Hong Kong’s brain and capital exodus reached a record high in remittances to Canada last year

With the implementation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong is no longer a mecca for freedom and democracy. Many Hong Kong talents and capital are fleeing in search of better havens, and Canada has become the place of choice. The inflow of Hong Kong capital into Canada hit a record high last year, and some experts assess that there should be even more this year.

Hong Kong has changed its tune, making many Hong Kong people decide to leave that land, and based on many factors such as economic and cultural considerations, Canada has become a new place for many Hong Kong people to settle. Since they have decided to emigrate to Canada, of course, funds should be remitted along with them. According to the records of FINTRAC, Canada’s anti-money laundering agency, the inflow of funds from Hong Kong to Canada has reached a record high in the last year. According to the Bank of Canada Act, any remittance of $10,000 or more needs to be declared, so the amount of declared funds has exceeded $34.8 billion (C$43.6 billion). This record is a 46% increase over 2016 and a 10% increase over 2019. The actual amount is certainly more, as no declaration is required as long as it is less than $10,000, and there are many underground conduits to remit funds.

There are some people involved in pro-democracy protests have been frozen assets, which makes many Hong Kong people feel anxious, said Yu Haolin, an investment expert engaged in the financial services industry in Canada, not only the average ordinary citizens are worried, there is a government background of senior officials are just as busy to move money out of Hong Kong, and after the outflow of funds most like to invest in real estate and business. “Usually get overseas or mainly real estate, or the acquisition of restaurants and small businesses, etc. I own a customer he bought a restaurant in Vancouver South, his father is a government background.”

Canadian immigration consultant Wong Tin Lok said that the wave of immigrants who were worried about the return of 1997 is happening again today. Since the news of the upcoming implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong in 2019 was disclosed, many Hong Kong immigration consultation and application businesses were received. In February this year, the Canadian government launched the first step of the so-called “safe harbor” program, relaxing the application threshold for Hong Kong people to work or study in Canada, making his business even busier. It will take about four months from the Time the application is submitted to the time it is approved, and with the likely lifting of the border closure due to the Epidemic in the summer, more Hong Kong people may be seen landing in Canada by then, said Wong Tin-lok. “I do get a lot of applications from Hong Kong, whether it’s for work, immigration, studies or rejected applications in Hong Kong. Our other businesses, such as real estate, are also very busy. I think we will see a lot of new arrivals from Hong Kong in Vancouver this summer.”

File photo: Supporters in Vancouver, Canada, show solidarity with Hong Kong’s anti-Send China campaign on Sept. 29, 2019.

In the past two months alone, Wong Tin-lok said, he has helped three families and one international student successfully apply for Canadian immigration, with each Family expected to remit more than C$2 million, and he believes more money will be remitted to Canada this year.

A 17-year-old high school student named Garry, who has participated in many pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and has been arrested by police for illegal assembly and obstruction of police, arrived in Canada last year to study with the support of his family. He said he met many people with similar backgrounds to himself in Canada, and that although he left Hong Kong, people can still do something to help Hong Kong. “Even though I’m overseas, I still don’t forget my original intention, and I hope I can continue to do my part so that more people can know what’s happening in Hong Kong. I have participated in many activities in support of democracy in Hong Kong and against tyranny in China, and I have also helped with literature and publicity, and what we can’t do in Hong Kong, we help do overseas.”

Wong Tin Lok said that Canada has absorbed a group of young Hong Kong immigrants who have the same academic talent and values, and they have even brought in a large amount of money, which is also a good thing for the development of the country.