Canada has granted asylum status to 14 Hongkongers involved in the anti-extradition bill protest in 2019, an activist group says.
As political refugees, they will be able to apply for permanent residency immediately, the Vancouver-based New Hong Kong Cultural Club Canada said Wednesday .
The group added that it has assisted over 40 Hong Kong activists who had fled to Canada in the wake of the protests.
Aside for those who had been granted asylum, nearly 30 of the 40 have been deemed eligible refugee claimants. They have access to welfare including health services, emergency housing and legal aid while awaiting a decision on their asylum claim, according to the Canadian government.
Last October, Canadian media reported that the government had approved the application of a Hong Kong couple in their 30s. The man told The Globe and Mail that he was a frontline protester and also ran a warehouse to supply demonstrators with protest gear. His wife also marched in street rallies.
The couple were also assisted by the same activist group, and are believed to be among the 14 who were awarded asylum.
In November, Canada announced a range of measures to support Hongkongers looking to move to the country, including a new work visa scheme targeted at Hong Kong students and their dependents to eventually allow for a path to citizenship.