The world has watched in shock at the recent invasion of Russia into Ukraine. Canada has stated that it remains steadfast in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In response to the current crisis, IRCC has released a response and action plan regarding Ukrainians currently in Canada and family members overseas. IRCC has established 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) as well as a dedicated webpage that will include content in Ukrainian. Clients can also add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to IRCC Web form enquiries and their email will be prioritized.
The action plan released includes:
- Prioritizing applications for:
- travel documents for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members, including issuing single-journey travel documents for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not have valid passports;
- citizenship grant applications for adoption and proof of citizenship;
- permanent and temporary residence applications for people with a primary residence in Ukraine who want to reunite or travel with family, study, work or visit; and
- visitor, student or worker applications from Ukrainian nationals currently in Canada.
- Extending a policy that allows individuals to apply for a work permit from within Canada which would 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.
- Waiving fees (retroactive to February 22, 2022) for certain travel and immigration documents, such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, and work and study permits.
- IRCC will issue open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students who are currently in Canada and cannot go home.
- Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has an administrative deferral of removals (ADR) in place for Ukraine. An ADR is a temporary measure that can delay a removal order that would normally require a person to leave Canada immediately, with some exceptions.
IRCC has also stated that they have taken steps to increase operational readiness in the region in anticipation of an increased volume of requests and are adjusting operations in their global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine.
IRCC states that further details are to be made available in the coming weeks as these measures launch. Please see IRCC’s news release here regarding the above measures. Odyssey Law supports these measures and calls on the government to do even more to assist those currently affected in Ukraine including establishing specific programs to expedite resettlement of Ukrainians refugees to Canada.