Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has taken measures to provide fast and easy pathways for Ukrainians fleeing war to come to Canada, and to ensure Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their family members can safely return to Canada. Visit government of Canada’s webpage on Immigration Measures for Ukrainians to learn more about these special measures.
The government of Canada is committed to accepting unlimited number of Ukrainians fleeing the country. There are two pathways through which Ukrainians will arrive in Canada: 1) a temporary stream through which Ukrainians will be provided with temporary visitor visas to travel to Canada, and 2) a permanent stream through family reunification program. None of the programs announced so far fall under Canada’s formal refugee resettlement programs.
1) Temporary stream: the government of Canada announced on March 11 that it will help Ukrainians and their family members to travel to Canada as quickly as possible through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program. These are some of important components of this program:
- Ukrainians and their family members can apply for a temporary visitor visa, which will allow them to stay in Canada for up to 3 years.
- Visa applications submitted will be processed on a priority basis, with an expected processing time of 14 days.
- Application fees are waived, so are other requirements for a normal visa application, expect for security screening. Applicants are also exempted from COVID travel restrictions.
- Applicants can apply for fee-exempt 3-year open work permit or study permit at the same time.
- For Ukrainians already in Canada, CUAET provides the option to extend their visas, work or study permits for another 3 years.
2) Permanent stream: Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have family members in Ukraine can apply to sponsor them to come to Canada permanently. These applications will be given priority. For more information, click here.
IRCC has set up a dedicated service channel for Ukrainians:
- Call at 613-321-4243
- Add keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC crisis web form
Community Supports in Hamilton
There are various supports for Ukrainians who have and will be arriving in Hamilton, including:
- Local service provider organizations who serve newcomers in Hamilton. Click here for a list of these organizations.
- Local initiatives to support Ukrainians in Canada and abroad:
- Post-secondary support from McMaster University which has allocated funds to sponsor and support forcibly displaced scholars and students from Ukraine and Afghanistan. Click here to learn more.
- The Province has launched an Ontario-Ukraine Solidarity Scholarship to support Ukrainians studying at publicly assisted colleges and universities.
- World Education Services (WES) is now offering credentials evaluation services to Ukrainians who don’t have documents to prove their education and skills
- HIPC has put together a Welcome and Information Guide in English and Ukrainian with useful information about services and supports available for Ukrainian arrivals in Hamilton. The City of Hamilton also has a welcome and information webpage that provides important information and resources for Ukrainians.
Canadian Government is providing:
- Settlement services such as language training, orientation, employment assistance and other supports for Ukrainians as they settle into their new communities.
- Targeted charter flights to Canada for Ukrainians. Three charter flights have already arrived in Canada, bringing over 900 Ukrainians to Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax in late May and early June 2022.
- Short-term income support to ensure basic needs are met Ukrainians arriving under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) can now apply for a one-time payment financial assistance.
- Temporary hotel accommodation for up to two week.
- For more information, see Government of Canada’s announcement here.
The Government of Ontario is providing:
- Access to Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP)
- Access to publicly funded schools for children.
- Access to emergency income supports through this online application, a local Ontario Works office or by calling 905-546-4800.
- Dedicated employment hotline for job-seekers and employers: 1-888-562-4769
- For more information, visit Ontario Canada page.
- Between January 1 and May 30, 2022, 39,700 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada.
- Between March 17 and June 1, 2022, 278,003 applications have been received and 127,153 applications have been approved under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program.
- Check regularly updated figures here.
- As of 2016, there were 855 Ukrainian immigrants in Hamilton, and close to 17,000 residents identifying as Ukrainian.
How Can I Help?
The YMCA Hamilton Burlington Brantford has created some forms to collect offers of volunteer support in the following areas:
- If you would like to provide housing, please complete this form.
- If you speak Ukrainian or Russian languages and would like to provide interpretation assistance, please complete this form.
- If you are an employer and would like to offer employment opportunities, complete this Employer Intake Form.
- If you would like to participate in the Canada Connects volunteer program to help Ukrainian newcomers settle in our communities, please fill out this form.
If you have arrived in Hamilton from Ukraine or are planning to arrive and need accommodation, please complete this form.
For monetary donations, donate directly to the local Ukrainian Refugee Fund: https://wesley.ca/donate-now/
Follow organizations such as Ukrainian Canadian Congress Hamilton to keep informed about ways to help Ukrainians in Hamilton and abroad.
Remember, to be a welcoming and inclusive community member. Arriving in a new community having fled war and crisis can be extremely stressful. Being welcoming to all goes a long way in helping new residents to feel a sense of home in our city!
For more information or updates, contact our team at: immigration.partnership@Hamilton.ca
Stay Informed! Learn about Canada’s measures for Ukrainians