Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Canadian government has created a unique immigration program that allows Ukrainians to immigrate to Canada in order to protect the Ukrainian people and their immediate family. This new immigration program is called the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET).

The CUAET is the fastest, safest, and most efficient way for Ukrainians to come to Canada and eliminates many of the normal visa requirements. This is an exceptional immigration program because it provides a visitor visa to Ukrainian nationals and their family members, it is free and gives Ukrainians the right to work and study in Canada.

In addition, covid-19 vaccinations are not required for Ukrainian citizens entering Canada under the CUAET immigration pathway.

Most importantly, a visa will be issued to the Ukrainian applicant within 14 days of the submission of the CUAET application.

Below is a summary of the benefits of the CUAET immigration programs.

Benefits of the CUAET Immigration Program:

Who can apply Ukrainian nationals and family members of Ukrainian nationals. Family members can be of any nationality. Valid Ukrainian passports are not necessary, but this can result in more paperwork and delayed processing.
Application Fee There is no cost to applying for the visitor visa to Canada under the CUAET.
Application Timeline After the application is processed, the applicant will get their visa within 14 days.
Family Ukrainian applicants can bring spouses, common-law partners, dependent children of the applicant, and the dependent child of the dependent child of the applicant (aka grandchildren).
Time to Stay in Canada The visitor visa lasts for three (3) years but applicants can apply for additional visas once in Canada that can later allow for applicants to apply for permanent residence.
Work and Study Ukrainian applicants can apply for work permit or a study permit at the same time as the visa application. The work permit and study permit are also free.

Ukrainians entering Canada under the CUAET program are also eligible to attend elementary and secondary school in Canada.

Covid Ukrainian applicants are not required to be vaccinated or even partially vaccinated to enter Canada under the CUAET program.

Despite these benefits, it is important to understand that Ukrainians will not be considered refugees since this is a temporary program that will only allow Ukrainians to stay in Canada for 3 years, with the option to extend the visa even further.

The CUAET is not competitive. Any applicant who successfully meets the requirements should be issued the visitor visa. The Canadian government is prepared to admit an unlimited number of Ukrainians into Canada.

Requirements for the CUAET Programs for Ukrainians:

The only requirement for applying to the CUAET program is that the applicant must have Ukrainian nationality or the applicant must be a family member of a Ukrainian national. If the applicant is a family member of a Ukrainian national, then that family member can be of any other nationality.

Process for Applying to the CUAET Program:

Step 1 Apply for IRCC Invitation Code: If an applicant has never applied for a visa or permit in Canada, then they must use the online portal of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC Portal). In order to create an account on the IRCC Portal, an invitation code needs to be sent to the applicant. The applicant can get an invitation code by submitting a request online for an invitation code and one will be emailed to the applicant.

Step 2 Create IRCC Account. Once the applicant has received their invitation code, they must use it to create an account on the IRCC portal.

Step 3 Complete the Online IRCC Form for CUAET: After the applicant has made their account, if the applicant is outside of Canada, they must apply for a visitor visa and then identify that they are applying through the CUAET program. Once they have selected the CUAET program, the applicant must answer a number of additional questions such as if the applicant is applying as a family, or if they want a work or study in Canada. It is very important at this stage for the applicant to identify if they wish to work in Canada because the applicant must obtain a work permit in addition to the visitor visa. If the applicant does not apply for the work permit, they might not be able to legally work in Canada upon their arrival.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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