Canada Extends Travel Window For Emergency Pathway For Ukrainians

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Canada Extends Travel Window For Emergency Pathway For Ukrainians
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Canada has extended the travel deadline to July 31 for Ukrainians who applied under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization For Emergency Travel (CUAET) measure and were approved before Feb. 4 this year.

“These people will have until July 31, 2024 to arrive in Canada and apply for an inland study permit and an open work permit free of charge once approved,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website.

Settlement services will remain available to all Ukrainian temporary residents and their dependants in Canada until March 31 next year.

But the one-time financial assistance and the emergency temporary accommodations supports will no longer be available to any CUAET holders who arrived in Canada after March 31 this year.

Those Ukrainians who applied and were approved for a CUAET visa before Feb. 4 this year but who did not apply for a work permit at the time of their application will still be able to come to Canada but they will not be able to apply for a work or study permit while in Canada after March 31 this year.


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Canada has also created a permanent residence pathway for qualifying Ukrainian nationals with two categories of family members who are eligible to apply for permanent residence under it.

The first category is open to family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada who meet the following conditions:

  • be a Ukrainian national;
  • be a family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident including their spouse or common-law partner, child (regardless of age), grandchild, parent, grandparent, or, sibling (or half-sibling);
  • be in Canada when they submit their applications and are granted  permanent residence;
  • have valid temporary resident status in Canada or have applied to restore it if it has been expired for less than 90 days;
  • hold a passport or travel document or provide supporting identity documents if the applicant doesn’t hold one;
  • provide a signed statutory declaration form from the family member in Canada explaining the applicant’s relationship to them and;
  • be admissible to Canada.

The Canadian citizen or permanent resident must:

  • currently live in Canada;
  • be at least 18 years of age or older, and;
  • not have been granted permanent residence themselves under this policy.

The second category is open to spouses or common-law partners of Ukrainian nationals who have family in Canada when the spouse or common-law partner is:

  • unable to leave Ukraine, missing, has passed away, or have been presumed to have passed away;
  • be the family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident including their child (regardless of age), grandchild, parent, grandparent, or sibling (or half-sibling).

The qualifying spouse or common-law partner under this category must:

  • be in Canada when submitting the application and when granted permanent residence;
  • not have remarried or be in a common-law relationship with another person since leaving Ukraine;
  • have valid temporary resident status in Canada or have applied to restore it if it has been expired for less than 90 days;
  • hold a passport or travel document or provide supporting identity documents if the applicant doesn’t hold one;
  • provide a signed statutory declaration form from the spouse or partner’s family member in Canada explaining their relationship, and;
  • be admissible to Canada.

Ukrainian Organizations Lobbied Canada To Extend Program

Those applying under this measure who intend to live in Quebec will have their applications referred to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec (MIFI) and must obtain a Certificat de Sélection du Québec (CSQ) from the province of Quebec before the IRCC will grant them permanent residence or a permanent resident visa

Ukrainian organizations in Canada had been lobbying the federal government to extend CUAET, a move Immigration Minister Marc Miller reportedly said earlier this year was “not something that is actively being considered.”

Miller did not, though, categorically rule out that possibility.

“The operational flexibility needs to be there for what happens in Ukraine,” he reportedly said.


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According to surveys, roughly 90 per cent of Ukrainians who came to Canada under the temporary measure launched in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 now want to stay here permanently

A Canadian non-profit organization representing Ukrainians, Pathfinders for Ukraine lobbied the IRCC to open the door to permanent residency for Ukrainians with a permanent pathway.

“We know that employers have been hesitant to hire, train, and promote Ukrainians, knowing their work permit is set to expire in a year,” Randall Baran-Chong, the organizations’ executive director and founder, has reportedly said.

“These war-displaced Ukrainians are de-facto refugees but the program is a temporary measure that doesn’t afford them the benefits and protections of refugee status.”

Almost a quarter of a million Ukrainians are already here after having come under CUAET. Between March 17, 2022 and Feb. 27 this year, Canadian immigration officials received 1,189,320 applications under the CUAET temporary residence program.

But while 960,091 of those applications were approved during that period, only 248,726 Ukrainians, or 25.9 per cent of the total, actually made the move to Canada.

“We’re seeing definitely more arrivals week over week, because people are trying to come, people are coming before the end of it,” Ihor Michalchyshyn, CEO and executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, reportedly told the National Post ahead of the March 31 deadline.

Many Ukrainians have reportedly applied for CUAET as something of an insurance policy should they need it to flee the Ukraine.

A trilingual hotline has been put in place to help them access the legal services they need for the coming three years once they are in Canada.

Pro Bono Ontario’s Ukrainian Refugee Legal Relief Initiative helps displaced Ukrainians access 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 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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