Canada's government has responded to the crisis in Ukraine and announced new measures to assist Canadian citizens in Ukraine, Ukrainians already in Canada and prepare for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country. Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canadian officials are "doing whatever we can to assist" Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing Russian violence. She said the Canadian Armed Forces are in Poland and prepared to help with the humanitarian effort as thousands of Ukrainians cross borders into neighbouring countries to escape the invasion.
"We have approximately 150 Canadian Armed Forces members on standby in Poland, ready to assist," Anand said.
Reports indicate over 50,000 Ukrainians left Ukraine in the first 48 hours of the war and fled to neighbouring countries, while tens of thousands more have left their home to seek safety.
With over a million people of Ukrainian descent in Canada, there are large Ukrainian communities in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Over 4% of people surveyed in the latest Canada census said they are of Canadian descent.
Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah said,
There are many educated, skilled and talented Ukrainians who are immigrants we need in Canada right now. IRCC is making efforts to expedite processing of Ukrainians who are impacted by the crisis in their home country. Canada is a welcoming country, and provides newscomers with a wonderfult opportunity for a new home and a new life.
New Initiatives to Help Canadians in Ukraine and Ukrainian Refugees
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will support individuals impacted by the situation in Ukraine with initiatives that will expedite Ukrainians' immigration applications and delay or defer fees and removal procedures for Ukrainians in Canada, and expedite immigration applications for Ukrainian refugees who want to come to Canada.
Canadians in Ukraine
IRCC will make it easier and faster for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their family members currently in Ukraine to return to Canada. IRCC will
- prioritize applications for new and replacement travel documents for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members
- priority processing of citizenship grant applications for adoption, as well as permanent and temporary residence applications for people with a primary residence in Ukraine who want to reunite or travel with family, study, work, or start a new life in Canada
Ukrainians Currently In Canada
Ukrainian nationals currently in Canada on a temporary basis can apply to extend their status as a visitor, student or worker.
- Since January 19, IRCC has approved nearly 2,000 applications from Ukrainian nationals and people residing in Ukraine across various programs.
- IRCC will issue 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.
- IRCC will waive fees, retroactive to February 22, 2022, for certain travel and immigration documents, such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, and work and study permits.
- 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.
- The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will deferral of removals (ADR) to delay the removal of Ukrainians in Canada who are required to leave Canada immediately.
- ADRs will resume once Ukraine is stabilized.
Ukrainian Refugees Who Want to Come to Canada
IRCC is prioritizing applications from people who currently live in Ukraine and want to move to Canada including:
- permanent residence
- proof of citizenship
- temporary residence
- citizenship grant for adoption
Ontario Premier Doug Ford wants to fast-track potential Ukrainian refugees to Ontario, where he says jobs and settlement services will be waiting for them.
IRCC Operations in Ukraine
IRCC has also taken steps to ensure service continuity and increased operational readiness in Ukraine including:
- relocating staff
- moving additional supplies and equipment, such as mobile biometric collection kits, in anticipation of an increased volume of requests
- adjusting operations in offices across our global network t
Ukraine Hotline and Immigration Updates
IRCC is providing new immigration updates on the Ukraine crisis:
- A hotline 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 email will be prioritized.
- A web page to provide current information on measures with content in Ukrainian for ease of reference.
Travel To Canada
Canada is advising Canadians to avoid all travel to Ukraine due to the armed conflict with Russia.
--> For details on all Canadian government immigration efforts in support of the Ukrainian people visit the IRCC webpage here.
Do You Need Immigration Help Due to the Ukraine Crisis?
Ackah Business Immigration Law offers full immigration and refugee services and has offices in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto to assist individuals with all their immigration needs. With 50+ years of combined immigration experience, our immigration legal team can identify and resolve potential problems BEFORE they happen.
An experienced immigration lawyer can save you time and stress - and prevent costly mistakes and missed deadlines. Contact Ackah Law today to discuss your immigration situation at 403-452‑9515.