Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is moving forward on efforts to help citizens of Hong Kong remain in Canada rather than have to return. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is moving forward on efforts to help citizens of Hong Kong remain in Canada rather than have to return. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Feds ramp up efforts to help residents of Hong Kong immigrate to, stay in Canada

The program is open to Hong Kong residents who’ve graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution

The federal government is moving forward on efforts to help citizens of Hong Kong remain in Canada rather than return home amid China’s clampdown on democracy.

One of several new immigration programs designed to give Hong Kong residents a safe haven in Canada will open for applications on Monday.

The program is open to Hong Kong residents who’ve graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree in the last five years or hold an equivalent foreign credential.

They’ll be eligible to receive a work permit for up to three years, which could in turn open up the option for them to remain in Canada permanently.

While the program is available both to people living in Hong Kong and those already in Canada, given COVID-19 travel restrictions, it’s expected the majority of those who will benefit initially are already here.

“With flexible open work permits and a fast-track to permanent residency, skilled Hong Kong residents will have a unique opportunity to develop their careers and help accelerate Canada’s economic recovery,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in a statement.

Details of the other two programs — one targeting residents with one year of work experience in Canada and the second for recent graduates coming directly from Hong Kong — are still being worked out.

All were announced last fall as demands grew for the Canadian government to do more in response to the Chinese government’s move to implement new laws and measures in Hong Kong understood as efforts to suppress the freedom of people living there.

Word that the open work permit program will open on Feb. 8 comes as the Chinese government appears to be putting pressure on Canadians in Hong Kong.

China doesn’t legally recognize dual nationality in Hong Kong, but as many as 300,000 people living there are believed to hold both Chinese and Canadian permanent residency.

Concerns are now rising that China will start enforcing the law on dual nationality more broadly which could cut Canadians off, for example, from consular access.

In recent weeks, reports have surfaced of people who hold both Chinese and Canadian passports being detained and forced to pick a nationality.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

ChinaHong KongImmigration

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed peition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

(Black Press Media file photo)
Aggressive bus passenger arrested in Saanich for uttering threats

Suspect had outstanding warrant for assault at bus stop, two assaults on BC Transit buses

(Pixabay photo)
New program to provide recovery beds for at-risk Greater Victoria youth

It will aim to meet ‘health and social’ needs of wide range of youth

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read