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Information for Ukraine Nationals Coming to Canada
This page has current information for Ukrainians and those who want to support them in Ontario.
How can I help Ukrainians in my area?
If you would like to support displaced Ukrainians arriving in Ontario, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is currently accepting offers of support through their donation portal.
Government Updates & Information
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada has put measures in place to help Ukrainians coming to Canada due to the crisis in their country.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) established a dedicated service channel for Ukraine enquiries that will be available both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. In addition, you can now add the keyword Ukraine2022 to the IRCC Web form with your questions and your email will be prioritized.
For People Outside of Canada
IRCC is prioritizing applications from people with a primary residence in Ukraine for:
- Permanent Residence (PR)
- Proof of Citizenship
- Temporary Residence
- Grant of Citizenship for Adoption
The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) is no longer accepting applications. The deadline to apply for the CUAET program from outside Canada was July 15, 2023, Ukrainians wishing to apply to come to Canada after this date, can still apply through existing programs, but will need to pay fees and comply with standard requirements.
You can read these details in Ukrainian (Українська) on the IRCC website.
Airport Welcome Package
When you first arrive in Canada, there is a lot to do, but there is also a lot of help available. Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society (CUIAS) will greet new Ukrainian arrivals at Pearson airport and, if needed, book you into federally funded hotels for a 14-day stay. CUIAS can be reached by phone and email when CUIAS is not there at the airport: 1-888-557-6133 and [email protected]
This Welcome Package has a list of things you should do before arrival and during your first days in Canada.
For People in Canada
The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has stated there will be a prioritizing of pending Ukrainian files.
The 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. You can read more about the ADR on the CBSA website.
Government of Ontario
The Government of Ontario information page has details and resources for people who are in Ontario under CUAET. There is a section on this page with links to all the resources that are available to displaced Ukrainians and their families.
Regions, Municipalities & Cities
Many people are choosing to stay in the GTHA region of Ontario. This area includes the City of Toronto, the City of Hamilton, and the regional municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York. If you need services or information about a region in the GTHA this is where you can find helpful contact information. You can find community information on the GTHA Ukraine Response page created by 211 Central. The information in this directory lists only services with programming or interpretation services available in Ukrainian, Russian or Polish languages.
Pathway to Permanent Residency
Canada is accepting applications for the new pathway to permanent residence status from those who have fled Russia’s illegal invasion and want to stay in Canada. To qualify, Ukrainian nationals must be in Canada with temporary resident status and have one or more family members in Canada. This pathway will close on October 22, 2024.
You must meet all of the eligibility criteria, including:
- be a Ukrainian national
- be a family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, including their:
- spouse or common-law partner
- child (regardless of age)
- grandparent, or
- sibling (or half-sibling)
- be in Canada when:
- you submit your application
- you’re granted permanent residence
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply for sponsoring eligible family members to come to Canada. Applications should be submitted through the regular process. IRCC will prioritize applications if the family member you’re sponsoring is:
- a Ukrainian national outside Canada and one of the following family members:
- your spouse or common-law or conjugal partner
- your dependent child (including adopted children)
For these families, IRCC created a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence in consultation with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and other stakeholders.
Settlement services are available for newcomers to Canada. If you arrived under the CUAET pathway you are also eligible for services and support. These services can help you settle and adjust to your new life in Canada. Many settlement agencies have staff who can speak languages other than English. In Ontario, there are some agencies that provide services in Ukrainian like the Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society (CUIAS) and Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) that are located in Toronto and offer settlement services, employment assistance, and English language training. Services are offered in English, French, Ukrainian, and Russian.
As you settle in Ontario, you will need information on many different aspects of living here such as housing, employment, finances, education, health care and on other topics as well. You can learn how to access these services with the multilingual workbooks, including Ukrainian, from Orientation to Ontario.
You can find other agencies that offer services and support in Ukrainian through 211Ontario.ca.
If you arrived in Ontario through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) pathway you are eligible for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and have access to drug benefits and mental health services.
How do I apply for a health card (OHIP)?
To get Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage, you have to fill out an application. You also need to collect some documents to submit with your application. You will receive your OHIP number when you apply at a ServiceOntario centre and your card will come in the mail a few weeks later.
