Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today Canada will prioritize immigration applications for Ukrainians looking to flee Russia’s invasion.
Trudeau made the comments at a news conference in Ottawa, hours after he condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, calling it “unprovoked” and a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Trudeau reiterated that the federal government is standing with Canadians and permanent residents in Ukraine, adding that their safety and security are now the “top priority.”
“We also want to make sure that you can get to safety. We’ve arranged for safe passage for you and your families at the land borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova,” Trudeau added.
“We are urgently issuing travel documents for affected Canadians permanent residents and their immediate family members. We’re also prioritizing immigration applications for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada and to ensure we can serve people as quickly as possible.”
Trudeau also announced the launch of a new dedicated phone line for anyone at home or abroad with urgent Ukraine related immigration questions.
“Canadians in Ukraine should shelter in place unless they’re able to leave the country safely,” added Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Canada has also updated its travel advisory for Ukraine, urging Canadians to avoid all travel to the country due to the armed conflict with Russia.
The federal government says there are approximately 1.3 million Ukrainian Canadians in the country.