Summary: H.R.8428 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House (12/07/2020)

Hong Kong People's Freedom and Choice Act of 2020

This bill provides for temporary protected status (TPS) and refugee status for qualifying Hong Kong residents and contains other immigration-related provisions.

Hong Kong shall be treated as a TPS-designated country for 18 months starting from this bill's enactment. (Qualifying nationals of a TPS-designated country may not be removed from the United States and shall have employment authorization while the designation is in effect.)

Furthermore, Hong Kong shall be treated as separate from China for the purposes of various numerical limitations on immigrant visas. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.)

The bill also establishes Priority Hong Kong Resident status for qualified individuals. To obtain such status, an individual must meet certain requirements, such as having resided in Hong Kong for at least ten years as of the day of this bill's enactment and not having citizenship in any jurisdiction other than China, Hong Kong, or Macau.

For the purposes of seeking refugee status or asylum, a Priority Hong Kong Resident (and certain family members of such an individual) may establish that the individual has a well-founded fear of persecution if the individual asserts such fear and (1) had a significant role in an organization that supported the 2019 or 2020 protests related to China's encroachment into Hong Kong's autonomy or the Hong Kong National Security Law enacted in 2020; or (2) was arrested, charged, detained, or convicted for participating in the nonviolent exercise of certain rights.