As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, many Canadian tech companies are struggling to bring their Ukrainian workers to Canada. The IRCC began prioritizing Ukrainian applications and lifted the limit on Ukrainian immigrants.
Many Canadian companies expressed their interest in hiring new recruits from Ukraine to allow people fleeing the conflict to have a safe future and a job. Other companies desperately want to bring their existing workers from their Ukrainian offices to work in their Canadian offices. International companies like Shopify that are closing their Russian offices also expressed an interest in moving their Russian employees to their Canadian offices.
In this article, we will outline what programs are available to Canadian companies that want to help their workers that are fleeing the conflict. However, we acknowledge that the situation in Ukraine is changing every day and so is the Canadian response to this crisis. Sobirovs Law Firm team will continue updating this page regularly and we encourage that you visit this page often and share it with others generously.
Immigration Options Available for the Ukrainians and Canadian employers
Here are some immigration options that are available to Canadian employers. Each of these options focuses on the speed of obtaining a result and bringing the applicants to Canada fast. They must be evaluated as to the fitness depending on the situation of each applicant and the Canadian employer.
Global Talent Stream (GTS) – This program is ideal for companies that are planning on bringing foreign talent to Canada. Under GTS, a company can hire a maximum of 2 Category A workers (highly-skilled) a year and an unlimited number of Category B workers (mostly IT specialists). This program is ideal for companies that are planning on employing IT or tech professionals from Ukraine.
GATS Work Permits – A Canadian company can bring a Ukrainian under GATS Work Permit if the worker has already been employed by the company. The worker must be employed in one of the following service sectors: business, communications, construction, distribution, environment, financial, tourism and travel, transportation. This program is also ideal for companies that are planning on employing new Ukrainian professionals like engineers, agrologists, architects, forestry professionals, geomatics experts, land surveyors, foreign legal consultants, urban planners, and senior computer specialists.
C-10 Significant Benefit Work Permit – This program is ideal for Canadian employers that want to employ Ukrainian workers whose work would create or maintain significant social, cultural, or economic benefits for Canadian Citizens or permanent residents. Applications under this program will benefit from the LMIA-exempt application process.
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) – Ukrainian citizens, business owners, and entrepreneurs can apply for a Temporary Resident Visa in order to come to Canada. This visa will allow you to stay in Canada for up to 3 years. This program is ideal for people who want to flee Ukraine and arrive in Canada. You do not need to own a business nor have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer.
Standard LMIA-based Work Permit – This program is more suitable for those Canadian employers who could not find suitable workers in Canada, and want to bring foreign workers. More detailed information about these options is available here. With respect to the Ukrainian Crisis, this option may be too long. However, if a Canadian company has already obtained LMIA(s), then it may consider hiring a Ukrainian worker to bring him/her to Canada on an expedited basis by explaining the urgency to the respective Canadian embassy.
New Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel document – this new pathway has been announced by the Canadian government on March 3, 2022, as part of an immediate response to the Ukrainian Crisis in an effort to bring as many Ukrainians as possible to Canada. However, the application for this pathway will be opening in two weeks, i.e. by March 17, 2022. All Ukrainian nationals can apply here, and, pending background check and security screening, their stay in Canada could be extended by at least 2 years.
Important Questions Answered (regularly updated)
Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
How long do applications take for hiring Ukrainian workers?
Any immigration application from a Ukrainian citizen is subject to expedited processing, according to the IRCC. Currently, some applications are being approved between 10 to 15 days.
Can the Ukrainian worker’s family come to Canada too?
Yes, if you are employing a Ukrainian worker then their direct family members can obtain an open work permit (for spouses), study permits for children or temporary visitor records for infants.
Can Ukrainian workers work for more than one employer?
If you hire a Ukrainian under the above-mentioned programs, that worker will only be able to work for your company and not for any other employer. However, their spouses will have an open work permit enabling him/her to work for any employer in Canada.
Can Ukrainian workers receive permanent residency?
Depending on the program, your Ukrainian worker will be able to acquire permanent residency anywhere between 1 year to 3 years of their residence in Canada.
What documents are needed?
Your Ukrainian worker must provide documents that support their Ukrainian citizenship like the Ukrainian passport. Concessions can be made by the IRCC if the document is damaged or expired and can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis considering the current situation.
What if documents are missing or there is an inability to fulfill requirements?
The IRCC is under instructions to be accommodating of Ukrainian applications. This means that immigration officers can waive certain requirements if the applicant is unable to fulfill them. For example, the applicant might not be able to complete a domestic police check due to the war.
What is Canada doing to facilitate visa applications by Ukrainians who fled to Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary?
- Immigration Canada established a dedicated service channel for Ukraine-related immigration enquiries available for people both in Canada and abroad at +1 613-321-4243. When using the IRCC crisis web form, people can add the keyword “Ukraine2022” with their enquiry and it will be prioritized.
- The Canadian government is increasing operational readiness in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary, including relocating staff, moving additional supplies and equipment, such as mobile biometric collection kits, in anticipation of an increased volume of requests, and adjusting operations in offices across the global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine. Online options are available for most applications.
- The Canadian government announced on March 3, 2022, that Ukrainians can apply for a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel document which will be open for application on or around March 17, 2022.
We are Here to Help the Canadian Companies and People Fleeing the Conflict!
Sobirovs Law Firm is a firm built by immigrants from all over the world for immigrants. The Firm specializes in bringing foreign workers, business owners and entrepreneurs and their family members to Canada. We are here to help you bring Ukrainian workers and their family members to Canada and away from a highly volatile international conflict zone. We pride ourselves on making the process hassle-free and as easy as possible.
Book a 1-hour Strategy Meeting with our senior business immigration lawyer to discuss how you can bring your Ukrainian workers to Canada. The consultation fees collected from you for this meeting will be donated to charitable organizations helping Ukrainian people in this crisis.