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Canada Expands Eligibility for Permanent Residence and Work Permits for Hong Kong Residents

On July 11, 2023, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced a modification to the Hong Kong Permanent Residence Pathways. The Permanent Residence pathways for Hong Kong residents are intended to facilitate a permanent immigration pathway for Hong Kong residents who are currently in Canada. The program is in effect until August 31, 2026.

Effective August 15, 2023, applicants under the Permanent Residence Pathway for Hong Kong Residents – Canadian Work Experience Stream are no longer required to meet an education requirement in order to qualify for permanent residence. To qualify for this program, applicants must have at least one year of work experience in Canada, must be residing in Canada, and must intend to live in any province outside of Quebec.

In early 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also expanded eligibility for open work permits for Hong Kong residents. Previously, applicants were eligible to apply for an open work permit if they had graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution within the last five (5) years. This deadline was extended to ten (10) years.

Hong Kong passport holders should take advantage of these special measures to apply for a work permit or permanent residence while they remain in place.