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On March 17, 2022, Canada launched a new immigration program for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. The Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET)
will provide temporary residence to any Ukrainian and their immediate family members for up to 3 years. Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members can also apply for a work permit or study permit (if they are under 18) at the same time. These applications are all free; Canada is waiving the usual application fees. You do not need to have any family in Canada to apply for this program. Alternatively, those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine may apply for refugee status in Canada. This is a good option for those who are not Ukrainian citizens or their immediate family members, or are seeking to come to Canada permanently. The Government of Canada also plans to implement a new program that will allow Canadians to sponsor a wider range of Ukrainian family members for permanent residence. This can be done once they have arrived in Canada through the CUAET.
How do I apply for the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program?
If you are abroad, you will need to apply online for a Canadian visitor visa. You will be asked to provide personal details, including travel documents and your address, as well as your education and work history. You will also need to answer medical and security questions. Your whole family can apply through one application.
How do I get a work or study permit?
You can also apply for a 3-year open work permit through the same application. This means that you will be allowed to work as soon as you arrive in Canada, for any employer. If you are under 18, you can apply for a study permit. This will allow you to go to school as soon as you arrive in Canada. If you want to attend university in Canada, you will be allowed to apply for a study permit once you arrive in Canada. Many of the normal requirements needed to apply for a visitor visa or work permit do not apply to this program, making it much easier for Ukrainians and their family members to seek temporary refuge in Canada.
How do I provide my biometrics?
You will also need to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) at a visa application centre (VAC). Canada has VACs across the world, including in:
Canada has also set up mobile VACs across Eastern Europe to assist Ukrainians where you can find your nearest VAC
. You need to submit your biometrics before the government can start processing your application.
What if I don’t have a passport?
You do NOT need a passport to apply for the CUAET. If you don’t have a passport, the government of Canada may issue you a single journey travel document to come to Canada.
What kind of documents do I need to apply?
The only additional document that you must upload is a travel or personal identity document. If you have a passport, you will need to provide the passport number in the online application form, as well as a photo of the biographical page. If you do not have a passport, you will need to provide the details and photo of another travel document or identity document, such as a Certificate of Identity, Driver’s License, or Birth Certificate. It is optional to upload any other documents you may have.
What kind of information do I need to provide?
You will need to provide personal information about yourself and your family members, including those not coming to Canada with you. This includes the names, dates of birth, country of birth, and occupation (if applicable) of your children, spouse, and parents. You will need to provide all your addresses, work experiences, and education history since you were 18 years old, or for the past 10 years (whichever is less). You will need to provide information on any travels you have taken in the last five years. You will also be asked to answer yes or no questions about your criminal and medical history.
Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
No, you do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. You will still need to follow all public health guidelines, which may include getting tested prior to travelling. As of April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests will not be required for fully vaccinated travellers. You will need to upload any information you have about your COVID vaccines and tests into the Canadian government’s ArriveCAN
website or mobile app.
What if I’m already in Canada?
Ukrainian nationals and their family members who are already in Canada may apply to extend their legal status in Canada for 3 more years or apply for a new work or study permit for free. The application fees to do so are being waived.
Can I stay in Canada longer than 3 years?
Canada is also facilitating permanent residence for some Ukrainians with family members in Canada. IRCC will release more information about this program soon but will allow family members to sponsor Ukrainians who plan to stay in Canada permanently.
How can we help?
At the Law Office of Matthew Jeffery, we have years of successful experience representing clients in their immigration and refugee cases, including temporary resident permits, such as those offered through the CUAET, and family sponsorship applications. You can CONTACT US
today to see whether we can assist you with your immigration or refugee matters.