British Columbia Expects Ukrainian Immigration Surge As Canada Emergency Travel Program Ends

British Columbia Expects Ukrainian Immigration Surge As Canada Emergency Travel Program Ends
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The Canadian province f British Columbia is expecting thousands more Ukrainians are expected to arrive before the expiration of the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET).

The visa helped Ukrainians work and live in Canada for up to three years through an expedited process. According to Ottawa, 960,000 people made use of it to come to Canada before it stopped taking applicants last July.

Almost 250,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada till now, as per CBC. Thousands are expected to come before March 31, which is the deadline for visa recipients to come.

Those living in Canada and wishing to extending their stay need to apply for it by the same deadline, without which they would lose government support services, including financial support and language courses.

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This could make it harder for them to stay and work in Canada.

Other options to continue their stay would be to apply for a work/study permit, which is a longer and trickier process overall.

To apply, one has to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a Ukrainian national
  • Be a family member of Ukrainian nationals (can be any nationality)

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Family members are defined as

  • the spouse or common-law partner of a Ukrainian national
  • their dependent child
  • the dependent child of their spouse / common-law partner or
  • a dependent child of their dependent child

Hotline To Help Ukrainians With Legal Services

This year, Ottawa upped its offering of help to Ukrainians by pumping $475,788 into a trilingual hotline to help them access the legal services they need for the coming three years.

The money was for Pro Bono Ontario’s Ukrainian Refugee Legal Relief Initiative to allow displaced Ukrainians access to legal information and advice, including the toll-free hotline that is accessible nationally and abroad.

The hotline provides Ukrainians in Canada with access to Canadian lawyers so they can ask immigration-related questions on such things as sponsorshiprefugee claims and work permits or be referred to provincial pro bono organizations or community groups across Canada

“Our government is grateful to be able to count on organizations, such as Pro Bono Ontario, that improve access to justice, a fundamental Canadian value and an integral part of a fair and effective justice system,” said Justice Minister Arif Virani.

“This investment shows how our government continues to stand with Ukraine, and that we will continue to support Ukrainians forced to flee their homes because of Russia’s illegal invasion.”

With CUAET no longer taking applications from overseas, Ukrainians wishing to come to Canada from abroad can still apply for a visa or a work or study permit through the IRCC’s existing temporary resident programs but are now subject to fees and standard requirements.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.