OTTAWA – The federal government has begun accepting applications from Ukrainians and their families fleeing Russian aggression who want to come to Canada while they decide their next steps.
The program, which allows an unlimited number of Ukrainians to come to Canada, was first announced two weeks ago.
At the time, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser suggested Ukrainian citizens would be allowed to stay for two years before deciding whether to apply to stay permanently.
The government has since extended that period to three years, and extended eligibility to family members of Ukrainian nationals, regardless of their own nationality.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says three million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s attack on the country began, and 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.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2022.