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Canada launches new temporary residence pathway to welcome those fleeing the war in Ukraine

 The resiliency and courage of Ukrainians have inspired the world, and Canada is unwavering in its commitment to provide support to Ukraine as it fights for its sovereignty and for the democratic ideals that our countries share.

In response to Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the launch of the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET). The CUAET is a special, accelerated temporary residence pathway for Ukrainians seeking safe haven in Canada while the war in their home country continues.

With the CUAET, Ukrainians and their immediate family members of any nationality may stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to 3 years. Applicants who are overseas need to apply online for a Canadian visitor visa and provide their biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). Applicants are encouraged to apply for a 3-year open work permit at the same time as their visa application. This permit will allow them to work in Canada. Under this special program, many of the regular requirements associated with a normal visitor visa or work permit have been waived. Elementary and high school students can register for and start attending school as soon as they arrive in Canada, and anyone looking to study at the post-secondary level can apply for a study permit once on Canadian soil.

Applicants who do not have a valid passport may still apply, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue a single journey travel document on a case-by-case basis, where appropriate.

Ukrainian workers, students and visitors and their family members who are already in Canada also benefit from these measures. They may either apply to extend their visitor status or work permit for 3 years, apply for a new work or study permit, or extend their existing permit. IRCC will waive all extension and work or study permit application fees.

To ease the burden on applicants, IRCC is waiving all application fees for these programs.

The Government of Canada is also calling on employers who wish to support Ukrainians with offers of employment to register these offers on Job Bank’s Jobs for Ukraine webpage. Job Bank will then work with local organizations and employers to help connect them with Ukrainians seeking work in their communities. We are also in discussions with partners, including provinces and territories, the business community, the Ukrainian-Canadian community and settlement organizations, on how best to support those arriving from Ukraine, and more information will be available soon. IRCC will continue to monitor volumes of travellers and their needs closely and will take action as required.

We are working around the clock to help Ukrainians and their families get to Canada as quickly and as safely as possible. We are already prioritizing and fast-tracking applications, and waiving application and processing fees. We have increased our operational capacity in the region, in anticipation of an increased volume of requests. This includes relocating staff and moving additional supplies and equipment, such as mobile biometric collection kits. We are also adjusting operations in offices across our global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine.

Ukrainians and their family members are exempt from Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination entry requirements. However, they must still meet all other public health requirements for travel, such as quarantine and testing. With limited exceptions, all travellers to Canada, including anyone arriving under the CUAET, must also use ArriveCAN.

The CUAET and Job Bank will be instrumental in supporting the Government of Canada’s response to Vladimir Putin’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Most importantly, these measures help us do our part to welcome more Ukrainians to Canada.

Quick facts

  • Visa applications can be submitted online from anywhere in the world. Biometrics can be given at any visa application centre (VAC) outside of Ukraine. VACs are open in Moldova, Romania, Austria and Poland, and there is an extensive VAC network across Europe.
  • In addition to our pre-existing VAC network, we have been working to set up additional biometrics collection locations and increased capacity at existing ones as demand requires such as in Chisinau. For example, additional biometric capacity has been added to the Visa Application network and missions in Warsaw, as well as to Vienna and Bucharest. Clients should visit the VAC website to find the closest service point.
  • For standard cases, the CUAET will facilitate the rapid processing of electronic visa applications within 14 days of receipt of a complete application.
  • All visa applicants will undergo standard background checks and be carefully screened before coming into Canada.
  • The CUAET is a temporary residence pathway and is not a refugee stream.
  • Those wishing to immigrate to Canada permanently can apply for permanent residence under a variety of different immigration programs and streams. IRCC is also developing a special permanent residence stream for family reunification.
  • IRCC established a dedicated service channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. Clients can add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC crisis web form with their enquiry and it will be prioritized.
  • Employers wishing to support Ukrainians through offers of employment can register available jobs using Job Bank’s Jobs for Ukraine webpage. Job Bank is a free, bilingual website that provides access for employers to thousands of potential employees and offers a free and secure space for job posting.
  • Avoid becoming a victim of fraud. There is no fee to be considered for the CUAET for Ukrainians and their family members. Only the Government of Canada can request personal information or decide your eligibility for the CUAET. There are no agents or consultants acting on our behalf.
  • Special measures for Ukrainians will not impact the processing of refugee applications. We remain steadfast in our commitment to welcoming individuals through our government-assisted and privately sponsored refugee programs, including welcoming at least 40,000 Afghan refugees.
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