Ukrainians fleeing conflict can stay in Canada for three years

The federal government will allow Ukrainians who have fled Russian aggression in their country to come to Canada on a temporary basis for three years while they decide their next steps.

Canada has begun accepting applications from those seeking refuge amid the Russian invasion.

The program, which was first announced two weeks ago, will allow an unlimited number of Ukrainians to come to Canada.

Initially, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Ukrainians would be allowed to stay temporarily for two years before deciding whether to apply to stay permanently.

On March 3, the Canadian government announced the creation of two new programs which Ukrainians can apply for: the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel and, for those who have family in Canada, a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence.

While the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel policy promises to provide the fastest way to welcome as many Ukrainians as possible, applicants will still have to qualify through an application form for security and background screening.

In addition to extending the time period to three years, the federal government is also extending eligibility to family members of Ukrainian nationals, regardless of their own nationality.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, says three million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s attack on the country began. The vast majority are women, children, and older adults.

The government expects applications will take about two weeks to process for standard, non-complex cases.

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