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Ottawa unveils pathway to permanent residency for Ukrainians who have fled to Canada

It comes the same day a program offering temporary emergency visas formally closed
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser makes an announcement at the Cafe Ukraine in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The federal government is announcing details of a long-awaited pathway for Ukrainians to seek permanent residency in Canada starting this fall.

Ottawa says those who have fled Russia’s illegal invasion and want to stay in Canada will be able to apply for permanent residency as of Oct. 23, as long as they have temporary resident status and at least one family member in Canada.

Those who are eligible include Ukrainian spouses, common-law partners, parents, grandparents, siblings and children or grandchildren of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The announcement comes the same day a program offering temporary emergency visas to Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression formally closed, though Ukrainians and their family members can still apply for a temporary resident visa to come to Canada under pre-existing immigration measures.

The emergency visa was available to an unlimited number of Ukrainians, allowing them to work and study in Canada for three years as temporary residents rather than refugees.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says Ukrainians holding a visa will have until March 31, 2024, to travel to Canada under the temporary special measures.

The Canadian Press

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