Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says Canada is expanding its federal settlement programs to include language training, orientation, employment assistance and other supports for Ukrainians as they settle into their new communities.
“Beginning Apr. 1, we are also launching support services at key airports to provide Ukrainians with assistance and important arrival information, including in their language,” tweeted Fraser on Monday.
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“We’re working with our provincial and territorial partners, the Ukrainian-Canadian community, the business community, and settlement organizations across the country to develop more ways to support those in Canada, as Ukraine bravely defends their homeland against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war.”
The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) pathway began accepting applications on March 17, less than two weeks ago, and has already reportedly received a roughly 60,000 applications from Ukrainians and their relatives.
CUAET Lets Ukrainian Refugees Work and Study For Up To 3 Years
“With this new program, those fleeing Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine will be able to stay in Canada for up to three years and are eligible for free open work and study permits,” tweeted Fraser earlier this month.
Canada has increased its immigration application processing capacity in Europe and has sent mobile biometrics kits to Warsaw, Vienna and Bucharest to take the fingerprints and portrait photos of prospective Ukrainian refugees in its bid to ensure proper security precautions are taken with the surge in applications.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officials have also confirmed Ottawa has set up temporary pop-ups for biometrics collection in addition to IRCC’s usual Visa Application Centre network.
Canadian businesses and employers can now add jobs for Ukrainians on Canada’s online job bank.
“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.
“We stand with Ukraine and will offer safe harbour for those who want to come to Canada.”
Canada has vowed to accept an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees – and could see a massive influx of newcomers because the Russia-Ukraine war is considered to be the biggest assault on a European state since the Second World War.
Under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, Ukrainians can come to Canada, pending background checks and security screenings, and stay and apply for open work permits, making it easier for employers to quickly hire them.
Earlier this year, the IRCC announced any Ukrainian already in Canada before the start of the war on a temporary basis could also apply to extend his or her status as a visitor, student or worker.
Ukrainian Refugee Applications To Come To Canada Fast-Tracked
Among the new immigration measures announced since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war are:
- a dedicated service channel for Ukraine enquiries that will be available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. In addition, clients can now add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC Web form with their enquiry and their e-mail will be prioritized;
- urgent processing of travel documents, including issuing single-journey travel documents for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not have valid passports;
- an updated web page to provide current information on measures. This page will include content in Ukrainian for ease of reference;
- permission for Ukrainians currently in Canada to extend their stay or stay longer in Canada by prioritizing the renewal of work and study permits, and extending a policy that allows individuals to apply for a work permit from within Canada. This policy would allow temporary residents who receive a job offer to remain in Canada and start working while they wait for their work permit application to be processed, and;
- the issuance of open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students who are currently in Canada and cannot go home, so they can stay longer if they wish. Fees are being waived, retroactive to Feb. 22, for certain travel and immigration documents, such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, and work and study permits.
The IRCC is also planning to soon put in place a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence for the immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who may want to start a new life in Canada.
“IRCC will also quickly implement a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence,” wrote Liang. “We will develop the details of this program in the coming weeks.”
Ottawa is working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to hammer out the details of that program and expects to unveil it in a few weeks.
“To the people of Ukraine, you have inspired the world with your courage and resilience, and Canada is here to support you,” the IRCC states on its website. “We are actively working to launch these measures and stand ready to welcome more Ukrainians to Canada.”