Canada’s Ukraine visa program is set to expire this month. Will Ottawa extend it? – National

Canada’s immigration minister will “quickly” have an replace on the way forward for an emergency visa program for Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s battle as calls develop for the federal government to announce an extension.

The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Journey program (CUAET), which expedites visas and momentary residency permits for Ukrainians and their households, is set to expire March 31.

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The shortage of a agency dedication that the program will proceed past that date is creating uncertainty and even panic amongst Ukrainians who’re nonetheless trying to come to Canada, advocates say.

“We’ve seen a rise in numbers (of Ukrainians) arriving, notably in Toronto, as Ukrainians get very nervous about the potential for this program ending,” mentioned Ihor Michalchyshyn, government director and CEO of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which has been lobbying the federal government to extend the program.

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“We haven’t had anyone within the authorities inform us that it is ending, however we haven’t had anyone within the authorities inform us that it is being prolonged.”

Since January 2022, 177,958 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada, together with CUAET candidates and returning Canadian everlasting residents. Not less than 590,000 purposes via the CUAET program have been authorised out of 900,000 which have been acquired.

Click to play video: 'Volunteer group helping Ukrainian refugees makes plea for host families'

Volunteer group serving to Ukrainian refugees makes plea for host households

On Wednesday, Conservative MPs together with shadow immigration minister Tom Kmiec wrote to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser calling for an extension to be introduced “at once,” reminding him that the battle is removed from over.

The letter, a duplicate of which was shared with World Information, additionally identified Jap European nations similar to Poland have accepted much more folks fleeing the battle due to their proximity to Ukraine, and that Western nations like Canada have an obligation to assist ease the pressure on these international locations.

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“We can not merely abandon Ukrainian civilians fleeing the battle and we will and should proceed to assist our allies within the area who’ve taken on a better burden due to their geographical proximity in serving to battle refugees,” the letter says.

“We urge you not to go away Ukrainians in the dead of night concerning your plans with this program.”


Learn extra:

A yr into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has Canada executed sufficient to assist?

In response to the letter, a spokesperson for Fraser’s workplace on Thursday hinted at an imminent announcement concerning the CUAET program, however didn’t present specifics.

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“Minister Fraser stays engaged with stakeholders, Members of Parliament and group members, and appears ahead to offering an replace on this quickly,” Bahoz Dara Aziz mentioned in an electronic mail.

Of their letter, the Conservative MPs spotlight the big discrepancy between the variety of CUAET purposes acquired and what number of Ukrainians have truly arrived in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has beforehand advised World Information a number of the authorised candidates who haven’t arrived in Canada have chosen to keep nearer to residence as an alternative, and should have forgotten to withdraw their purposes.

Click to play video: 'Flexibility key to helping Ukrainian refugees in Canada: Fraser'

Flexibility key to serving to Ukrainian refugees in Canada: Fraser

Michalchyshyn doesn’t dispute the reason, however notes that as a result of Canada has not supplied constitution flights from Ukraine because the early months of the battle, candidates are pressured to fund their very own journeys to Canada.

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He additionally pointed to delays in biometric screening that may decelerate entry instances, a difficulty that has plagued different emergency refugee applications just like the one designed to evacuate folks out of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

Till an extension is introduced, Michalchyshyn mentioned the UCC and different advocates will proceed to apply stress on the Canadian authorities to act.

“So long as the battle continues, we all know the necessity continues,” he mentioned. “It’s clear that the variety of folks in want isn’t going to change on March 31 or April 1.”

&copy 2023 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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