Canada Announces Plans to Support Ukrainian Immigration: During the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, countries are seeking ways to offer assistance to Ukrainians seeking refugee status. The government of Canada is developing new programs to assist those affected by the conflict in Ukraine, including new immigration streams for Ukrainians seeking temporary or permanent residency in the country. In addition, several other support measures have already been implemented.

Under Development: Ukrainian Immigration Streams

Canada Announces Plans Support Ukrainian Immigration

In order to make coming to Canada easier for Ukrainians, the IRCC is working on two new immigration streams:

  • People who want to temporarily leave Ukraine can apply for a Canada-Ukraine emergency travel authorization.
  • Permanent residence can be obtained through a special family reunification sponsorship pathway.

Through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel stream, applicants may be granted temporary residency status in Canada for a period of two years or more. Applicants will still be required to undergo background checks and security screening even though most standard visa requirements will not apply. There is no application cap on this stream, so Ukrainians can apply in unlimited numbers. When the stream goes live in two weeks, applications will open.

Sponsorship of Family Reunification: Many Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will have immediate family members in Ukraine who want to leave permanently.  Ukraine will offer a unique pathway to citizenship for Ukrainians who are family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Little information is available as program development continues. We will provide more details in the coming weeks.

Employers will be able to quickly hire Ukrainian nationals due to the availability of open work permits for Ukrainians crossing into Canada through these new streams. It is expected that minor children will receive a study permit or other authorization.

Immigrants now have access to new immigration measures

The Canadian government is already implementing some immigration measures to support Ukrainians and people living in Ukraine while these new immigration pathways are being created. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and the immediate family members of those residents should find it easier to return to Canada. A few measures have already been implemented:

  1. Creating a dedicated service line 613-321-4243 that will be available to clients in Canada and abroad for Ukraine-related inquiries;
  2. Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Ukraine can receive travel documents (and waivers of associated fees, retroactive to February 22, 2022) in a timely manner;
  3. Providing priority consideration to applications from Ukrainian citizens in the areas of permanent residence, proof of citizenship, temporary residence, as well as citizenship grants for adoption.
  4. Ukrainian workers, students, and visitors in Canada can obtain and extend their open work and study permits.

The Canadian government will screen all foreign nationals before they enter the country to ensure that they do not pose a threat to the health, safety, or security of Canadians.

Nationals of Ukraine not vaccinated

Nationals of Ukraine who do not possess vaccines may enter Canada if they hold a temporary resident visa or temporary resident permit or an approval letter for an application for permanent residency, provided they meet all other public health requirements (i.e., quarantine and testing).

Our immigration and labor law attorneys at MLT Aikins would be happy to discuss the available opportunities with employers looking to hire Ukrainians for their workforce.

The information contained herein is of a general nature only and does not exhaust all legal remedies or rights. Furthermore, laws may change over time and should be interpreted based on the specific circumstances of each case, so these materials should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice or opinion. If the reader needs specific legal advice, he or she should consult with an attorney.