Canada expands settlement support services for Ukrainians coming to the country
Canada has expanded settlement support for Ukrainians who are fleeing the Russia-Ukraine war and entering Canadian grounds. They will now have income support for up to six weeks, ensuring access to basic necessities. For those who need an initial place to stay, temporary hotel accommodations will be provided for up to two weeks. Targeted charter flights to Canada for Ukrainians are also in the plan.
These announcements were made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event in a worldwide show of solidarity with Ukraine. “Today, we raised over $12.4 billion in pledges to continue supporting the Ukrainian people who have been displaced by Putin’s ongoing and unjustifiable war. Whether it’s food, water, shelter, or medical aid – we will continue to have your backs and provide the assistance you need at this time. We are also making it easier for Ukrainians fleeing the war to come to Canada. We are standing up for Ukraine,” said Trudeau.
An additional $100 million, for emergency health services, including trauma care, protection, and the basic necessities, was also declared to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
These announcements are an addition to the previously declared support for Ukrainians — those arriving via the accelerated temporary residence pathway called Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) will have access to Settlement Program services until March 31, 2023.
The Settlement Program services, which are typically only available to permanent residents, 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, activities that promote connections with communities, assessments and referral services for other needs Ukrainians may have, and services targeted to the needs of women, seniors, youth and LGBTQ2+ persons.
More support for Ukrainians fleeing the war
Arrival services will also be available at the Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver international airports. It will include translation and information services.
Biometrics is currently a requirement before arrival in Canada for the majority of Ukrainian nationals. However, certain individuals who are low-risk may be exempted from providing biometrics on a case-by-case basis at the decision maker’s discretion. Moreover, in addition to the current visa application centre network, additional biometrics collection locations have been set up.
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.
As was announced earlier, there is a dedicated service channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries available for people both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243. Adding the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC crisis web form with an enquiry will ensure that it is prioritized.
It is important to note that 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. Also, IRCC is also developing a special permanent residence stream for family reunification.
Canada marks an important milestone by welcoming over 10,000 Afghan refugees
In addition to remaining steadfast in its support for Ukrainians, Canada has been working on the safe passage and resettlement of Afghan refugees to the country. On March 30, 2022, a charter flight with nearly 300 Afghan nationals arrived in Toronto, Ontario, marking 10,000 arrivals of Afghan refugees since August 2021.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working directly with Resettlement Assistance Program service providers, provinces and territories, community organizations, sponsorship agreement holders, and private sponsors to provide Afghan nationals with access to housing, childcare, language training and basic necessities such as clothing and food.
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