Hong Kong People's Freedom & Choice Act

H.R. 7428 | S.4229
Rep. Tom Malinowski, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Rep. John Curtis, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Dean Phillips, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Sen. Ron Wyden

HKDC is a Washington, DC-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Hong Kong's basic freedoms, the rule of law, and autonomy as promised under the "one country two systems" model and enshrined in the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

 

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The Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020 extends protection to residents of Hong Kong fleeing political persecution in the following ways:

  1. Provides Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hong Kongers: Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals and residents of certain countries experiencing problems (ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions) that make it difficult or unsafe for them to return there. TPS status would provide Hong Kong residents who are in the US at the time of the designation, to remain in the US legally and obtain work permits.

  2. Maintains Hong Kong’s status as autonomous for the purposes of immigration: For not less than 5 years from such time as the President suspends, in whole or in part, special treatment of Hong Kong under U.S. law, Hong Kong will continue to be considered a separate foreign state apart from the People’s Republic of China. The act also provides a process for registering Hong Kong residency status to facilitate future visa processing.

  3. Provides special and expedited status for certain high-skilled Hong Kongers: A strategic number of competitive visas would be made available to Hong Kong residents who have received a graduate diploma from an accredited institution, have completed undergraduate education in the United States, or are the sole or majority owners of a company with more than 50 direct employees or greater than $5 million in assets.

  4. Expedites Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR or ‘green card’) status Hong Kongers residing in the US: Similar to the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992, enacted in response to the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989, this would allow Hong Kong residents (including students) who are residing in the US during the 5 year period beginning with June 1, 2019, and have a credible fear of political persecution to apply for a “green card”.