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  • Writer's pictureSvetlana Demb

The Canadian response to the situation with Ukraine

Canadian response to the situation with Ukraine ENG
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Russian version can be found here

Immigration measures for people affected by the situation in Ukraine

  • Prioritize processing new and replacement passports and travel documents for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Ukraine, so they can return to Canada at any time

    • This includes immediate family members who will come with them

  • Prioritizing applications from people who currently live in Ukraine for

    • Permanent residence

    • Proof of citizenship

    • Temporary residence

    • Citizenship grant for adoption

  • Granting exemptions for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Ukrainian nationals to enter Canada

  • Adding new ways to make sure people who contact us get answers as fast as possible

  • Extending a temporary public policy that lets some visitors in Canada, including Ukrainians, apply for a work permit from within Canada

    • This means people who get a job offer can stay in Canada and start working while their work permit application is processed


  • Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)

    • Details below

  • Assistance for Canadians in Ukraine

Emergency Watch and Response Center (EXRC) available 24/7 for consular service:

Phone: +1-613-321-4243, M-F 6:30 AM to 7Pm (EST)

Webform, describe your situation and add keyword at the beginning of your message: UKRAINE2022

  • If you are a PR and your card is expired, apply for a travel document to travel back to Canada:

Urgent processing of documents and applications, including immediate family members who will come with PRs

  • New policy to allow some visitors in Canada receive a work permit ( start working as soon as you receive a job offer)

  • If you have immediate family in Ukraine

The application will be prioritized if Canadian citizen is sponsoring, and the spouse is out of Canada

  • All fees to be waived from Feb 22,2022

  • Removal orders to be upheld

Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) – Announced on March 17, 2022

Main features of the program:

  • Fee-exempt

  • Valid for 10 years or until your passport expires

  • You can travel in and out of Canada

  • Will be processed on a priority basis

  • Gives you the option to apply for a fee-exempt work permit at the same time

  • Can stay in Canada up to 3 years at a time or until the passport expires


As of 3/17/22:

  1. Canada has not created a specific refugee program and is not participating in the transportation of people from Ukraine

  2. Visa requirements for Ukrainians were not waived

  3. Biometrics requirements for Canadians were not waived

  4. Those who applied for TRV or PR have to complete medical examinations

Current refugee program

  • Always consult with a lawyer, dealing with refugee cases on a daily basis, to evaluate your chance

  • Individuals can make a refugee claim in Canada at a port of entry upon arrival or online if already in Canada

  • Refugee claimants are different from resettled refugees ( resettled refugee program is not available for Ukraine at this moment)

  • If the claim is determined to be eligible, it will be referred to the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) for a hearing

  • Individuals whose claim is found not to be eligible will be issued a removal order and released on conditions to report for a future removal proceeding

  • The Safe Third Country Agreement: requires that refugee claimants seek protection in the first safe country in which they arrive

    • Exemptions:

      • Having family member in Canada

      • Minors aged 18 or less

      • Those who have Canadian visa

      • Convicted with death penalty in the third country

Refugee program general eligibility

1. Persons in Need of Protection

A Person in Need of Protection is a person in Canada who, if removed to their home country or country where they normally live would be personally subjected to:

  • torture

  • a risk to their life

  • a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if:

    • they are not able to get protection from their own government

    • the person would face the risk in all parts of the country, even though the risk is not faced generally by others in or from that country

    • the risk is not part of legal penalties (unless those penalties violate international standards), and the risk is not caused by inadequate health or medical care

2. Convention Refugee

Convention Refugees are people who living outside their national country and, because of fear of persecution, cannot be protected within their country or return to it. That fear of persecution must be well-founded and based on their:

  • race

  • religion

  • nationality

  • political opinion

  • their membership in a particular social group (including groups that the person cannot change, such as gender, sexual orientation, past memberships, or groups they choose to join)

Important links

  • Place for people fleeing Ukraine:

  • WES eases on process for Ukrainians:

  • Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel

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