Canada immigration news: Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the first of three federally-chartered planes to bring Ukrainian refugees to the safety of Canada landed in Winnipeg on Monday afternoon with 328 of them.
“Winnipeg has a proud history of welcoming Ukrainians and we know that these 328 newcomers will be embraced by their new communities,” said Fraser.
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“We’ll continue to provide support for those fleeing (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war before and after they arrive in Canada and do everything we can to make them feel at home.”
CUAET Program Gives Ukrainian Refugees Temporary Visas, Work and Study Permits for 3 Years
Under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), the Ukrainian refugees were flown to Manitoba and two more flights are slated by the federal government for Quebec and Nova Scotia.
“Canada is doing everything it can to support Ukrainians before and after they arrive in Canada,” says Fraser.
At the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, the refugees were met by Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, and Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson as well as local volunteers.
The other two federal charter flights are scheduled to arrive from Poland with people approved through the CUAET program on:
- May 29, in Montreal, Quebec, and;
- June 2, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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The emergency program to help Ukrainians flee their war-torn homeland was launched on March 17 and provides Ukrainians and their immediate family members with temporary residency in Canada for up to three years. Under CUAET, these refugees are eligible for free open work permits and study permits and so can take a job with almost any Canadian employer or enrol in any education program in Canada.
They get a one-time payout under the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative (CUTAI) of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child as well as settlement services, including language training, information about life in Canada, and help in finding jobs.
Those arriving on the three charter flights who do not have a place to live are put up in a hotel for two weeks.
Service Canada Working To Ensure Delivery Of Aid To Ukrainian Refugees
“As Canada welcomes individuals seeking safe haven from the war in Ukraine, the government of Canada stands ready to support them and provide them with the resources to take care of themselves and their families,” says Karina Gould, Canada’s minister of families, children and social development.
“Service Canada will help ensure that services are delivered in a secure and timely way.”
Ottawa has said it will accept an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees through CUAET. As of Wednesday last week, May 18, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had already received more than 241,000 applications under the program and approved 112,000 of them.
Ottawa’s charter flights build on other initiatives to bring the refugees to Canada, including the Ukraine2Canada Travel Fund through which at least 10,000 free flights are expected to be made available for refugees during the Russia-Ukraine war.
Canadians can donate their Aeroplan points through the Air Canada Foundation Ukrainian Relief Fund and Miles4Migrants websites to help cover the cost of flights for Ukrainian refugees. Canadians who would like to donate cash can do so through the Travel & Settlement Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto which will distribute these donations to sponsor displaced Ukrainians.
Once in Canada, Ukrainian refugees can apply for permanent residency and any work experience they gain or studying they do while in the country will only enhance their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores should they decide to complete Express Entry profiles and apply for permanent residency.