Canada Announces New Immigration Measures for Hong Kong Residents

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points

  • New immigration measures announced for Hong Kong residents in 2021
  • Two new pathways encourage Hong Kong residents to work, study, or seek asylum in Canada
  • A new open work permit will give Hong Kong graduates and their dependents more options for permanent residency
  • Certain language and education requirements apply for the new work permit
  • Study permit applications will be expedited for Hong Kong residents to study in Canada to create a path for permanent residency
  • Application fees will be waived for Hong Kong residents temporarily in Canada who want to extend their stay


In 2021, Canada will create two additional immigration pathways for Hong Kong residents who want to study, work, or seek asylum in Canada as part of the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.

What are the Changes?

A new open work permit will be offered for Hong Kong graduates to expand their options for permanent residency. The permit, which is issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a three-year validity. Experience gained during that time can be put towards an application for permanent residence. Permit holders can apply through the Express Entry system or an immigration program for Hong Kong youth. To qualify for the program, individuals must meet minimum language proficiency requirements. Additionally, they must have one year’s worth of Canadian work experience, and they must have completed post-secondary studies in the past five years. Eligible dependents, including children, spouses, and common-law partners, may also apply for a work or study permit.

Additionally, the Canadian government will expedite study permit applications for Hong Kong residents wanting to study in Canada. The new pathway follows an increase in study permit applications from Hong Kong residents throughout 2020. It provides students with a pathway to permanent residency following completion of their studies.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Along with creating the new immigration pathways, Canada will expedite document review for Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong. The measure will expedite processing for permanent residence applications, including family sponsorship, to benefit Hong Kong residents. The measure also encourages Hong Kong youth to work and study in Canada.

Additionally, application fees will be waived for Hong Kong residents who are in Canada temporarily and apply to extend their stay.

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.