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Canada PR Pathways for Hong Kong Citizens

Hong Kong residents in Canada have two main paths to permanent residency. We’ve covered much of what you need to know in this article.

To find out more about the Permanent Residency programs and get help with your application process, call us on 0333 305 9375. We’re available to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

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    Canada PR and Immigration for Hong Kong Residents

    In the last three years, there has been a rise in Hong Kong immigration to Canada. This is primarily due to the Canadian government’s immigration programs for the many Hong Kong residents fleeing China’s anti-democratic policies.

    Amongst the many Canadian immigration options, the Canadian government unveiled a new policy to help Hong Kong nationals in Canada become Canadian permanent residents In June 2021. The policy has two streams.

    Stream A provides permanent residency to Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary DLI (Designated Learning Institute) in Canada.

    Stream B provides PR to Hong Kongers who have post-secondary education and have worked in Canada for at least one year.

    The policy is effective from 1st June 2021 through 1st August 2026.

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    Stream A Eligibility Criteria

    The stream A permanent residence program targets Hong Kongers who graduated from Canada’s DLI. To be eligible for stream A, you must:

    • Have a valid Hong Kong Passport issued by either the United Kingdom or the People’s Republic of China
    • Be present in Canada at the time of your application and when your permanent resident status is issued.
    • Have a valid temporary residence status
    • Show proof of your intention to settle in any Canadian province apart from Quebec
    • Have completed your post-secondary studies in a DLI within Canada not more than three years before your application. You must have graduated with:
    • A diploma from a program of not less than two years, or
    • A university degree: Bachelors, Masters, or PhD, or
    • A post-graduate or graduate diploma or certificate from any program of at least one year

    If you’re using a graduate or post-graduate diploma, you must have first completed a post-secondary program (diploma or degree) in Canada or Hong Kong. The prerequisite degree must have been completed at most five years before your graduate or post-graduate studies.

    Stream B Eligibility Criteria

    The second pathway is through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. It targets Hong Kong residents with work experience in Canada. To be eligible, you must:

    • Have a valid Hong Kong Passport issued by either the United Kingdom or the People’s Republic of China
    • Be present in Canada at the time of your application and when your permanent resident status is issued.
    • Have a valid temporary residence
    • Show proof of your intention to settle in any Canadian province apart from Quebec
    • Have worked full-time in Canada for at least 12 months or the equivalent of part-time hours in the three years before your application.
    • Hold a bachelor’s degree, master’s, doctorate, or graduate/post-graduate diploma from Canada’s designated learning institute. If your education was not in Canada, you must have a foreign national certification equivalent to any of these.

    Canada designed an Open Work Permit for Hong Kong Graduates to enable Hong Kongers seeking PR status to meet the Canadian work experience eligibility criteria. This open work permit allows Hong Kong residents to work at any job for their choice of employer. They can now apply for the stream B immigration pathway after gaining the required 1-year work experience. The permit stays valid for three years.

    To be eligible for the open work permit, you must have a university degree or a diploma from a post-secondary institution in a program of at least two years. You must have obtained your certification within the last five years.

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    Language Requirements

    Asides from education and work requirements, eligible applicants must also meet the language requirements to qualify for any of the streams. You must have completed the Canadian Language Benchmark test with a proficiency level of at least 5 in the four skills within the last two years.

    If French is your primary language, you must complete the Niveaux de Competence de Linguistiques Canadien and score at least 5.

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      Proof of Work Experience Requirements

      Hong Kong residents applying through the work experience stream (stream B) must provide proof of work for all the jobs listed on their application. To prove your work experience, you should provide:

      • A letter of introduction from your employer on the company letterhead. The letter should include:
      • Your name
      • Role(s) you worked in
      • The date and duration of your employment
      • Total number of work hours per week
      • Annual salary and benefits received
      • Company contact address – address, email, and phone number
      • Name, title, and signature of your supervisor or human resources manager
      • Copies of employment records
      • Copies of bank statements showing payment of salaries
      • Copy of T4 tax information slip and Canada Revenue Agency’s notices of assessment
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      Proof of Education Requirements

      Stream A Education Requirements

      When applying for Stream A, Hong Kong residents must provide the following documents to prove they have the required educational qualification.

      • A copy of a degree or diploma certificate.
      • A copy of final post-secondary education transcripts.

      The information on these documents must show that you graduated from a Canadian DLI within the three years before your application.

      If you have a degree, diploma, or certification from a graduate or post-graduate program, you’ll also need to include the following:

      • Proof that you had a degree or post-secondary certificate as a prerequisite for the program. You can prove this by bringing the following:
      • A letter from your school that lists its entry prerequisites.
      • A copy of the website showing a list of the prerequisites.
      • A copy of your final transcripts from your degree or post-secondary studies showing that you completed your post-secondary education at most five years before starting your graduate or post-graduate program.

      Stream B Education Requirements

      The educational requirements for the Canadian work experience program (Stream B) are much the same as those of stream A. The major difference is that the work experience pathway is also open for those educated outside Canada, in Hong Kong, or elsewhere abroad.

