Canada Introduces New Permanent Residency Program for Ukrainian War Refugees

In response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the plight of those affected, the Canadian government has unveiled a comprehensive immigration program aimed at providing a pathway to permanent residency for Ukrainian nationals seeking refuge in Canada. This initiative prioritizes the reunification of families who have been torn apart by the conflict.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser expressed Canada’s commitment to supporting families affected by the crisis, stating, “We continue to extend unwavering support and a lifeline to families separated by this conflict, including through this family reunification pathway that will help Ukrainian families stay together as they rebuild their lives in their new communities in Canada.”

The program, set to launch on October 23, 2023, will offer eligibility to Ukrainians residing in Canada with temporary status and who have one or more family members already settled in the country. Specific criteria and requirements for the program will be announced closer to the launch date. It is important to note that this program will be in effect for one year and will come at no cost to the applicants.

The announcement comes on the day when the government’s initial emergency immigration program was scheduled to expire. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), introduced in March 2022, allowed Ukrainians to temporarily live and work in Canada for up to three years. This program facilitated the entry of over 166,000 Ukrainians, accounting for approximately 21% of the 800,000 emergency visas granted by the Canadian government.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), a leading organization representing the Ukrainian community in Canada, emphasized the need for flexible immigration pathways for Ukrainians in light of the uncertain situation. While awaiting further details, the UCC’s CEO, Ihor Michalchyshyn, stressed the importance of providing options to those seeking refuge in Canada.

Although the specifics of the eligibility assessment process are still unknown, Ukrainians approved under the CUAET will retain their ability to travel to Canada until March 31 of the following year. Subsequently, they will be subject to the standard immigration measures applicable to individuals worldwide.

Once in Canada, temporary residents will have the opportunity to apply for extended stays of up to three years through study permits and open work permits, both of which will be given priority. Additionally, they will have access to settlement services, such as language training and employment support, to help them integrate and thrive in Canadian communities.

Canada is already the home to the largest Ukrainian diaspora outside of Ukraine and Russia, with over 1.4 million individuals of Ukrainian descent residing in the country. While immigration programs and settlement services are crucial for those arriving in Canada, the UCC emphasizes the pressing need for aid to Ukraine itself in order to achieve lasting peace and bring an end to the refugee crisis.

Information for this briefing was found via CBC and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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