Canada launching new work permit for Hongkongers

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From February 8, residents of Hong Kong can apply for a new Canadian open work permit. It is the first of the new immigration efforts provided to Hongkongers this year.

The new work permit is a three-year work permit which will enable Hongkongers to obtain work experience in Canada. That experience will be useful for an immigration application. The well-known Express Entry system of Canada greatly appreciates applicants with Canadian work experience.

To be eligible for the open work permit, Hongkongers need to have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma within the last 5 years or have an equivalent international credential. Moreover, to get eligible, post-secondary diplomas need to be from programs with a duration of up to two years.

Students, temporary workers, and visitor visa holders who are presently in Canada can apply for the new open work permit online. Those individuals who are applying from outside Canada need to fulfill some COVID-19 safety procedures.

All Hongkongers who are outside Canada need to obtain a job offer or fulfill another travel exemption and obey all public health needs to enter the state. More detailed information will be on the government website when the program launches, according to an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) press statement.

Besides the open work permits, Canada is hard at work with two new permanent immigration routes particularly for the residents of Hong Kong. One will be for the individuals who have up to one year of Canadian work experience, and who satisfy the education and language criteria. The other is for the international students from Hong Kong which will enable them to apply directly for PR (permanent residence) after graduating from a Canadian post-secondary. These two new programs will be launched later in the year.

The new immigration measures are implemented to those who have a British National (Overseas) or Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) passport.

Now Hong Kong residents are also free from the twelve-month bar on pre-removal risk evaluations, which means that some earlier unqualified individuals may obtain a new assessment to find out whether they can remain in Canada.

Those individuals who have fled to another state and are in jeopardy of persecution may also be entitled to the ongoing resettlement programs of Canada i.e. the Government-Assisted Refugees Program or the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program.

In November, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino had proclaimed these measures, in the context of efforts to support Hongkongers who wish to immigrate to Canada.

“With the speedy-track to PR (permanent residency) and a yielding open work permits, experienced Hongkongers will have a diverse chance to establish their careers and expedite Canada’s economy,” Mendicino stated, “This immigration step will not only strengthen the ties between Canada and Hongkongers but also boost our economy. ”

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