Canada: Immigration Minister Mendicino Announces Two Hong Kong-Focused PR Programs

June 9, 2021

Key Points 

  • On June 8, 2021, Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino presented two permanent residence (PR) pathways for workers or recent graduates from Hong Kong. 
  • Minister Mendicino initially announced Hong Kong-focused programs in November 2020, and new work permit options opened in February 2021. PR pathway applications are now live.  
  • The Canadian government developed these PR pathways in response to China’s National Security Law. This law targets pro-democracy activists, journalists and overall freedom of expression in Hong Kong.
  • There are two program Streams: Stream A and Stream B.  

Overview 

The new Hong Kong-focused PR streams have key eligibility requirements. Most importantly, when applying, eligible individuals must possess current temporary Canadian resident status. They must meet all Canadian education and work requirements and hold a valid Hong Kong “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China” passport.  

Alternatively, candidates may prove Hong Kong residency with a “United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas)” Hong Kong passport. Additionally, applicants must intend to reside in any Canadian territory or province other than Quebec. This is because Quebec has its own pathways to permanent residence.  

Specific requirements for Streams A and B are as follows:  

  • Stream A applicants must: 
    • Have a post-secondary credential from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (more information here). It must have been earned in the last three years; 
    • Have completed at least half of their education program in Canada; 
    • Have worked on a diploma program at least two years long; 
    • Have worked on a graduate or post-graduate program at least one year long, with prior credentials earned no more than five years before the graduate/post-graduate program. 
  • Stream B applicants must:
    • Have at least one year of work experience (full-time); 
    • Have 1,560 hours of part-time work experience in Canada over the last three years; 
    • Have an eligible post-secondary credential earned within the last five years (unlike Stream A, they do not necessarily have to be Canadian institutions). 

What Are The Changes?  

These Hong Kong-focused PR streams expand upon Minister Mendicino’s announcement in November 2020. He describes the program as a welcome opportunity to support Hong Kong talent, strengthen diplomatic relations with Hong Kong, and boost Canada’s post-COVID-19 recovery.  

Looking Ahead 

It is possible that the Canadian government will continue developing additional permanent residence pathways. In mid-2021, economic recovery is top-of-mind for many countries, and attractive residence programs are necessary for growth. Employers with Hong Kong-native, Canada-bound talent should check evaluate their eligibility. 

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Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional. 

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