Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, over millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country . In response, the government of Canada has announced special measures to bring Ukrainians to safety in Canada. This page provides information and resources to support Ukrainians arriving in Canada. We will continue to update it on a regular basis with new information and resources as they become available.
- The deadline to apply for Canada Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) visa was July 15, 2023.
- Anyone holding a CUAET visa will have until March 31, 2024 to travel to Canada.
- CUAET visas holders who are in Canada will have until March 31, 2024 to extend or adjust their temporary status free of charge.
- Access to settlement services for CUAET visa holders is extended until March 24, 2024.
NEW: Ukrainian temporary residents in Canada and their family members can now apply for permanent residence. You must be a family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or the spouse or common-law partners of a Ukrainian national who has family in Canada to be eligible. To learn more about eligibility criteria and how to apply, go to https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/ukraine-measures/pr-family-reunification.html
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:
- 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.
- 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 March 17, 2022 and October 14, 2023, 198,642 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada under CUAET.
- Between March 17, 2022 and October 14, 2023, 1,189,320 applications have been received and 922,590 applications have been approved.
- Check regularly updated figures here.
- As of 2016, there were 855 Ukrainian immigrants in Hamilton, and close to 17,000 residents identifying as Ukrainian.
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.
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.
- Those looking for housing supports, this can be temporary, permanent or being placed with a host home they can fill out this form and our housing support team will connect with them. https://www.ymcahbb.ca/ukrainian-housing-support-application
- 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