China’s recently announced ‘Hong Kong national security law’, which can be seen if one opts to visit their site, has made headlines across the world, with many calling it out for its overly-broad scope and infringements on privacy.
Hong Kongers and people living in HK with dual citizenship, the people most affected by the legislation, have been in a tizzy, looking for a way to move to other countries for safe haven. In particular, Canada has been a notable potential destination, with a lot of Canadian lawyers reporting an increase in immigration inquiries from Hong Kong.
Immigration consultant Ken Tin Lok Wong, Richmond law firm, says that the number of Hong Kongers looking to immigrate to Canada has gone up compared to last year, which is notable as the demonstrations were at their most active at this time period.
Wong notes that a lot of people from Hong Kong, or Canadians living there with dual citizenship, are looking to immigrate to Canada with their immediate family in response to the new Beijing Security Law. A lot of them are families with young kids, which is natural given that people want their kids to have a shot at a better future.
The new Beijing Security Law, which was put in place on June 30 by the mainland’s parliament and added to Hong Kong’s own mini-constitution, and is accessible for those who visit their site, is applicable to anyone as per the terms of the legislation, regardless of where the violation occurs or who actually commits it.
However, the Canadian immigration system is quite robust, and Wong notes that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) would take flak if they shortened the immigration queues for Hong Kongers.
That being said, other lawyers have ideas, saying that the Canadian government might provide special measures for immigrants from Hong Kong.
Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, operating in Vancouver, notes the Canadian government might be biding its time, waiting for the right opportunity to provide facilitated selection and eligibility for immigrants coming in from Hong Kong, especially for Canadian dual citizens or those with family living in the country.