On the Radar
CLEO On The Radar
May 2022
Support for Ukrainians in Ontario
Over 5 million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded their country on February 24, this year. In response, the Government of Canada introduced a special immigration program to help Ukrainians come to Canada quickly or remain in Canada more easily. The Ontario government is also helping with health benefits and emergency income supports.
This issue of On the Radar looks at the programs and supports available to Ukrainian temporary residents already in Ontario.
Government of Canada programs and support
The federal government's Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program lets Ukrainian temporary residents already in Canada extend their temporary status at no cost. This allows them to work, study, and stay in Canada for up to 3 years.
Temporary resident visas and study permits
Because of the CUAET, Ukrainian temporary residents and their immediate family members can now:
  • extend their visitor status for up to 3 years or until their passport expires
  • apply for a study permit from inside Canada or extend an existing study permit for the duration of their studies
They don't have to pay a fee if their visitor status or study permit has not expired. But, if it has expired, they will have to pay a $200 restoration fee.
To have their applications processed quickly, when filling out their form online Ukrainians should put:
  • "Other" in the
    • 'Purpose of Visit' field on the IMM 5708 form for a temporary resident visa, or
    • 'Expenses Paid' field on the IMM 1294 form for a study permit, and
  • "UKRAINE 2022" in the 'Other' field on both forms.
Open work permits
Ukrainians under CUAET can apply for a 3-year open work permit for free. This means they can work for any employer in almost any industry.
Ukrainians with a closed or an "employer-specific" work permit can also apply for an open work permit. But until they get their open work permit, they have to continue working for the employer listed on the employer-specific permit.
To have the application fee waived, Ukrainians have to put the following in their IMM 5710 form for a work permit application:
  • "Open Work Permit" as the type of work permit they're applying for
  • "UKRAINE 2022" as the job title, and
  • "Ukraine 2022 public policy—open work permit" in the 'Brief Description of Duties' field.
There is also a specialized job bank to help Ukrainian temporary residents find work in Canada.
Removal orders to Ukraine suspended
Canada Border Services Agency has stopped enforcing most removal orders that would send a Ukrainian national to Ukraine. This is a temporary change. Once it's safe to return to Ukraine, removal orders for Ukraine will be effective.
Settlement supports
The federal government is offering free settlement services to Ukrainian temporary residents and their dependents until March 21, 2023. Settlement services help newcomers look for a job, language classes, and a place to live.
Government of Ontario supports
Ukrainians with temporary status in Canada through the CUAET can apply for:
To apply for OHIP, Ukrainians under CUAET have to apply in person at a ServiceOntario Centre and bring proof of their:
  • Identity: passport or credit card, for example
  • OHIP-eligible immigration status: CUAET, work, or study permit
  • Ontario residency: temporary driver's licence, Ontario Photo Card
For current information and help
The Government of Canada sends email updates on federal programs and priority processing for Ukrainians to people who sign up for them. They also have web forms for specific questions and a phone line that accepts collect calls: 1-613-321-4243.
The Government of Ontario has a web page for Ukrainian temporary residents living in the province.
Related resources
Coming to Ontario from Ukraine
Government of Ontario
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