By Vancouver Sun |
Vancouver resident Calvin Wong says he can finally start picturing a future in Canada after the federal government announced it was dropping educational requirements for Hong Kongers seeking permanent residency after the Chinese city’s crackdown on dissent.
Wong, 28, had graduated from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a computer science degree in 2017 before moving to Canada on a work permit in 2021, looking for a life where he could enjoy political freedom.
But immigration pathways for Hong Kong residents that have allowed thousands to settle permanently in Canada excluded Wong because it had been more than five years since he graduated.
That will change from Aug. 15, after Ottawa announced last week it would remove all educational requirements for people with at least a year of work experience in Canada.
Immigration consultants say the move effectively opens pathways for Hong Kongers of all ages, instead of the current focus on students and recent graduates. They said they had been flooded with inquiries since the announcement.
“It’s a very great move by the Canadian government and I can eventually get permanent residence here, contribute and live in Canada safely,” said Wong, his voice breaking with emotion.
The store clerk said the chance to secure permanent residency came as a huge relief, and his decision to move to Canada was something he would never regret.
In 2021, the federal government created two immigration paths for Hong Kong residents who had either worked or studied in Canada.