Additional Immigration Support for Those Affected by the Situation in Ukraine
Canada has been closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine, and remains steadfast in support of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is taking additional steps to support Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine, and to make it easier and faster for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their accompanying immediate family members to return to Canada.
As part of the Government of Canada’s response, IRCC has taken the decision to prioritize applications for new and replacement travel documents for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members. Over a month ago, we implemented measures to priority process citizenship grant applications for adoption, as well as permanent and temporary residence applications for people with a primary residence in Ukraine who want to reunite or travel with family, study, work, or start a new life in Canada. Ukrainian nationals currently in Canada on a temporary basis can apply to extend their status as a visitor, student or worker. Since January 19, IRCC has approved nearly 2,000 applications from Ukrainian nationals and people residing in Ukraine across various programs.
In addition to prioritizing applications, IRCC is launching a package of new immigration measures, including the following:
- Establishing a dedicated service channel for Ukraine enquiries that will be available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. In addition, clients can now add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC Web form with their enquiry and their email will be prioritized.
- Implementing urgent processing of travel documents, including issuing single-journey travel documents for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not have valid passports.
- Updating a Web page to provide current information on measures; this page will include content in Ukrainian for ease of reference.
- Ensuring that Ukrainians currently in Canada are able to extend their stay or stay longer in Canada by prioritizing the renewal of work and study permits, and extending a policy that allows individuals to apply for a work permit from within Canada. This policy would allow temporary residents who receive a job offer to remain in Canada and start working while they wait for their work permit application to be processed.
IRCC will issue open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students who are currently in Canada and cannot go home, so they can stay longer if they wish. We will waive fees, retroactive to February 22, 2022, for certain travel and immigration documents, such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, and work and study permits. Further details will be made available in the coming weeks as these measures launch.
IRCC has also taken steps to increase operational readiness in the region, including relocating staff, moving additional supplies and equipment, such as mobile biometric collection kits, in anticipation of an increased volume of requests, and adjusting operations in offices across our global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine. Online options are available for most applications.
In support of the Government of Canada’s approach to the situation in Ukraine, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has an administrative deferral of removals (ADR) in place for Ukraine. An ADR is a temporary measure that can delay a removal order that would normally require a person to leave Canada immediately. The removal of these individuals would resume once the situation in their country or region stabilizes, and those who are not allowed in Canada on grounds of criminality, international or human rights violations, organized crime, or for security reasons can still be removed despite the ADR.
All immigrants, refugees and visitors, including temporary foreign workers and students, are carefully screened before coming into Canada. This screening ensures that they do not pose a threat to the health, safety or security of Canadians.
We will continue to monitor developments in the region, track application processing closely and take action where needed to support those affected by the situation in Ukraine.
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