IRCC introduces new temporary policy for PR applicants from Hong Kong

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: May 9, 2024

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a new temporary policy to help permanent residence (PR) applicants from Hong Kong to remain in Canada while they wait for a decision on their application.

This temporary policy is a response to a high volume of applications for the initial temporary public policy for Hong Kong residents, introduced in 2021. In that year, IRCC created two new paths for residents of Hong Kong who have worked or studied in Canada to receive Canadian PR in response to the geopolitical situation between China and Hong Kong.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

What is the new policy?

Starting from May 27th, 2024, residents of Hong Kong who have applied for PR under IRCC’s special 2021 pathway will now be able to extend their status, and apply for an open work permit (OWP)—so they can remain in Canada and work while their application is being processed.

This new policy will specifically aid those who both:

  • Applied under Stream A (in-Canada graduates) or Stream B (Canadian work experience) of the 2021 policy; and
  • Held a work or study permit in the three years before their application for permanent residence was received.

This new public policy will be in place for five years, allowing applicants for PR to remain in Canada during the processing of their applications.

IRCC notes that those with temporary status in Canada (work/study permit)—or their guardians—are responsible for monitoring and applying to renew their status as needed. Individuals on a work or study permit in Canada, who apply to extend the validity of their document before it expires, continue to have legal status in Canada (even while their renewal application is being processed) due to a legal standard called “maintained status”.

The department further warns that any individuals who have lost status in Canada within the 90 days before they apply for an open work permit under the new policy, may apply for the OWP and to restore their status at the same time. However, if an individual has been out of status for more than 90 days before submitting an application under this new policy, their application will not be considered.

Context on the temporary policy for Hong Kong residents

Canada and Hong Kong have shared diplomatic relations since 1923. In fact, Hong Kong is one of the largest sources of new immigrants to Canada every year. According to 2021 data, over 200,000 newcomers in Canada cited Hong Kong as their place of birth.

On June 30th, 2020, China imposed a national security law in Hong Kong, criminalising “secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces” while providing broad definitions for these crimes.

In response to these changes, (which the Canadian government feared could lead to undermined rights and freedoms, and potentially discriminatory or arbitrary enforcement of the law), Canada put into place several facilitative measures to help Hong Kong residents come to Canada.

Canada’s continued commitment to the people of Hong Kong is outlined in the government’s Info-Pacific Strategy.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Canada announces measures to help individuals impacted by the ongoing crises in Haiti
A closeup of two people holding hands, with a field in the background.
British Columbia and Manitoba issue provincial nominations in latest PNP results
A closeup of a person kayaking through a lake in Manitoba.
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced legislation to update Canada's citizenship laws.
IRCC now accepting community applications for two new pilot programs
Rural and Francophone communities can now apply to participate in new pilot programs.
Top Stories
Canada announces measures to help individuals impacted by the ongoing crises in Haiti
British Columbia and Manitoba issue provincial nominations in latest PNP results
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Citizenship
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced legislation to update Canada's citizenship laws.
Canada celebrates Citizenship Week 2024
Canada is marking its annual citizenship week.
Canada processing proof of citizenship applications faster than pre-pandemic standards
A father and son at a Canada day parade, surrounded by Canadian flags
Study: Fewer recent immigrants are seeking Canadian citizenship
Young family with children having fun in nature on a picnic
Link copied to clipboard