Information for Ukrainians coming to Canada
Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)
CUAET allows all Ukrainian nationals and their family members to apply for a visitor visa to enter Canada and remain in Canada up to 3 years from the time of entry. Link here.
How to Apply for the CUAET (Online only)
The first step for prospective CUAET applicants is to sign in to their GCKey account or, if the prospective applicant has not applied for a Canadian visa before, to create a new account. Here is the link to do so.
FASKEN law firm has created a step-by-step guide for applying under the CUAET program, which can be found here. This guide is also available in Ukrainian and Russian languages. There are also video tutorials about how to apply under the CUAET program, in English and in Ukrainian.
The CUAET allows Ukrainian visa applicants to apply for a free open work permit, which would allow displaced Ukrainians and their family members to be able to work in Canada. Additionally, Ukrainian nationals who are already in Canada or who arrive in Canada on a visa other than the CUAET visitor visa but are eligible for the CUAET visitor visa can apply for this open work permit online.
The federal government has also launched a Jobs for Ukraine website, which Ukrainians in Canada can use to search for jobs if they wish to work.
The Ontario government has launched a jobs hotline (1-888-562-4769) and an email address (email@example.com) to connect new arrivals with job search support and local employers in the community. Ontario has also announced that existing jobs programs in the province, such as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, the Second Career Program, and the Skills Development Fund will favour Ukrainian applicants.
The European Jobs for Ukraine website includes some job postings in Canada. Ukrainians in Canada can also search for job openings on Indeed.
The federal government has announced that 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 CUAET. Key services that will be available to Ukrainians as they settle into their new communities in Canada 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; and other settlement supports available through the settlement program.
The Ontario government has announced support programs for Ukrainians in Ontario who have traveled to Canada through the CUAET, including access to healthcare through OHIP, access to emergency housing, and ensuring that Ukrainian elementary and secondary school students can attend publicly funded schools for free. The full list of settlement services offered by Ontario can be found here.
For immigration related questions, contact:
The Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian immigration lawyers available to assist Ukrainians
Canada Immigration Lawyers Association published a list of lawyers available to provide immigration assistance to those affected by the war in Ukraine Link
The Canadian Bar Association has compiled a list of lawyers who may provide pro bono assistance to Ukrainians and how to request pro bono assistance
Support and announcements from Canadian Universities
York University: financial supports, mental health supports, academic advising, visa and immigration supports
Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts): offering 25 full tuition scholarships for several one-year diploma programs for displaced Ukrainians
University of Alberta: working to extend help to applicants, students and scholars from Ukraine whose lives are being affected by Russia’s invasion.
General information and social services
In Toronto: Canada Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society: For questions regarding helping Ukrainians, call the main office at 416-767-4595 or 416-225-0511 North York Office or email at email@example.com
In Toronto: Ukrainian Canadian Social Services (Toronto) Inc. (ucsst.ca)
If you are new to Ontario, you can find answers to common questions in Ukrainian on this website: Translated Information (Українська – Ukrainian) (settlement.org)
Published by Olha Senyshyn, Immigration lawyer in Toronto, UCPBA VP-Operations. This article was prepared with contributions from Thomas Law, J.D. candidate 2023, University of Ottawa