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Resettling in Canada

As a company with more than 14,000 Ukrainian team members, EPAM understands the challenges faced by millions of people across Ukraine, including the many who have been forced to leave the country. Our teams on the ground and around the world have been doing everything possible to support our Ukrainian colleagues and their families. Their safety is our top priority. 

In supporting our colleagues, we have collected a vast amount of information about arriving and resettling in a new country, either temporarily or permanently. We are now sharing it here in the hope it could be valuable to you or someone you know.

Please note that the information is subject to change at any given time due to rapidly changing circumstances.

 

ENTERING THE COUNTRY


CANADA-UKRAINE AUTHORIZATION FOR EMERGENCY TRAVEL (CUAET)

The Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) is aimed to help Ukrainians and their family members come to Canada as quickly as possible and to provide them with the ability to work and study while in Canada. Learn more about the CUAET here.

Who is eligible:

  • Ukrainian nationals
  • Spouses of Ukrainian nationals
  • Dependent children of Ukrainian nationals

Under CUAET you can:

  • Legally stay in Canada for up to 3 years
  • Study in Canada (for students under 18)
  • Work in Canada for up to 3 years if you applied for an open work permit and received approval
  • Travel throughout Canada
  • Travel to Canada without medical exam

Under CUAET you cannot:

  • Travel to Canada without a visa.
    • EXCEPTIONS: candidates who applied for CUAET from Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Romania who received an approval letter from IRCC stating that they qualify for a foil-less visa.
  • Work in Canada before you received approval of work permit

HOW TO APPLY

You must create an IRCC Portal account:

IMPORTANT NOTE: when filling out the application, specify your residence address as per the country where you are currently based. Example: if you are a Ukrainian national in Romania, your residence address should be Romania, not Ukraine.

I SUBMITTED MY APPLICATION. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Biometrics:

In 1-2 days, you will be invited to submit your biometrics (photo, fingerprints) at the Visa Application Center (VAC). You can choose any VAC that is convenient for you. See the list of VACs here.

Visa stamping:

After you have submitted the biometrics, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will process your application in 2-3 weeks. Once this is completed, you will receive a request to submit your passport for visa stamping. You will need to contact the closest VAC by phone or email to find out how to submit your passport. Some VACs do not accept in person submissions, only courier service. Once the visa is stamped, the VAC will notify you that your passport is ready for pickup.

Depending on your VAC and their procedures, you can collect it either personally or by visa courier. If you applied for the work permit along with the visa, you should also receive an approval letter that confirms that your work permit was approved. This letter will also outline the terms of your work permit. You need to have this approval letter when crossing the border. NOTE – the approval letter is not the actual work permit. You will receive a work permit when crossing the Canadian border.

Work permit issuance:

When you arrive in Canada, the visa officer will issue your work permit outlining the terms of your stay in Canada. Children will receive either a study permit (for students) or a visitor record. You will need to keep the originals of these documents as they confirm your legal stay and work authorization in Canada.

Learn more about the immigration measures for people affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine here.

 

Vaccination requirements to enter Canada

For the most up-to-date information on Canadian vaccination requirements, visit: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Ukrainian Nationals and their family members may be exempt from vaccination requirements. Learn more at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/ukraine-measures/vaccination-exemption.html

 

General Assistance for Resettling

Settlement Services are available to all Ukrainian temporary residents and their dependents in Canada until March 31, 2023. You can find more information about these services here.

These services give you access to friendly and experienced settlement professionals who can help you:

  • Look for a job
  • Get a language assessment
  • Register for language classes and a place to live
  • Sign up your kids for school
  • Learn about community services

Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)

As a newcomer to Canada, you’re eligible for help under the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP).

RAP gives government-assisted refugees immediate and essential support for their most basic needs. These services include:

  • Loans to help you travel to Canada
  • Greeting you at the airport
  • Providing temporary housing
  • Help with:
    • learning about and adjusting to your new community
    • finding permanent housing
    • registering for essential federal and provincial programs
    • personal finance, such as budgeting and setting up a bank account
  • Offering Canadian life skills training for refugees with high needs
  • Referrals to community programs or other programs for newcomers

Jobs Opportunities for Ukrainians

Many Canadian businesses have registered jobs for Ukrainians on Job Bank, the Government of Canada's free-to-use online job board.

If you need help to find work in Canada, you can contact Job Bank. Make sure to let them know that you are a Ukrainian national looking for a job in Canada. You can find out more about jobs available for Ukrainian nationals here.

Helping Ukrainian IT Professionals Find Work Opportunities with EPAM in Canada

As a company with more than 14,000 Ukrainian team members, EPAM understands the challenges faced by millions of Ukrainians, and the hurdles ahead. If looking for your next work opportunity is one of them, we are ready to support you.

