Canada, more than any other nation, places a massive emphasis on immigration. It is obviously a very liberal country that believes the solution to its problems lies in welcoming immigrants. One problem of theirs that is obviously getting solved due to immigrants is that of a dwindling workforce.
Canada is grappling with a constantly dwindling workforce because its old workers aren’t getting replaced by their own young ones at the same rate as they are retiring. As a result, there are more Canadian retired people than those currently in the workforce.
So to bring in more workers, Canada is relaxing its immigration pathways or finding more ways to make immigration applications easy. This time, Hongkongers will benefit from the new relaxation of immigration laws. Canada has declared that it will be creating multiple immigration pathways targeted towards bringing more Hongkongers into the nation.
Why Is Canada Specifically Interested In Bringing Hongkongers?
The new immigration opportunities are being rolled out explicitly, targeting Hongkongers since they are often highly educated and have a good command of the English language. These two factors make the immigration of Hongkong people ideal.
Also, Canada is opening its doors this widely for Hong Kong immigrants because Covid-19 has resulted in severe immigration downfalls. So the nation’s already dwindling workforce has experienced a more significant hit.
Not to mention that Canada previously detected a spike in Hongkongers’ immigration after Beijing imposed its National Security Law. The Canadian government says that Hongkongers’ applications looking for extended or new temporary residency rose over 30% in the past year over 2019. So it seems like Hongkongers are interested in migrating to Canada as well.
What Is The New Immigration Policy Targeting Hongkongers?
Canada has launched a new open-work permit that lets Hong Kong people work under any Canadian employers. Under this program, Hongkongers will get to stay in Canada for three years. As a result, they will also get to gain valuable Canadian work-experience here.
This will undoubtedly help the participants’ get better chances of getting permanent Canadian residence. Marco Mendicino announced these open permit laws that lead into permanent residency options in 2020 as part of the Immigration Level Plans of 2021-2023. Here are the two primary eligibility criteria in regards to the work permit:
- Hongkongers will need a valid passport appropriately issued by the esteemed Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or HKSAR. If this isn’t applicable, then the passport can be issued in the UK to another BNO or British National Overseas.
- Another criterion is that the Hongkongers need to have graduated fully within the past five years. As such, they need to hold a good university degree. If not, then they should have a diploma resulting from a two-year program.
Hongkongers physically staying in Canada are encouraged to apply for this work permit if needed. No clause states that they need to leave the nation to apply for this. It should be noted that Hongkongers who are residing outside Canada can apply for this.
However, their arrival could be delayed as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions. It should be noted that Canadians who were currently staying in Hong Kong will come back provided that they have all the needed documents. Also, they need to follow the two-week quarantine laws needed after arrival.
What More Immigration Policies Has Canada Passed For Hongkongers?
Along with the open work-permit, Canada has rolled out a program that grants qualifying Hongkongers full permanent residency. The entire details about it are not yet known. It is expected that Canada will release more information about the work experience, language, and education requirements in the coming months.
Along with the above two immigration programs, the government has announced that it will allocate resources for speeding up the application processes. The Canadian federal government had promised that it would be waiving the processing fees temporarily for the Hongkongers who are willing to extend their Canadian stay. Canada is also taking more measures to attract and retain the various post-secondary Hong Kong students.
Do Hongkongers Want To Go To Canada?
In a survey carried out by a Chinese University asking Hongkongers to state their favorite study destination, Canada ranked a solid fourth with 9.3%. Britain, Australia occupied the first three positions, and Taiwan is getting 23.8, 11.6, and 10.7 percentages.
Hong Kong residents chose these countries since the nations allowed them a chance to escape from the draconian extradition bill that criminalizes acts of subversion, secession, and terrorism. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver are a massive target for those wanting to escape from the harsh laws.
Maria Law, a 39-year-old resident who immigrated to Vancouver in 2020 with her children before her husband, said: “Staying in Hong Kong is no longer an option. I’d rather have a free future for my daughters instead of making money while they have to keep their mouths shut.” Law says that she has experienced this immigration before as well.
Canada’s liberal immigration programs welcomed more than 335,000 Hongkongers like her between the years of 1984-1997. When she was only 12, her father was working as a chef in Hong Kong.
But she soon understood that he wasn’t coming back. However, she did in 2004 by moving to Hong Kong back. But thanks to the draconian law imposed by Chinese authorities, she had to pack up her bags and move away to the land she came from—this time, Canada has again chosen to welcome people like her with open arms. It looks like Canada is opening up its borders again for Hongkongers. The newly introduced work permits will help people coming from Hong Kong earn money to support themselves. Along with this, the Residential laws will further help them establish a secure home for themselves. As such, students from Hong Kong will be able to create their future in Canada.