Canada more popular than UK by Hong Kong students
Hong Kong protesters called on G20 countries to confront China over the giant's slippery freedoms during a protest in 2019.
As China's control over Hong Kong is growing, thousands of Hong Kong students choose Canada rather than countries like the UK or Australia to continue their studies.
After the introduction of a bill to facilitate extraditions to China, pro-democracy protests, led largely by students, had multiplied in Hong Kong.
After the law was passed, Ottawa opened pathways to permanent residency in 2021 for Hong Kongers who graduate from a post-secondary program designated Canadian. This program expires in 2026.
According to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Ottawa approved 7,920 student permits in 2022. In 2021, the department accepted 6,300 applications, twice as many as the number accepted in the years preceding the crackdown on protests in Hong Kong.
In England, data shows that approximately 5,000 study permits were granted between January and September 2022. Over 2,000 permits were also issued in Australia from January to October.
According to Ken Tung, president of the Civic Education Society in British Columbia, Hong Kongers mostly choose to settle in the Greater Vancouver and Toronto area. According to him, the federal program attracts all kinds of people of different ages who want to deepen their knowledge.
“In Hong Kong, freedom, democracy and the justice system are crumbling.
—Ken Tung, President of Civic Education Society, BC
With information from Jon Hernandez