Working Holiday Program
Every year, tens of thousands of people from more than 30 countries come to work in Canada under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Hong Kong is one of the countries that has a Working Holiday Agreement with Canada, which allows Hong Kong residents with a valid passport to temporarily work in Canada and change jobs and locations once they are in the country. IEC participants from Hong Kong may be issued an open work permit valid for up to 12 months.
To qualify for this immigration pathway, applicants must:
- hold a valid passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) or have a valid British National (Overseas) passport;
- be between the ages of 18 and 30;
- have a minimum of CAN$2,500 to cover costs in Canada;
- have health insurance;
- be admissible to Canada;
- have a return ticket or demonstrate the ability to purchase a ticket at the end of the authorized stay in Canada.
Those interested in the program must first submit a profile on the government site when the registration period is open. Eligible applicants whose profile is in the pool may then be invited during one of the program's regular invitation rounds.
Other Economic Immigration Options
Residents of Hong Kong who wish to become permanent residents of Canada can choose from over 100 immigration pathways.
Express Entry is the main pathway to Canadian permanent residence. Express Entry ranks eligible applicants against each other based on human capital factors, and then invites the top-scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence.
Candidates from Hong Kong may be well positioned to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry because of their high level of education and English language skills, which are particularly valuable factors on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS gives candidates points based on their age, education, language skills, work experience as well as other factors.
The second most popular immigration pathway is the Provincial Nominee Program. The PNP allows Canada’s provinces and territories to nominate candidates who wish to immigrate to Canada and reside in a particular province.
More than 240,000 people are expected to get Canadian permanent residence through PNPs between now and 2023. Immigrant applicants with specific and sought-after skills, experience in key sectors, or previous Canadian work experience may wish to consider this option, as these factors are often the most important in determining the success of an application.
If you wish to live in Quebec, several other options are available to you. The province of Quebec is responsible for its own immigration programs, including those for skilled workers, and business people.
Spouses, partners and dependent children who are in Canada may be included in applications for permanent residence.
Business Immigration Options
Hong Kongers with funds to invest in Canada also have several options available that may speed up their immigration process to Canada. Most Canadian provinces have their own business immigration programs for entrepreneurs under which you will be able to invest and operate a business in Canada.
If you are an immigrant with the experience and skills to start a business, have an innovative idea, and are interested in building ties with the private sector in Canada, you may also consider applying under the Start-up Visa Program.