Ukrainians fleeing the war can now apply for temporary residence in Canada.
Sean Fraser, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, announced the launch of the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) on Thursday.
“We stand with Ukraine, and will offer safe harbour for those who want to come to Canada,” tweeted Fraser.
We stand with Ukraine, and will offer safe harbour for those who want to come to Canada.
For more information on how to apply this new immigration pathway ➡️ https://t.co/jZERaRmXQe
To access the Jobs for Ukraine Job Bank ➡️ https://t.co/yHOx7esg8G
— Sean Fraser (@SeanFraserMP) March 17, 2022
The new program allows Ukrainians and their immediate family members of any nationality to stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to three years, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Essentially, it’ll fast-track their pathway to temporary residency by waiving the regular requirements needed to apply for a visitor visa or work permit. The IRCC says it is also waiving all application fees for this program.
Ukrainians who are already in Canada can apply to extend their visitor status, work or study permit for three years, with fees waived.
Here’s how Ukrainians can apply
- Apply here for a Canadian visitor visa
- Provide your biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) to any visa application centre (VAC) outside of Ukraine. VACs are open in Moldova, Romania, Austria, Poland and numerous European countries, according to the IRCC
- The CUAET will process the visa applications within 14 days of receiving a completed application
- All applicants will undergo standard background checks and careful screening
- Applicants who don’t have a valid passport can still apply. The IRCC will issue a single journey travel document on a case-by-case basis
The Canadian government encourages applicants to apply for a three-year open work permit alongside their visa application. This will allow them to work in Canada.
Elementary and high school students can register for and start attending school as soon as they arrive in Canada. Anyone looking to study at a university or college can apply for a study permit once on Canadian soil.
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Once Ukrainians arrive in Canada, the government is hoping to make it easier for them to gain employment by launching the Ukraine Job Bank. The database allows businesses and employers to list job opportunities for Ukrainians.
“We are working with partners, including provinces and territories, the business community, the Ukrainian-Canadian community, and settlement organizations on how best to support Ukrainians,” tweeted Fraser.
Ukrainians and their family members are exempt from Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination entry requirements, but will still need to meet other public health requirements like quarantine and testing.