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IRCC Implements Easier Pathway to Immigration for Hong Kong Residents

By cvf, 08/23/2023


Starting from August 15, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made it possible for Hong Kong residents to apply for permanent residence to Canada under Stream B (Canada work experience) without needing post-secondary education to be deemed eligible. 

Although the change was just made last week, news regarding its impending implementation was first released in July of this year, when former Immigration Minister Sean Fraser acknowledged the talent potential held by the Hong Kong skilled worker population. 

“In recognizing the extraordinary skills and potential of Hong Kong’s talented individuals, Canada has taken a significant step toward fostering inclusivity and embracing the spirit of opportunity,” said Fraser.

“Removing the education requirement under Stream B [from August 15] is a win-win situation: it means that we can welcome more Hong Kongers to Canada who need our support, while simultaneously helping Canadian businesses fill labour gaps with workers who already have work experience here.”

This move is one of many extensions of solidarity by Canada since the crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong by the Chinese government in 2021, resultant to which IRCC introduced two new designated immigration pathways for Hong Kongers – namely Streams A (for in-Canada graduates) and B (for individuals with Canada work experience) – under a temporary public policy until August 31, 2026. 


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According to Paul Chiang, parliamentary secretary to Canada’s minister of housing and diversity and inclusion, the move from last Tuesday is a way for Canada to recognize that formal education credentials are not the sole definition of what counts as “true talent” and “valuable expertise.”

He further built upon this line of thought by saying that removing the education requirement under the Work Experience Stream B for the Hong Kong permanent residence pathway ensures that “qualifications do not become a barrier to those who possess valuable experience and expertise. This change sends a powerful message of welcome and encouragement, reinforcing our commitment to building a diverse and prosperous nation.”

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy – which is looking to further deepen Canadian engagement with the region in question over the next decade – helps in large part to explain Canada’s welcoming immigration strategy towards Hong Kong, which includes measures such as the eased permanent residence application and the extension and expansion of open work permits till February 7, 2025. 

Moreover, Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution who have fled to another country may also be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, including the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program. 

Who is Eligible to Apply for the Two Permanent Residence Pathways for Hong Kong Residents?

Stream A: In-Canada graduates

To be eligible, candidates must:

  • hold a valid passport issued by either the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China or the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
  • be physically present in Canada when they apply and when they get permanent residence
  • have valid temporary resident status in Canada
  • intend to live in Canada, in any province or territory other than Quebec
  • have a level 5 score in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English or French on one of the following:
    • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)
    • Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)
  • have graduated from a post-secondary Canadian designated learning institution in the 3 years before they apply with at least 50% of their program completed in Canada (either in person or online), and with one of the following:
    • a diploma (not graduate or postgraduate) for a program of at least 2 years
    • a degree (associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral)
    • a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate for a program of at least one year and

If candidates have a graduate or post-graduate diploma or certificate, they must also have completed a post-secondary diploma or degree from Canada or from abroad, as a prerequisite to this graduate or post-graduate program.

They must have completed this prerequisite diploma or degree in the 5 years before they started their graduate or post-graduate program.


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Stream B: Canadian work experience

To be eligible for this stream, candidates must

  • hold a valid passport issued by either the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China or the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas) as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
  • be physically present in Canada when they apply and when they get permanent residence
  • have valid temporary resident status in Canada
  • intend to live in Canada, in any province or territory other than Quebec
  • have a level 5 score in all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) in English or French on one of the following scales:
    • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)
    • Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)
  • have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full-time, or an equal amount of part-time hours in the 3 years before they apply.

Candidates can not include any hours of work that they spent

  • As a full-time student
  • self-employed
  • working outside Canada
  • on leave from their job (medical, parental or similar)
  • on an extended absence outside of Canada
  • unemployed

For receiving permanent residence, candidates must intend to live in any Canadian province or territory outside Quebec. Hong Kong residents in Quebec can consult the ministere de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Integration to learn more about immigration pathways available to them. 

Cumulatively under Streams A and B, Canada has welcomed 3,122 permanent residents as of April 30, 2023 (2,358 under Stream A and 764 under B). 


Are you ready to live and work in Canada? Fill out our free evaluation form to find out if you are eligible.

Become the right candidate with the job you always wanted with our online IELTS and EECP packages at skilledworker.com.


The post IRCC Implements Easier Pathway to Immigration for Hong Kong Residents appeared first on Canada Immigration and Visa Information. Canadian Immigration Services and Free Online Evaluation..

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