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Canada To Spend $117M For Ukraine Special Immigration Measures

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has announced that the country will spend $117M to help hasten the arrival of Ukrainians to the country.

On Thursday, in a joint news conference in Warsaw with the Polish President Andrzej Duda, the Canadian Prime Minister said Ottawa will also provide more humanitarian support in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He said, “two million Ukrainians have fled their homes. It is a refugee crisis across this region. Even as we see here today in Poland, people opening up their homes, I want you to know that Canada is here to help.”

Canada is also looking to triple the amount it will spend to match individual Canadian’s donations to the Canadian Red Cross’ Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.

So with this, Canada will be pledging up to $30 million instead of $10 million. The Prime Minister also took an aim at the Russian President Vladimir Putin during the press conference and he said that the action of the Russian leader led to an invasion of Ukraine causing millions of Ukrainians to flee for their lives.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Lambasts Putin’s Disregard for Human Life

He said “Putin’s callous disregard for human life is absolutely unacceptable. It is very clear that he has made the choice to specifically target civilians now.”

Trudeau also said “Canada has joined the largest referral to the international criminal court in history and offered assistance to expedite this work. the world will continue to make Putin accountable for his war crimes.”

Trudeau also met with other world leaders during his long trip to Europe as he stopped at the UK, Germany and Latvia. The prime minister’s vow to invest more to help Ukrainians refugees comes with the Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announcement that was made earlier in the month that Canada will accept an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees.

The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel pathway is expected to open by March 17.

Fraser said that he is inspired by the courage Ukrainians have displayed as they upheld democratic ideals that Canadians cherished. He further said that while they defend themselves against Putin’s costly war of aggression, Canada would provide safe haven for those who fled to protect themselves and their families. Canadians stand with Ukrainians in their time of need and will welcome them with open arms.

Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel Pathway

Under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, Ukrainians will be able to come to Canada, pending background checks and security screenings and they will also be able to stay for at least two years including extensions to that permit.

All Ukrainians who come to Canada as part of these measures will be eligible to apply for open work permits which will allow them to work for any employer and in any job position anywhere in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are reassuring Ukrainians that apply through the program that their applications will be the first ones to be processed.

Canadian immigration announced last month that Ukrainians already in Canada on a temporary basis are now able to apply to extend their status as visitor, student or worker.

Some of the new immigration measures announced since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war are:

  • 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. Also, clients can now add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC Webform with their enquiry and their e-mail will be prioritized.
  • An updated web page to provide current information on measures. The page will include contents in Ukrainian for easy reading
  • 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
  • The issuance of 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. Fees are also being waived, retroactive to February 22 for certain travel and immigration documents such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, Proof of citizenship, visitor visas and work and study permits.
  • Permission for Ukrainians currently in Canada to extend their stay or stay longer in Canada by prioritizing the renewal of their work or study permits and also extending a policy that allows individuals to apply for a work permit from within Canada. This policy will 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.

The IRCC provides Additional Resources for Ukrainians

IRCC has adjusted operations in offices across its global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine. The Canadian immigration officials have also stepped up their game in Ukraine, relocating staff and moving additional supplies and equipment like mobile biometric collection kits.

The department is also planning to put in place a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence for the immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who may want to start a new life in Canada.

Ottawa is working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to list out the details of that program and expects to unveil it in a few weeks.

On IRCC’s website, it stated that the people of Ukraine had inspired the world with its courage and resilience and that Canada is there to support them and that the department is actively working to launch these measures and stand ready to welcome more and more Ukrainians to Canada.

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