Canada expands settlement support for Ukrainians coming to Canada
March 30, 2022—Ottawa—Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to welcome Ukrainians and their families and to provide a safe haven while the war continues in their home country. But their journey does not end when they enter Canada, and we are working to provide additional supports for Ukrainians once they arrive.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that Canada is offering temporary federal support to help Ukrainians settle in their new communities. Settlement Program services, which are typically only available to permanent residents, will soon be extended until March 31, 2023, for temporary residents in Canada eligible under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET). This is an extraordinary temporary measure aimed at supporting Ukrainians arriving under this special, accelerated temporary residence pathway. Key services that will be available to Ukrainians as they settle into their new communities include
- language training
- information about and orientation to life in Canada, such as help with enrolling children in school
- information and services to help access the labour market, including mentoring, networking, counselling, skills development and training
- activities that promote connections with communities
- assessments of other needs Ukrainians may have and referrals to appropriate agencies
- services targeted to the needs of women, seniors, youth and LGBTQ2+ persons
- other settlement supports available through the Settlement Program
Settlement services are delivered through more than 550 agencies across Canada. The Government of Canada will continue working closely with provinces and territories, which are mobilizing to support Ukrainians arriving in Canada. They play a key role in helping temporary residents through settlement and social services.
Starting early April 2022, the Canadian Red Cross, in support of the Government of Canada, will provide arrival services at the Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver international airports. This support includes providing translation services, as well as information in their language of choice to help connect Ukrainians with government and community services.
We have also created a Ukraine Cross-Sectoral Collaboration Governance Table, which will bring together settlement sector leadership, provincial and territorial representatives, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Canadian Red Cross, federal partners and other stakeholders. This table will facilitate communication and collaboration on the Ukraine response and will help to triage logistics for cash donations and volunteers.
IRCC is exempting certain individuals who are low-risk from providing biometrics on a case-by-case basis at the decision maker's discretion. Biometrics are currently a requirement before arrival in Canada for the majority of Ukrainian nationals. IRCC relies on biometrics for identity management and to ensure the integrity of Canada’s visa programs. The collection of biometrics is an essential component of the security screening process to protect the safety and security of Canadians and Ukrainian nationals when they arrive on Canadian soil. The easing of biometrics requirements will ensure Ukrainian nationals arrive in Canada as quickly and as safely as possible.
Service Canada is working with service delivery partners to provide Ukrainian newcomers with information about Government of Canada programs and services, in particular the social insurance number (SIN), including through SIN clinics delivered at convenient locations. To help connect Ukrainian newcomers with available jobs, the government also launched Job Bank’s Jobs for Ukraine webpage, including a fact sheet in Ukrainian, on March 17, 2022. Since its launch, the site has been viewed close to 96,000 times.
Canadians have been stepping up to help Ukrainians. Together, and with our partners, we will welcome Ukrainians into our communities and provide the supports they need to thrive, until they can safely return home.
“We will continue to support Ukrainians fleeing Vladimir Putin’s war, both before and after their arrival in Canada. We know coming to live in a new country, even temporarily, is not easy. As Russia continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we want to ensure Ukrainians have access to the support and key services they need to settle into their new communities across Canada.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has received over 80,000 CUAET applications. Key figures are updated weekly.
As of early April, the Canadian Red Cross is offering reception services for temporary residents from Ukraine for 12 hours per day per airport. On-call, after-hours services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accessible via local and international phone numbers. Services are available in English, French, Ukrainian and Russian.
The Canadian Red Cross will have experienced clinician and mental health specialists are on-site to help refer those needing medical attention or who may be struggling to cope with the impacts on their mental health to appropriate service providers.
Information will be provided to people arriving at major destination hubs across the country (including Toronto and Edmonton as of April 1, 2022, and Vancouver the following week).
- a list of critical services (such as crisis lines and mental health centres)
- tips on how to settle in their community, including instructions on how to get a social insurance number, health card, and driver’s licence, as well as how to register for job opportunities through Job Bank
- contact information for settlement agencies
- information on available settlement services, including provincial services and supports for temporary foreign workers, such as language assessment, settlement supports and registration of children in schools
In addition to our current visa application centre network, we have set up additional biometrics collection locations and increased capacity at existing ones as demand requires. Clients should visit Where to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) to find the closest service point.
All visa applicants undergo standard background checks and are carefully screened before coming into Canada.
The CUAET is a temporary residence pathway and is not a refugee stream.
Those wishing to immigrate to Canada permanently can apply for permanent residence under a variety of different immigration programs and streams. IRCC is also developing a special permanent residence stream for family reunification.
IRCC established a dedicated service channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. Clients can add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC crisis web form with their enquiry and it will be prioritized.
Contacts for media only
Minister’s Office, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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