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Skip Navigation LinksUkrainian-Crisis Operation Ukrainian Safe Haven
Skip Navigation LinksImmigration Simcoe > Operation Ukrainian Safe Haven

Operation Ukrainian Safe Haven

​​​​​​Introduction

Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country. In response, the Canadian government announced the launch of the Canadian-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET), a special temporary residence visa program for Ukrainians seeking safety in Canada. The government is also prioritizing family sponsorship applications for Ukrainian relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This page provides information and resources to support Ukrainians arriving in Canada. We will continue to update it on a regular basis with new information and resources as they become available .

Immigration Information ​​and Resources

The government of Canada has committed to accepting an unlimited number of Ukrainians. . The Canada–Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) is a special government visa program put in place to expedite the migration process for Ukrainian nationals.

  • Ukrainians and their family members can apply for a temporary visitor visa, allowing them to stay in Canada for up to 3 years.
  • Visa applications will be processed on a priority basis, with an expected processing time of 14 days.
  • Application fees and requirements of a typical visa application have been waived, except for security screenings.
  • Applicants can apply for a fee-exempt 3-year open work permit or study permit at the same time.
  • Ukrainians already living in Canada can apply for CUAET to extend existing visas, and work and study permits for another three years.
Alternatively, Canadian citizens and permanents residents with family members in Ukraine can apply to sponsor them to come to Canada permanently. These applications will be given priority.

For more information on CUAET or sponsoring relatives from Ukraine, please visit the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website: Immigration measures for people a​ffected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine webpage.​

Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Dedicated Federal Service Channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries:

  • Call 613-321-4243, collect calls accepted
  • Use the IRCC crisis web f​orm and add the keyword “Ukraine2022" and it will be prioritized

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Ukrainian Nationals living in Canada on a temporary basis can apply for permanent residency through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). OINP recognizes and nominates people for permanent residence who have the skills and experience that the Ontario Government needs. The Government of Canada makes the final decision to approve applications and grant residency. At this time, all applicants with Ukrainian citizenship will benefit from expedited application processing. Applications must be based oestablished program criteria.

Pre-Arrival 

On May 4, 2022, the government announced the launch of a new Canada Information Centre (CI Centre) in Warsaw, Poland. Ukrainians can attend the CI Centre in person for information on what to expect when coming to Canada. The CI Centre is located within the new Canadian Biometric Operations Centre in Warsaw at the Global EXPO Centrum. Information will be available in Ukrainian, English and French. Visitors to the centre can ask questions and receive guidance on pre-and post-arrival services and support.

A second, temporary Canadian Biometric Operations Centre was been opened in Berlin, Germany to address the growing demand for biometrics.  

Arriving in Canada

Canadian Red Cross:

The Canadian Red Cross provides reception, registration, and translation services upon arrival at Toronto Pearson International Airport. 

 Welcome Packages for Ukrainians  provide information and resources to help during the transition period.

Current Public Health Restrictions for Ukrainian Newcomers:

  • No need for proof of negative COVID-19 test upon arrival
  • Unvaccinated travelers allowed to transfer freely to other provinces
  • Exemption from presenting ArriveCan requirements
  • Health assessments are being offered at ports of entry to address urgent concerns
  • Support is available at ports of entry to ensure that federal quarantine requirements are understood and met

Supports for Ukrainian Nationals in Simcoe County

Settlement Services help newcomers settle and adapt to life in our communities. These services include information,  referrals to other community services, language training, and assistance finding employment that matches newcomers' skills and education.

Additional supports may be available to ensure that programming is accessible, such as transportation, child-care and interpretation/translation services.

There are many local service provider organ​izations who provide free settlement support to newcomers within Simcoe County.

Local Support Groups:

Ukrainian Churches in Simcoe County:

Both Ukrainian Churches are directing monetary donations to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association: https://cnewa.org/ca/campaigns/ukraine/

Employment                          

A dedicated hotline (1-888-562-4769) as well as email address (ukrainianjobs@ontario.ca) has been created to help connect new arrivals to job search supports and local employers.

