In the wake of the crisis unfolding in Ukraine, the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced a plan to support those fleeing Ukraine and seeking safety by coming to Canada. 

This is good news for the 1.5 million people who have fled their country, but Canada recognizes that most of these people will want to return home after the conflict has ended. In an effort to acknowledge this, the Government of Canada will be rolling out a new process available in mid-March: Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel. This unique stream will make it safer and faster for Ukrainian nationals who wish to come to Canada, removing some of the familiar road blocks in regular visa acquisition. Additionally, with approved security and background checks this stream will allow those who apply a stay of up to 2 years. 

Recognizing that Canada is home to over 1.3 million people of Ukrainian descent, the Government will also be implementing a process for permanent residency. For those families who wish to sponsor their loved ones and reunite permanently in Canada, another process will be developed and made public in a few weeks. The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will be working closely with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress as the number of people fleeing Ukraine continually grows. 

These new streams that will support the influx of Ukrainian national applicants, will also ensure that anybody who uses these new measures are eligible to apply for work permits. Visitors, workers and students who cannot return home at this time will also be issued open work permits. This will make it more efficient for employers to easily hire Ukrainian nationals. Fees for certain travel and immigration documents have been waived by the Canadian Government, retroactive to February 2022, in an effort to ease the burden on those trying to renew everything from passports to study permits. Canada is also aware of the need to support non-Ukrainian nationals who are leaving the conflict and require safe haven.

The urgency and speed of the current crisis has meant a quick and admirable response from the Government of Canada, but there are many details. Sifting through these fine points and understanding what your options are, what you are eligible for, or how to minimize setbacks in the process is complicated. When a situation is unstable, emotional, and frightening, it becomes even more difficult to read through the fine print and truly comprehend a complicated system. As circumstances evolve, so too does the official response, which means staying informed takes dedication. At Slipacoff Immigration Law, our first priority is to support our clients, so we stay informed about new and developing immigration tools. We do the work so you can focus on your family. We can support you in your pursuit of uniting your family. Contact us. 

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