Canada was one of the first countries to respond to Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. To support Ukrainian citizens from Russia’s reckless and dangerous acts, the Government of Canada introduced special measures from the first days of Russian aggression.

Canada prioritizes applications of Ukrainian citizens

Starting from February 24, 2022, the Government of Canada prioritizes applications of immediate family members of Ukrainian-Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The Government also began to process travel documents, including issuing single-journey travel documents for Canadian citizens’ and permanent residents’ immediate family members who do not have valid passports so they can travel to Canada at any time. The temporary public policy that allows temporary residents in Canada, including Ukrainians, to apply for a work permit has also been extended to help Ukrainian nationals to stay in Canada while their work permit application is processed.

Currently, the Canadian Government ensures that Ukrainian citizens residing in Canada can extend their stay by prioritizing the renewal of work and study permits for Ukrainian visitors, workers, and students who cannot go home. Fees for travel and immigration documents such as permanent resident travel documents, visitor visas, and work and study permits have been waived to allow more Ukrainian citizens to apply to come to Canada. Despite the unfortunate situation, Ottawa will maintain security screening and biometrics requirements for Ukrainian applications.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress help the Government of Canada to work on the issues of Ukrainian nationals

The Canadian Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, met with members of the Ukrainian community on the webinar organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) to discuss Canada’s response to the issue. To fasten Citizenship, Permanent Residence, and Temporary Residence applications of Ukrainian nationals Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has allocated additional staff and installed extra resources in offices in Poland, Austria, and Romania to process a large number of applications.

Canada launched new immigration pathways for Ukrainian citizens

On March 3, 2022, the Canadian Government introduced new immigration streams for Ukrainian citizens who want to come to Canada either temporarily or permanently. For Ukrainians who fled their country and now want to temporarily come to Canada, IRCC will prepare a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel. Under this pathway, an unlimited number of Ukrainians can travel to Canada easily, eliminating many of the normal visa requirements. The new pathway will be open for applications in two weeks. All Ukrainian citizens applying through this pathway will be able to stay in Canada for at least 2 years.

In the coming weeks, Canada will also introduce a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to allow Ukrainians to start a new life in Canada. Under this pathway, Ukrainian-Canadian citizens will be able to sponsor their family members to get permanent residency in Canada. Working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Government will announce the details of this pathway in the coming weeks.

Canada supports Ukraine and Ukrainians and actively works to welcome more Ukrainians to Canada. As of February 28, 2022, 4,000 applications of Ukrainian citizens have been approved by the Government of Canada. Ukrainians can make their immigration enquiries via the dedicated service channel. Ukrainian citizens living both in Canada and abroad can make their enquiries at 613-321-4243. Sending an email inquiry, they can add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to prioritize their emails.