July 11, 2023 marked a significant day for Hong Kong residents seeking long-term residence in Canada. Making a groundbreaking announcement from Markham, Ontario, Paul Chiang, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Markham – Unionville, declared the elimination of the education requirement under the Canadian work experience stream (Stream B) of the Hong Kong permanent residence pathways. This significant amendment, effective from August 15, 2023, opens the gateway to many more Hong Kongers with Canadian work experience to gain eligibility for permanent residence. It simplifies the application process, eliminating the need for applicants to submit proof of education.
Since 2021, Canada has been opening its doors to Hong Kongers through dedicated immigration pathways. This move is a continuation of that policy, standing by the Hong Kong residents and supporting their freedom and democracy. This newly introduced amendment works hand-in-hand with the recent extension and expansion of open work permits for Hong Kong residents, assisting in their transition from temporary to permanent residence in Canada.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, praised the changes as an “extraordinary” recognition of Hong Kong’s skilled individuals and their potential. By doing so, Canada strengthens its commitment to inclusivity and diversifying its workforce. The removal of education requirements means that more Hong Kongers can benefit from the opportunities in Canada, and Canadian businesses can fill labour gaps with experienced workers.
The change aligns with Canada’s recently released Indo-Pacific Strategy. It aims to deepen engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next decade, strengthening economic growth and resilience, enhancing significant people-to-people ties and supporting sustainable development across the region.
Until now, Canada has welcomed 3,122 permanent residents under the permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents (2,358 for Stream A and 764 for Stream B). With the newly announced changes, it is expected that these numbers will rise, contributing positively to Canada’s diverse social fabric and economic growth.