Hong Kong citizens are fleeing the country in increasing numbers as parents choose to raise their children overseas in countries with superior education systems. According to a recent NY Times article, the 2 year exodus of Hong Kong citizens due to a political crackdown and national security law imposed by China is continuing to grow, and 30% of primary schools have seen more than 20 students withdraw – with 50% of those students moving overseas.

Canada is offering special visas to welcome Hong Kong citizens who are fleeing the new security laws and want a better education and life for their children.

The changes have perhaps been most obvious at Hong Kong’s most-prestigious educational institutions, as families with the means to leave have rushed to do so.

– NY Times

Canada’s Educational System

Education is a high priority for the Canadian government. Canada offers one of the highest-ranked educational systems in the world.

  • Children attend kindergarten at the age of four or five by choice.
  • School becomes mandatory at grade one, around six years old.
  • Schools go up to either grade 11 or 12, generally until the age of 16 years old, depending on the province
  • Canada has an excellent higher education system with universities that are internationally highly ranked and rated.
  • Basic public education is free for residents of Canada until the 11th or 12th grade, depending on the province.
  • International students have to pay the full school fees.

Waived Fees, Expedited Work Permits and Study Permits Encourage Hong Kong Citizens To Move To Canada

Canada’s government has initiated new programs to encourage Hong Kong Citizens to move to Canada.

New Pathways for Hong Kong Youth

  • Expedited Processing of Work and Study Permits
    Minister Mendicino announced that after their studies are completed, Hong Kong students studying in Canada will have a new dedicated pathway to permanent residence.
  • Open Work Permit
    A new open work permit valid for up to three years, to allow eligible Hong Kong residents in Canada or abroad who have completed post-secondary studies in the past 5 years to apply for an open work permit.
  • 2 New Pathways To Permanent Residence
    New pathways to permanent resident status for in-Canada Hong Kong residents who meet specific eligibility criteria will be available in 2021.
    • One pathway’s criteria will include minimum language and education levels and 1 year of work experience in Canada.
    • The second new pathway to permanent residence will be available for Hong Kong residents in Canada who graduated from a Canadian post-secondary educational institution.

New Measures for Canadian Permanent Residents in Hong Kong and Hong Kong Residents In Canada

  • Waived Fees
    Hong Kong residents already in Canada can extend their stay without paying application processing fees. Processing fees are being temporarily waived for Hong Kong residents in Canada on a temporary basis who apply to renew their status to extend their stay.
  • Expedited Processing
    Canada will speed up the processing of permanent residence applications, including family sponsorship and study and work permits.
    • IRCC will promote super visas for parents and grandparents. This will allow them to come to Canada multiple times over a 10 year period for up to two years at a time.

Learn More

Are You A Hong Kong Citizen Who Wants to Become a Canada Permanent Resident?

At Ackah Business Immigration Law, our goal is to make Crossing Borders Seamlessly a reality and to smooth your way to new opportunities in Canada.

Evelyn L. Ackah is the founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law and has practiced immigration law for over 20 years. Ackah Law is headquartered in Calgary with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.