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Canada to create new program to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion

Click to play video: 'Thousands of Ukrainian refugees could soon settle in Edmonton' Thousands of Ukrainian refugees could soon settle in Edmonton
With the federal government fast-tracking immigration for an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees, organizations in Edmonton are trying to find places for them to live. Dan Grummett reports – Mar 3, 2022

Canada will soon make it easier for Ukrainians who hope to come to our country temporarily after fleeing Russia’s invasion of their homeland.

The new program, called the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, eliminates “many of the normal visa requirements,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

“It’ll be the fastest and safest way to come to Canada.”

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is aiming to have the pathway open within two weeks.
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Read more: Most Canadians see Russian invasion of Ukraine escalating to world war: survey

There will be no limit to how many can apply and, pending a background check and security screening, Ukrainians could stay at least two years in Canada.

“While (Ukrainians) defend themselves against Putin’s costly war of aggression, we will provide safe haven to those who fled to protect themselves and their families,” Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said in a statement.

“Canadians stand with Ukrainians in their time of need and we will welcome them with open arms.”

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Russia-Ukraine conflict: Trudeau announces programs to welcome Ukrainian refugees – Mar 3, 2022

IRCC will also create a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residents that may have family in Ukraine.

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Ukrainians who come to Canada as a part of these programs will be eligible to apply for open work permits to make it easier for employers to “quickly hire Ukrainian nationals,” according to IRCC.

The programs are the latest Canadian efforts to ease the intake process for Ukrainians as Russia continues its invasion of the eastern European nation.
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Read more: Russia, Ukraine agree to evacuation corridors as invasion enters 2nd week

IRCC previously announced that open work permits will be issued to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students currently in Canada who cannot go back home, and fees for certain travel and immigration documents will be waived.

Canada also will not enforce a COVID-19 vaccination policy for Ukrainians who hold a temporary resident visa or permit to enter Canada.

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Since Jan. 1, more than 6,100 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada, according to the government. The Russian invasion of Ukraine began Feb. 24.

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The U.S. also announced Thursday that it will grant temporary legal status to Ukrainians living in the country.

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