但是，我們留意到政策只放寬開放式工簽(OWP)的政策安排，而未有相應調整救生艇政策細節，Stream B的永久居民申請條件依舊為過去5年之大專畢業生。加拿大移民部應該在其網頁，向公眾明確指出現階段只是放寬了開放式工簽(OWP)，而Stream B之條件是否變更依然有待公佈，亦應列出更多其他永久居民申請途徑的資訊。
Canada-Hong Kong Link, Vancouver Society for Support of Democratic Movement, Saskatchewan Stands with Hong Kong and Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society welcome Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC) Sean Fraser’s announcement extending and expanding the open work permit (OWP) program for eligible Hongkongers. The program deadline is now extended to 7th February, 2025 and its eligibility expanded to include Hong Kong residents who have graduated within the past 10 years from a post-secondary institution. This policy revision is a recognition and direct response toward the advocacy effort of Hong Kong Canadian organizations urging Canadian government to provide protection to Hongkongers seeking refuge in Canada. We believe the extension and expansion of Open Work Permit policy will help to attract and facilitate more Hongkongers to apply for immigration to Canada. Hongkongers who share the same core values as Canadians will bring in skill sets and international experience required for the economic and development of social fabric.
However, we notice that the policy revision only expands the eligibility requirements in the OWP program, while the Stream B (Canadian work experience) of the permanent resident (PR) pathway for Hongkongers is still only eligible to graduates within the past 5 years. IRCC should clarify on its website 1) this difference in eligibility of the OWP program and Stream B PR pathway, 2) whether revision of the eligibility of stream B will be further announced later, and 3) that there are other regular PR application pathways.
We and our Hong Kong Canadian allies have been advocating for IRCC to provide and revise policies that support Hongkongers and their immigration to Canada. In the past three years, we have been tirelessly meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, as well as over 80 parliamentarians to advocate for policies toward Hong Kong. We will continue our communication with policy makers, voicing the concerns of Hongkonger immigrants on various issues. We hope that IRCC will soon review the Lifeboat program as a whole, synchronize the eligibility of Stream B permanent resident pathway with the new eligibility of the OWP program, and consider a continuation of the Lifeboat Program beyond 2026.
January 24, 2023
The Honourable Melanie Joly, M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
The Honourable Sean Fraser, M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
365 Laurier Avenue W.
We, the undersigned, jointly write to urge the Government of Canada to extend a vital lifeline for the people of Hong Kong, specifically, the issuance of open work permits for Hong Kong recent graduates, which will soon end on February 7, 2023. This special program for Hong Kong residents significantly attracts and facilitates young Hongkongers to work in Canada and then go through the permanent residence pathway for Hong Kong residents Stream B (Canadian Work Experience).
The Beijing Government has betrayed the promises made to Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which is an international treaty endorsed by Canada and our allies. “One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong is dead. Following China’s imposition of a draconian national security law in Hong Kong, freedoms, rule of law, democracy and human rights have been severely eroded. Political opposition and civil society organizations have been dismantled. There are now over 1000 political prisoners. Hong Kong is no different from a Mainland Chinese city, where the one-party totalitarian rule, terrors and suppression overwhelm the people. Hong Kong is no longer a safe place to live for those who uphold the core values of freedom, rule of law, and democracy.
Canada has always been a country of compassion, offering safety and refuge to those facing persecution and injustice. Since the launch of the Open Work Permit for Hong Kong people on February 8, 2021, many highly educated Hong Kong youths have come to Canada. They embrace the same values as Canada. Their human capital and international experience significantly contribute to Canada’s economic, social and cultural fabric.
We therefore urge our Government to extend the Open Work Permit program to align with the permanent residence pathway for Hong Kong residents Stream B (Canadian Work Experience). Furthermore, we urge our Government to consider a continuation of the above-mentioned policies beyond 2026 and a relaxation of conditions of the policies, in order to attract more Hongkongers to join our Canadian society.
We believe Canada’s positive response will demonstrate its solidarity with other like-minded allies, and its robust support for and defence of democratic values.
We look forward to having a meeting with you and your designated staff at your earliest convenience to discuss this important issue.
Gloria Fung, President, Canada-Hong Kong Link
Mabel Tung, Chairperson, Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
Henry Chan, Co-diretcor, Saskatewan Stands with Hong Kong
Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society
Ms. Salma Zahid, M.P., Chair of Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Mr. Brad Redekopp, M.P., Deputy Chair of Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Mr. Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, M.P., Deputy Chair of Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Ms. Jenny Kwan, M.P., NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Mr. Tom Kmiec, M.P., Conservative Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Ms. Olga Radchenko, Chief of Staff, Immigration Minister's office
Mr. Michael Chong, M.P., Conservative Critic for Foreign Affairs
Ms. Heather McPherson, M.P., NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Stehpane Bergeron, M.P., Bloc Quebecois Critic for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Greg McLean, M.P., Chair of Canada-Hong Kong Parliamentary Friendship Group
Ms. Elizabeth May, M.P. Leader, Green Party of Canada