CIMM — Ukraine – February 15 & 17, 2022
- Canada stands resolute in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
- As with any international situation, Canada will support Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families in Ukraine who urgently need travel documents to return to Canada.
- Contingency planning is well underway to ensure continued delivery of immigration services to persons in Ukraine, including by leveraging our global integrated processing network.
- Canada’s family reunification programs allow for the sponsorship of eligible family members, keeping families and loved ones together. Throughout the pandemic, IRCC has introduced several measures to strengthen family reunification, which include priority processing of applications, especially those in vulnerable situations, and we continue to implement these measures in exceptional circumstances.
- Canada’s immigration system also provides protection to those at risk, including through the resettlement of refugees from outside Canada.
- Canada is able to provide support by facilitating requests for document replacements for Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, as well as process applications quickly to ensure that those who are entitled to come to Canada can do so safely and in a timely manner.
- Canada encourages the use of regular migration pathways, and existing Canadian immigration programs continue to be available, including opportunities to reunify families through family sponsorship (spouses and common-law partners, parents and grandparents, and dependent children) and through temporary pathways such as the parent and grandparent supervisa or temporary work opportunities.
- As of February 8, 2022, the visa application centres in Kyiv and Lviv are currently operating business as usual and are open for biometric enrolment and passport transmission. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) services remain accessible online.
- IRCC is leveraging its global integrated network to support the continued delivery of immigration services to persons in Ukraine.
- Steps are being taken to prioritize the Department’s inventory of new and existing applications for the affected client group, including passport and travel documents, citizenship proofs, citizenship grants for adopted persons, and permanent residency applications.
- Canada has a robust immigration toolkit that can be leveraged to support Ukrainian nationals affected by the emergency situation.
- The Department had previously prioritized applications for replacement travel documents or other IRCC-issued documents for Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada as well as their family members during crisis situations. Notably, the Department expedited processing for eligible Afghan nationals in 2021, Hong Kong residents since 2020, and those affected by the Beirut explosions in 2020. Other facilitative measures are also under consideration, commensurate with the severity of the crisis.
- Canada continues to encourage the use of regular migration pathways and existing Canadian immigration programs. Ukrainian nationals who are at risk of persecution and have fled to another country may be eligible under Canada’s existing resettlement programs, including the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.
If pressed on Ukraine’s request for visa liberalization:
- Canada and Ukraine enjoy a close friendship built on shared values and strong people-to-people connections.
- Canada’s visa policy decisions are made on a country-by-country basis as each country is unique. Canada is not currently reviewing Ukraine’s visa requirement.
- Russia continues to increase its military presence at the Ukraine border prompting fears of a potential Russian incursion. Diplomatic discussions between the United States, Russia, NATO and key European Union countries, such as Germany and France, are ongoing.
- Should the current tensions escalate, there may be domestic and international movements of the Ukrainian population, including to Canada given our country’s strong Ukrainian-Canada community.
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