      You must get an educational credential assessment if you fall into this category. This assessment proves that your certificate or degree is equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree.

      How Do I Apply For Permanent Residency?

      Applying for permanent residence for Hong Kong residents in Canada is a step-by-step process. You should apply online via the Canada Post ePost Connect.

      Below are the steps for applying for permanent resident status.

      Step 1: Send an Email to IRCC

      The first step in your PR application process is sending an email to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at [email protected].

      You should use “Request to Apply for the Permanent Residence Hong Kong Pathways: (Passport number or Unique Client Identification (UCI)) as the subject of the mail.

      The body of the mail must include the following:

      • Your name
      • Preferred email for correspondence with IRCC, and
      • Your passport number or UCI

      No additional information is necessary for the email. You’ll receive an automated response within an hour of sending the email confirming that IRCC has received your email.

      Step 2: Create Your Canadian Post Account

      After receiving the IRCC auto-response email, you’ll typically receive a mail from Canadian Post within five working days requesting that you create a Canadian post account.

      The email will carry a guideline on how to set up the account.

      Step 3: Complete Your Application

      Once you’ve set up your Canadian Post account. It’s time to start filling out the necessary forms. These forms include:

      • IMM 0008 – Generic Application Form for Canada form
      • IMM 5669 – Schedule A – Background/Declaration form
      • IMM 5406 – Additional Family Information form
      • IMM 008 DEP – Additional Dependants/Declaration (if applicable) form
      • IMM 5562 – Your Travels form
      • IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative (if applicable) form
      • IMM 135 – Schedule 7A (for stream A applicants only)
      • IMM 136 – Schedule 7B (for stream B applicants only)

      Also, fill out the IMM 0134 (document checklist) form to ensure you’ve uploaded all necessary supporting documents.

      Step 4: Pay Your Fees

      After filling out all the forms, pay the application fee online.

      Step 5: Submit Your Application

      Upload completed forms and supporting documents to your Canadian Post account and submit your application.

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        Documents Needed For Permanent Residency Application

        You are to submit the following supporting documents along with your PR application:

        • A valid passport or travel document issued by the People’s Republic of China or the UK.
        • Proof of current presence in Canada (e.g., utility bills or a rental agreement)
        • Proof of language proficiency
        • Proof of educational qualification
        • Evidence of intention to settle outside Quebec
        • Proof of required work experience (for stream B applicants)
        • Civil status documents for you and your common-law partner or spouse such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, change of name or date of birth documents (if applicable)
        • Information of dependent children, including birth certificates, adoption papers, or custody papers for children from previous marriage(s).
        • Police clearance certificate
        • Two photographs of every family member included in the application.
        • Fee payment receipt

        If you do not submit any required documents or you do not pay the necessary fees, your application can be rejected and returned.

        Canada PR Processing Cost and Time

        An application costs CAD$570. Adding the CAD$515 right of residence fee will give a total cost of CAD$1085. Each dependent child costs $155. If your spouse is included, you’ll also be required th application cost of CAD$1085.

        You might also be required to pay CAD$85 for biometric capturing.

        Generally, it takes around six months for this type of permanent residence application to be processed.

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        After Submitting My Application, What Next?

        After submitting your application, the IRCC will check to ensure you submitted complete documents and met the eligibility criteria. Your application may be delayed for any of the following reasons:

        • Your family situation is unclear (such as unresolved divorce or child custody issues):
        • If the processing office needs to contact other IRCC offices or Canada immigration outfits to confirm the information you supplied or need further information
        • If you’ve been involved in matters of criminal or security concerns

        You might be called upon for more information or biometric capturing if the information you provided is sufficient. You and your family might also be asked to undergo a medical examination.

        If you pass, you’ll receive a confirmation of permanent residence document, confirming your Canadian permanent resident status. IRCC will verify your mailing address and send you your permanent resident card.

        Once you’ve obtained a permanent resident status, you can pursue Canadian citizenship at the right time.

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        How Can IAS Help?

        The Hong Kong immigration policy offers Hong Kong residents the best opportunity to become permanent residents and Canadian citizens eventually. It is, however, not easy to follow through the application process.

        IAS immigration lawyers are always available to help you with this process. Our immigration lawyers are highly trained and experienced in Canadian immigration laws. We’ll help you ensure your application for PR is seamless, ensure no document is left out, and follow up with IRCC for timely application processing.

        Call us on 0333 305 9375; we can assist you immediately in person, over the phone, or online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Educational Credential Assessment. It assesses the educational credentials of foreign nationals pursuing Canadian permanent residence to ensure their credentials are equal to Canadian post-secondary certifications.

                    You can get an ECA from designated centres, such as the International Credential Association of Canada. Remember to gather all the documents needed for the evaluation and ask your school for multiple copies of your transcripts.

                    Quebec has a separate immigration program. The immigration programs championed by the Canadian government cover all provinces of Canada except Quebec.