In response to the current conflict, Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is implementing a series of measures to aid Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine.
Canada has been processing applications from Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine at an unprecedented rate. Since the conflict began, IRCC approved nearly 4,000 applications from Ukrainian nationals and people residing in Ukraine.
“We expected upon reports of a potential further invasion into Ukraine that we would see the displacement of Ukrainians. That’s why we started preparing more than a month ago to ensure we had the ability to respond to a potential influx of people seeking to come to Canada,” – Immigration Minister Sean Fraser
Canada is taking the following steps in addition to prioritizing processing:
1. Prioritized communication
A dedicated service line will be available for applicants affected by the Ukraine situation at 613-321-4243. By including the keyword “Ukraine2022” in their inquiry, these people can get prioritized IRCC Webform responses.
2. Urgent processing of travel documents
Canada would also expedite the processing of travel documents for Canadian citizens and permanent residents whose immediate family members do not have valid passports.
3. Extending stay of Ukrainians in Canada
IRCC will expedite the processing of work and study visa renewal applications to ensure that Ukrainians can continue their stay in Canada. These persons will also be able to apply for a work visa from within Canada.
This will allow applicants with a job offer to stay in Canada and work while their work permit application is processed.
In addition, Canada has added staff to its offices in Poland, Austria, and Romania to deal with any surge in Canadian visa applications.
The present administration has been encouraged by the New Democratic Party (NDP) to remove visa requirements for Ukrainians traveling to Canada so that they are not “subjected to a bureaucratic nightmare.”
After Russia, Canada has the world’s second-largest Ukrainian diaspora. Minister Fraser is meeting with representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian community, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and business leaders to discuss the best ways to welcome Ukrainians to Canada safely in the future. He will provide more information in the following days.
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