How to Immigrate From Hong Kong to Canada? - Green Light Canada - Canada Immigration Services

23 May 2022

The number of successful Hong Kong to Canada immigrants has soared recently. In 2021, over 22,500 Hongkongers successfully immigrated to Canada through permanent residency, work permits, or study permits.

This is more than a 250% increase in the number of successful immigrants from just two years earlier, showing how popular the Canada HK pathway has become.

The booming number is because Canada has created pathways to facilitate the immigration of Hongkongers to the country. Because of this, there is no better time than now to immigrate from “Asia’s World City” to “The Great White North”.

Read on to find out more about Canada Hong Kong immigration as we look at the 5 best ways to immigrate to Canada from Hong Kong.

1. Temporary Public Policy

In 2021, China imposed a national security law in Hong Kong which, many people feared, undermined rights and freedoms.

In response to the situation, the government of Canada created the Public Policy pathway to facilitate Canadian permanent residency for certain Hongkongers. However, it is for Hongkongers who are already in Canada.

Under the Public Policy pathway, you can apply for permanent residency under two streams (A and B).

  • Stream A is for in-Canada graduates. You must have graduated from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada within the last three years. Also, at least 50% of the study must be completed while physically in Canada.
  • Stream B is for those with Canadian work experience. You must have at least 1 year of full-time work experience (or part-time work equivalent to 1-year work experience) in Canada. The work experience must be obtained within the last three years. You must also have obtained a degree within the last 5 years.

Know that the Public Policy pathway is a “temporary” measure. It will be in effect only up till August 31, 2026 but can still be a great option for those immigrating to Canada from Hong Kong.

temporary public policy

2. Open Work Permits

The Open Work Permit is another pathway created specifically for an HK to Canada visa. This facilitates the immigration of recent Hong Kong graduates to Canada to work.

To be eligible for the Canada work permit Hong Kong, your credential must be obtained within 5 years of applying for the permit. For education completed outside Canada, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). This assessment is to confirm that your education is equivalent to Canadian standards.

The open work permit is valid for up to three years. You can apply for the Open Work Permit even when outside Canada (that is, when in Hong Kong). This is one reason why it is better for first-time immigrants over the Temporary Public Policy that requires you to already be in Canada.

3. International Experience Canada (IEC) Program

The IEC program is a Canada-Hong Kong pathway for youths to easily immigrate to Canada for temporary work.

There are actually three IEC programs: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-Op. However, Hongkongers are eligible for only the Working Holiday program.

The Working Holiday allows you to work temporarily in different places in Canada for up to 12 months. One of the best things about this immigration pathway is that though it is work-based, it does not require you to already have a Canadian job offer.

This pathway is made for the youths. You must be between 18 and 30 years of age to be eligible for this type of Canada Hong Kong immigration.

experience canada program

4. Study Permit

This is another great HK pathway Canada offers study permits for those wanting an education in the country. One of the easiest and quickest ways to immigrate from Hong Kong to Canada is through a study permit. The Study Permit allows foreign nationals to go to Canada to study at a designated learning institution (DLI).

You’ll need to apply to

The length of your study determines how long your Study Permit will be. After your study, you’ll be expected to return to Hong Kong.

The study permit is a popular immigration pathway for Hongkongers for many reasons including:

  • It allows you to get a Canadian education which weighs heavily in your favor when seeking a Canadian job or applying for permanent residency
  • It is an easier path to working in Canada. After your studies, you can apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This extends your stay in Canada but also changes your status from a student to a worker.
  • It is an easier path to permanent residency. A study permit takes you to Canada and gives you Canadian education. Interestingly, these are two things you need to apply for permanent residency under the Temporary Public Policy pathway created for Hongkongers.

There are two things that’ll weigh heavily in your favor when applying for permanent residency in the generic Express Entry programs and give you a better opportunity for Canada immigration Hong Kong.

5. Express Entry

This immigration program does exactly as its name suggests, provides an express route to entering Canada. It does even more than simply allow you to enter Canada, it allows you to reside and work in Canada permanently.

It is arguably the most popular Canada visa Hong Kong immigration program as it is open to immigrants from different countries.

Express Entry is designed for skilled workers. There are three Express Entry programs.

  • Canadian Experience Class. This is for skilled workers who have at least 1-year Canadian work experience, gained in the 3 years before applying
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program. This is for skilled workers with foreign work experience.  You must have at least 1-year work experience in Hong Kong.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program. This is for skilled workers who may not have college degrees but are qualified in a skilled trade. You must have at least 2 years of work experience in the skilled trade, gained within the 5 years before applying

The Express Entry programs are very competitive. Candidates are entered into a pool where they are ranked using a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates with the highest CRS scores are then invited to apply for permanent residency.

The comprehensive ranking system assesses your skills, education, work experience, language ability, and Canadian connection. So, some ways to boost your CRS score and improve your chances of receiving an ITA (Invitation To Apply for permanent residency) include:

  • Get a higher education
  • Score higher in the language proficiency tests
  • Get a Canadian education
  • Get a Canadian job offer

express entry

Final Thoughts

There has never been a better time for immigrating from Hong Kong to Canada. There are the popular Express Entry programs for permanent residency, as well as the Study Permit and the Working Holiday program.

In addition to these, there are programs designed specifically to facilitate Hongkongers’ immigration to Canada. There’s the Temporary Public Policy for gaining permanent residency, and there’s the Open Work Permit.

Take the assessment test on our website Assessment Forms to find out what immigration program will be best for you and contact us here to help you with the application process.

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