Finding a Doctor
A family doctor is also called a general practitioner (GP). Family doctors are usually the first doctors to diagnose and treat most medical problems. If you need to see a specialist doctor, usually, you need a family doctor to refer you. Family doctors also order laboratory and other tests. There is a shortage of family doctors in some areas of Ontario. It may take you some time to find a doctor. You can use the Health Care Connect program to help find a local doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients.
You still have options to see a doctor while you are waiting. You don't need an appointment to go to a walk-in medical clinic. Some clinics are open in the evening and on weekends. You can also go to a Community Health Centre (CHC). CHCs have health professionals such as doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners on staff.
Coming to a new county and adjusting can be challenging enough. When you are fleeing your country because of armed conflict you may need extra mental health support; like crisis counselling. The most important thing to remember when you are working to improve your mental health is that you aren’t doing it alone.
The cost of renting an apartment or house depends on the size (number of bedrooms), the neighbourhood where it is located, the age and condition it is in. There are different ways you can look for an apartment or house to rent in Ontario.
If you arrived under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) pathway you are eligible for settlement services and other supports. If you need help finding accommodation, you can find a settlement agency near you with our Services Near Me mapping tool.
When you enrol your child in publicly funded schools in Ontario you will need to provide a few documents. Children arriving under the CUAET pathway can attend publicly funded schools for free. Many settlement agencies can help you with registering your child for school. If you need assistance enrolling your child you can ask your settlement worker or the school’s settlement worker for help. They can also help you find an interpreter if you need one.
In Ontario, there are three basic types of child care; licensed home and child care centres and unlicensed child care. Childcare services in Ontario are in high demand and have long waiting lists. You may not get a spot right away.
Many seniors in Canada get support and services through both federal and provincial government programs. Most programs have a minimum age limit, usually between 55 - 65. You may qualify for these services and financial programs, even if you are living with family.
You might be eligible for financial assistance even if you just arrived and have no income in Canada.
Ukrainians arriving in Canada through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) pathway are eligible for a one-time payment from the Canadian government. The financial assistance is a direct deposit, one-time, non-taxable benefit payment of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child (age 17 and under). It is to help you take care of your basic needs while you settle in Canada.
Ukrainians and their family that are in Canada and hold a valid work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit or visitor record to Canada with the CUAET designation will be eligible. You can submit your application through the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)online portal
You may be eligible for short-term financial support if you are in a crisis or an emergency and don’t have enough money for things like food and housing.
You can find information regarding filing taxes in the Tax Guide for Newcomers Under CUAET created by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress; this resource is available in English and Ukrainian.
It is challenging to find work, especially when you are new to Canada. Learn what to expect, where to find information about jobs in Ontario, and who to talk to if you want help. There are many community agencies that provide employment services for newcomers to Ontario and even more agencies that provide services to all residents in a community.
The Government of Canada has created a page to assist Ukrainian nationals looking for employment and employers who wish to hire them.
Your Rights at Work
Your Rights as a Foreign National Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000
Your Rights as a Foreign National Under the Employment Standards Act, 2009
Employment Standards Rights for Temporary Help Agency Assignment Employees
Health and Safety at Work
Learning English will help you settle into your new home. Find information about how to access English As a Second Language (ESL) and Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programs.
Translation Tools Available
Google Translate offers free translation tools for text documents and websites. If using the app on your smartphone you may also be able to use it as a real-time interpreter for voice. Google Lens is also available on some platforms and allows you to translate text using your phone’s camera.
You can find articles on different topics in both Ukrainian-Українська and Russian-Русский in our Translated Information section.
For More Information
- Maidan Market Ottawa - A hub for newcomers from Ukraine fleeing the war. Established in May 2022, with the support of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Ottawa Branch.
- UC Parachute Toronto - A 'storefront' that provides free necessities including clothing, shoes, hygiene products, and household items, with the support of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Toronto Branch.
- IRCC Immigration Measures - New measures are in place to help people affected by the ongoing situation in Ukraine from IRCC.
- Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) - The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) is the voice of Canada’s Ukrainian community. They have a translated resource package to help displaced Ukrainians navigate their first days in Ontario.
- Ukraine - UNHCR Canada - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is on the ground providing assistance for refugees and internally displaced people.
- Welcome to Canada! - Information for Ukrainians and their family members coming to Canada. From Operation Ukraine Safe Haven (OUSH).
- Licence Exchange Agreement - Ontario will credit foreign driving experience for protected persons, refugees, and people from Ukraine to help them get their driver’s licence. From DriveTest.
February 22, 2024