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

Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf celebrated his 100th birthday on Feb 22nd. In the morning, 100 cows were placed by family on the lawn of Royal Oaks in Lacombe, and during the afternoon, a surprise party was arranged by staff and residents of Royal Oaks as well. Later that evening, a surprise virtual birthday party was held with friends and family to celebrate and honor Art.
photo submitted
Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf celebrated his 100th birthday Feb 22nd

Kempf now lives at the Royal Oak Village in Lacombe

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Board and school councils are celebrating staff during the month of February.
photo submitted
Board and school councils celebrate staff during the month of February

‘Our school staff and support staff make the success of our students happen.’

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Most Read