Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced the creation of two new programs for Ukrainians escaping war to come to Canada.
Amid rising tensions in eastern Europe, Canada has opened its doors to Ukrainians fleeing Putin's invasion of their homeland.
On Wednesday, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that two new programs would be created to assist an "unlimited number" of refugees planning on leaving Ukraine.
"We believe in the principles of sovereignty, and territorial integrity of nations," Fraser began. "We believe in the right of peoples to self-determination. These are the values that underpin the founding documents of the United Nations, and form the basis of the international rules based legal order that has helped deliver peace and prosperity to Canadians for the better part of a century. But if we fail to breathe life into these important texts, by choosing not to defend the principles behind the documents when they are under attack, then they are worth no more than the paper on which they are written."
"That's why," he continued, "we're launching two new special programs for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily, and for those who wish to stay."
"For those who need a safe haven while the war ravages their homeland," Fraser said, "we are creating the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel. There will be no limit on the number of applications accepted under this stream. The primary motivation for this new program is that it provides the fastest way for us to start welcoming as many Ukrainians as possible, and will allow them to stay for a period of up to two years."
Fraser stated that the government would be "waiving most of the requirements that exist under a traditional visa," and that in order to qualify, "individuals will need to complete a simple application form, and provide biometrics for security and background screening."
"Everyone who arrives under this new stream," Fraser added, "will also be eligible for an open work permit or study permit that will allow them to take a job with any Canadian employer, or enrol in an education program."
According to CIC News, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada plans to put the plan into action in two weeks.
Canada has long been open to Ukrainians seeking refuge for political reasons, and the country has the third largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world. According to StatCan, Ukrainians are Canada's eleventh largest ethnic group, with nearly 1.5 million people claiming Ukrainian ancestry.