Individuals arriving under the CUAET (Canada–Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel) stream are eligible to:

Ukrainians looking for work can contact Job Bank (let them know that you are a Ukrainian national looking for a job in Canada and they will contact you with information), or use the Job Bank to search for Canadian employers who want to support Ukrainians. Employers who wish to support Ukrainians with offers of employment can register on Job Bank's Jobs for Ukraine webpage.

Locally, www.workinsimcoecounty.ca provides job opportunities from nearly 20 employment websites in one consolidated location. 

Healthcare

Ukrainians in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) are eligible for universal provincial health care coverage through:

Applying for the Ontario Health Insurance Program

Ukrainians in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) can apply for the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) at any ServiceOntario location immediately following arrival (see below for a list of locations).

All applicants (including children) will be asked to supply documentation from Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to confirm their emergency authorization to enter and stay in Canada. Applicants over the age of 16 will be required to provide proof of identity and address where they are staying in Canada. At this time, ServiceOntario is accepting letters from sponsoring organizations/individuals as proof of residency. For example, if a family has just arrived from Ukraine and is staying with relatives, the relative that owns the home would write and sign a letter stating the address and confirming their home as a temporary dwelling. Alternatively, if a Ukrainian family is being sheltered by a community program, a representative of the organization would write a letter confirming the temporary address in Ontario. OHIP eligib​ility und​er the Emergency Authorization for Humanitarian Purposes provision.

ServiceOntario locations in Simcoe County:

  • Alliston:
    • 180 Parsons Road, Unit 1, L9R 1E8
  • Barrie:
    • 320 Bayfield Street, Unit 104, L4M 3C1
    • 274 Burton Avenue, Unit 21, L4N 5W4
    • 34 Simcoe Street, Unit 102, L4N 6TA4
  • Bradford:
    • 100 Dissette Street, Unit 9, L3Z 3G8
  • Collingwood:
    • 191 Hurontario Street, Unit 6, L9Y 2M1
  • Elmvale:
    • 40 Yonge Street South, Unit A, L0L 1P0
  • Midland:
    • 9225 Highway 93, Unit 20, L4R 4K4
  • Orillia:
    • 575 West Street South, Unit 6, L3V 7N6

Education

Elementary and Secondary

Ukrainian elementary and secondary school students may attend publicly funded schools in Ontario. There are four main school boards in Simcoe County:

  • Simcoe County District School Board
    • School operates and teaches in English. Opportunities exist for extended language programming, including extended French, French immersion, and French as a Second Language (FSL)
    • No religious affiliation
  • Simcoe Muskoka Catholic School Board
    • ​School operates and teaches in English. Opportunities exist for extended language programming, including extended French, French immersion, and French as a Second Language (FSL)
    • Catholic affiliation; students attend mass and participate in religious education courses
  • Conseil Scolaire Viamonde
    • ​School operates and teaches in French
    • No religious affiliation 
  • Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir
    • ​School operates and teaches in French
    • Catholic affiliation; students attend mass and participate in religious education courses

Families select which school board is the best fit for their child(ren). Once this decision is made, parents can visit their website to initiate the registration process. For support with school registration and integration, contact The Settlement Workers in Schools program.  

Post-secondary

A new $1.9-million Ontario-Ukraine Solidarity Scholarship may help those studying in Ontario's publicly funded colleges and universities, who were admitted to Canada on an emergency basis for humanitarian reasons. This page will be updated with further details on eligibility and application procedures as information becomes available.

Training

The province's Second Career program will provide financial support — for those who apply and are eligible — of up to $28,000 for basic living allowances, tuition, transportation, and other needs. For more information, please visit "Coming to Ontario from Ukraine".

Financial Support

Individuals arriving via CUAET (Canada–Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel) are eligible for the Ontario Emergency Assistance (EA) program, which provides temporary financial support for basic needs and shelter in crisis situations. For more information about the Ontario Emergency Assistance program please visit the Ontario government website.

Other Resources:

Where can I learn about trauma and trauma-informed care?

Canadian Ukrainian Organizations

The following organizations are located in provinces across Canada:


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