As Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine rages on, Canada has made tremendous strides in its efforts of taking in Ukrainian refugees into Canada.The world is increasingly coming together to support Ukrainians displaced from their homes due to the invasion, and Canada is at the forefront of helping resettle Ukrainian victims of the war.

What is Canada Doing to Sponsor Ukrainian Refugees to Canada

As part of the Canadian government’s efforts to support the valiant people of Ukraine, the Canadian immigration minister, Honourable Sean Fraser, announced the launch of a special program on March 17, 2022, to fast track Ukrainians’ transition to temporary Canadian residents.

Dubbed the ‘Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel’ (CUAET), the program will reduce how long it takes Ukrainians fleeing the war to apply and be granted temporary resident status.

Ukrainian applicants for Canadian Permanent Residency will now have to wait for up to 14 days only for their application to be reviewed and approved. The program has also increased how long applicants will hold the temporary resident status from the 2 that was initially mentioned to 3 years, as was confirmed by the Canadian Immigration Minister.

Who Can Apply for Canadian Residency Through CUAET?

The program is only open to Ukrainian citizens fleeing the invasion back home. As part of the efforts to support as many Ukrainians as possible, the Canadian immigration, refugees, and citizenship authorities have even scraped the requirement to have a valid passport for Ukrainians to apply for temporary resident status (although review will be on a case-by-case basis).

Part of the concessions made by the Canadian Immigration ministry includes allowing applicants to simultaneously apply for a 3-year work permit if they wish to work while they’re in Canada. 

Similarly, Ukrainian refugee students in both elementary and high school will be eligible to register for and attend school in Canada as soon as they get into the country.

The Canadian private sector has also not been left behind as the rest of the world also rallies to support victims of the invasion. As part of the Canadian-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program, the Canadian government has created a special Job Bank webpage for Ukrainians.

The page is for Canadian companies with job offers and willing to hire Ukrainian refugees to post their jobs.

How Can Ukrainian Refugees Apply for Temporary Resident Status in Canada?

The first step to get a temporary resident visa is to submit a formal application. Fortunately, applicants can submit an online application from anywhere around the world.

One you submit your visa application, the next step is to identify the closest Canadian visa application centre outside Ukraine, which is where you’ll go to have your biometrics recorded.

There are VACs in Poland, Moldova, Austria and Romania for those who are closer home. There are also multiple other VACs across Europe and the world. Because of the surge in the number of refugees looking for a safe haven, Canada has increased its visa application network and missions to cities including Bucharest, Vienna, and Warsaw.

Applicants will undergo a comprehensive background check; successful ones will be granted a temporary resident permit for a period of upto 3 years. Everyone applying for a temporary resident permit through CUAET is exempt from paying any visa processing fees.

What If I’m Ukrainian and Already in Canada on a Non-resident Visa?

If you’re a Ukrainian worker, student, or visitor who is currently in Canada, you’ll also be a beneficiary of this program. Ukarainians in Canada can apply to extend their visitor status or work permit for 3 years.

Similarly, they can also apply for new work and study permits or extend their current ones. Whichever you choose, you won’t have to pay anything as the government has waived all application fees for applicants applying under this program.

If you’re a victim of Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine, the government of Canada is welcoming you with open arms and is prepared to resettle as many refugees as possible and support them to continue earning a living.

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