Immigration out of Hong Kong continues to rise, with more than 113,000 residents leaving Hong Kong in 2022. This mass exodus follows trends from the last several years, and far surpasses Hong Kong’s previous largest population decrease—the 2021 departure of some 90,000 residents, which at the time marked the largest emigration in Hong Kong history since the government began keeping track of population statistics in 1961.
Several countries have responded to this exodus by adopting immigration policies meant to attract fleeing Hong Kongers. Canada’s government has rolled out more than 33,000 work and study permits for Hong Kongers and granted more than 1,700 Hong Kongers permanent residency status under a new immigration scheme. This follows the United Kingdom’s expansion of the British National (Overseas) passport scheme for Hong Kongers born on or after July 1, 1997.
The increasing emigration numbers from Hong Kong demonstrate the need for more countries to offer humanitarian pathways for Hong Kongers. In particular, the United States can benefit from adopting a skilled immigration scheme along the lines of the new Hong Kong-related immigration policy introduced by the Canadian government, or by re-introducing and passing the proposed immigration schemes outlined in previous drafts of U.S. legislation (among them the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act and its related provision in the USA COMPETES Act).