The Canadian government’s immigration policy was always considered one of the most liberal, at least in developed countries. While that’s true, the whole process can take a little while for anyone wishing to enter the country.
However, due to the recent political developments and the imminent danger Ukrainians are now facing, the Canadian government made it a priority to help Ukrainians and their families get to Canada as quickly and as safely as possible. Here we will look at how you can immigrate from Ukraine to Canada, the options to explore and the regulations you still must follow.
Exploring Your Options
When it comes to immigrating to Canada, people with a primary residence in Ukraine have several options. The first one is to arrive through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) – and it only grants temporary residency. If you want to remain in Canada, you may want to explore some of the options, before, or after arriving in the country:
Federal Economic Class – It includes three different programs, Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canada Experience Class. Each of these comes with different requirements and regulations.
Provincial Economic Class – Ukrainians who don’t qualify for a Federal Economic program may still apply for a Provincial program that grants permanent residency.
Quebec Immigration – This province has a much broader selection of immigration programs, including investor programs that Ukrainians can explore.
Business Immigration, including the Start-Up Visa Program – This is for those with the capital to invest in a Canadian business. You can buy a company, move to Canada on a temporary work permit and later transition to permanent residency.
Temporary Residence First, Then Transition To Permanent – If you didn’t immediately qualify for permanent residency when applying from Ukraine, you can still transition to one later.
Family Class Sponsorship – Ukrainians who have family members who are already permanent residents or citizens of Canada can get sponsored by them to gain residency themselves.
The general process of application consists of submitting a profile and entering Express Entry Pool, and after getting approved, applying for a suitable permit. Under normal circumstances, this process takes anywhere from 60 days to 6 months. However, due to the current war in Ukraine, the application of Ukrainian immigration claims is processed much faster.
Employment, Housing and Medical Care
Knowing how challenging it is for new immigrants from Ukraine to find work in Canada, the government has set up a website to assist Ukrainian nationals looking for employment. The site comes with instructions to use in Ukrainian and options for employers wanting to hire Ukrainians to leave their information.
Employers are also encouraged to offer jobs with benefits, such as health insurance, so Ukrainians can apply for a health card in their residential province. This way, you could take care of your and your family’s physical and mental care as soon as possible.
There are also different communities in every province offering affordable housing for Ukrainians and their families. Those with children and elderly family members have an advantage in this field.
Finances and Settlement Services
While the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) waived most of the fees applicable for immigration services, you will still need to secure your finances while staying in Canada.
If you have just arrived and have no savings or income, you might be eligible for benefit and credit payments that can help you out until you find a job. If you are immigrating with your children, they can register for and start attending school right away, after paying only a minor fee and providing the necessary documents.
Apart from this, there are also settlement services ready to help out Ukrainians in almost every province. For those who have arrived under the CUAET program and have difficulties with the English language, these services can be incredibly useful.
They provide Ukrainian-speaking employee assistance in finding employment and the other necessities discussed above. They often offer English language training to make the transition go even smoother. And until you learn the language, you can use a multilingual workbook for general orientation for your daily aspects of living.
Ukrainians who are already in Canada on a temporary visa, whether they are working, studying or under a family sponsorship program that’s not yet finalized, can secure their stay in the country. If you fall under any of these categories, you may extend your work permit or visitor’s visa for three years. You can also apply for a new permit if your circumstances have changed.
Regulations That Still Apply
While there has been an easement on regulations for Ukrainians when entering the country, they still need to meet certain requirements. For example, Ukrainians are exempt from Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination entry requirements, but they must undergo mandatory testing and quarantine upon arrival.
Ukrainians can immigrate to Canada under the CUAET (Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel) program but still must use ArriveCAN. This is a platform that verifies you’ve successfully provided the necessary information, such as contact, vaccination and anything else mandatory in the province you will be arriving. In addition, all applicants must undergo a complete background check before gaining eligibility for immigration.
The information to ArriveCAN needs to be submitted at least 72 hours before the arrival. It can be done in any country that has a Canadian VAC (Visa Application Centre). Ukrainians only have to apply for a Canadian visitor visa but are encouraged to get a three-year open work permit as well. This allows you to stay in the country for up to three years, and if you find steady employment, apply for a permanent residency after that.
Exploring your options before immigrating from Ukraine to Canada is still advised as it can help you settle in a more secure position.
However, failing to do so before leaving your home country won’t limit your eligibility for gaining temporary residency in Canada. In fact, due to the newly established regulations, the Canadian government allows even current temporary residents to extend their stay in the country.
For Ukrainians just immigrating to Canada, the new rules mean safe heaven and a chance for a new beginning. Whether you are travelling alone or with family, you can be issued an emergency travel permit, then sort out your situation once you are in Canada.