Canada and the UK are attracting many young talented Hongkongers after Hong Kong national security law went into effect. Together two countries have provided working visas, with the potential for permanent residency, for 126,000 Hong Kongers, mostly under the age of 40. 

Some human resources consultants are concerned that the financial hub is facing a shrinking talent pool, an aging population, and a record low fertility rate.

Mass emigration

According to a survey conducted by the organizer of the 3rd International Immigration and Home Ownership Expo in Hong Kong in June, the UK, Canada, and Australia are the three top destination spots for Hongkongers wanting to emigrate.

The United Kingdom takes the top spot, with 31%, followed by Canada with 22% and Australia with 21%. 

The CCP imposed the national security law on Hongkongers in 2021, stripping the people of their basic freedoms. Former motherland UK was then the fastest to provide Hong Kongers with special immigration channels. At the end of last January, the country launched a policy to allow Hong Kong people holding British National Overseas, or BNO passports to stay in Hong Kong. According to the UK, 19,500 Hong Kong residents applied in the first quarter this year, a 25% increase from the previous quarter. Since the program was launched more than a year ago, it has received more than 123,000 applications, with an approval rate of 92%.

Canada also provides an open work visa program for Hongkongers. The program is designed for Hong Kong people who have completed post-secondary education in the past five years to apply. 

After working for 1,560 hours, one can apply for permanent residency.

According to the South China Morning Post, Canada has issued nearly 12,500 open work permits to Hongkongers since last year. Almost a quarter of those going to those aged 25 or younger. 

Considering the number of people under 40, which is young people according to the United Nations standard, the ratio would be as high as 91.6%.

As a result, since the launch of the two programs last year and throughout the first quarter, the above data shows that a total of 126,000 Hong Kong people have received living visas in the UK and Canada. 

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