigrate to Canada.
“With flexible open work permits and a accelated process to permanent residency, skilled Hong Kong residents will have the opportunity to develop their careers and help speed up Canada’s economic recovery,” Marco Mendicino said in the release. “This is a landmark immigration process that will strengthen our economy and will intensify the ties between Canada and the people of Hong Kong.”