 

Transportation in Toronto

The best way to get around Toronto is by public transportation. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) runs three modes of transportation – subway, streetcar, and bus – which operate extensive routes throughout the city and suburbs. You will need a token or a pass to travel on TTC; day and week passes allow for unlimited rides on all three forms of public transport. The subway also connects the city to the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), as do taxis.

You can find more information about road conditions, driver's licenses, vehicle registration, Drive Clean, and commercial vehicles on The Ministry of Transportation’s website.

 

Healthcare

Canada has a decentralized, universal, publicly funded health system called Canadian Medicare. Healthcare is funded and administered primarily by the country's 13 provinces and territories. Each has its own insurance plan, and each receives cash assistance from the federal government on a per-capita basis.

On these pages, you can find all information necessary to get access to healthcare:

 

Accommodation

Temporary housing

If you need help finding a place to live, you can get support from the province or territory of your destination. Visit this link and select the province or territory you wish to reside in to learn more about temporary housing assistance in that area.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. Their website has information about buying a house and renting an apartment in Canada. 

 

Moving with Pets

If you are travelling with a pet or planning to import an animal to Canada, you will need the right paperwork at the border to meet Canada's import requirements. Canada has specific import requirements in place to avoid introducing animal diseases to protect its people, plants and animals.

Learn about the requirements for bringing dogs to Canada here.

Information about arriving with other animals can be found here.

 

Education

LEARN ABOUT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN CANADA

In Canada, it is the law that children get an education. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure children get enrolled in and attend school. Depending on where you live, there are many schooling options to choose from. There are also different ways to get involved in those communities. This is because each province and territory run its own school system.

Each system is similar, but there are some important differences. The difference reflects the priorities of that provincial or territorial government.

UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CANADIAN SCHOOLING

There are 3 types of schooling in Canada

  • Primary (elementary)
  • Secondary
  • Post-secondary

Primary (or elementary) school

Primary education is generally for kids 5 to 12 years old. This usually includes

  • Preschool (optional)
  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 1 to 6

Secondary (or high) school

Secondary education is generally for kids 12 to 18 years old. This group usually includes Grades 7 to 12.

Post-secondary

With the right educational credentials, anyone can apply to attend a post-secondary school.

ENROLL IN OR APPLY TO A SCHOOL

The general documents you need for enrolment are listed below. Please check with your school to see if you will need any additional documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of guardianship or custody
  • Proof of residency
  • Record of immunizations (to prove that your child’s vaccines are up to date)

Language testing

  • If English or French is not your first language, you may need to take a language test. The school will give you a list of tests that it accepts and the score you need to get in order to enroll.

TIP: If there is more than one school to choose from in your region, enroll well before the school year begins to make sure you get a spot in the school you prefer.

 

Banking and Money Exchange

TYPES OF BANK ACCOUNTS

1. Checking accounts: use this account to manage your day-to-day transactions. It usually has lower transaction fees than a savings account. Learn more about checking accounts here. Checking accounts usually:

  • Include the use of a debit card to access your money at ATMs
  • Include the use of a debit card to make purchases in-store at a merchant
  • Include check-writing privileges
  • Do not accumulate interest on deposits

2. Low-cost and no-cost accounts: Cost a maximum of $4 per month in banking fees. The Government of Canada and certain financial institutions have an agreement to provide low-cost basic banking services. If you meet certain conditions, you may be eligible for a low-cost account at no cost. No-cost accounts have the same features and services as low-cost accounts but with no monthly fee. Contact your financial institution to learn more and find out if you qualify for a no-cost account or learn more here.

3. Savings accounts: A savings account is an account that pays interest on the money you deposit, also known as the principal. Many people who open a savings account also have a checking account for their day-to-day banking. Learn more about savings accounts here.

4. Joint accounts: A joint bank account, also known as a joint deposit account, offers the same features and benefits as a personal checking or savings account held by one person.

A joint account allows two or more people to do the following from the same account:

  • Make withdrawals
  • Make deposits
  • Make payments
  • Conduct other transactions

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT

The Canadian government has detailed information about banking in the country here.

IDENTIFICATION YOU NEED TO OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT

To open a bank account, you may choose from three different combinations of identification (ID). For all three options below, you must provide the bank or federal credit union with at least one acceptable ID from list A. You must use original ID, not photocopies.

Option 1:

Show two pieces of ID from List A:

List A

  • Valid Canadian driver’s license that can be used as ID under provincial or territorial law
  • Canadian passport
  • Birth certificate issued in Canada
  • Social Insurance card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Old Age Security card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Provincial or territorial health insurance card that can be used as ID under provincial or territorial law
    • Contact your provincial or territorial Consumer Affairs office to confirm if your health insurance card is an acceptable piece of ID where you live
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident card or an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, or IMM 5292
    • IRCC also issue form IMM 5688 as a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Check with your bank or federal credit union to see if they will accept this form
  • Document or card with your picture and signature on it issued by one of the following authorities or its successors:
    • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
    • Alberta Registries
    • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
    • Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
    • Department of Transportation and Infrastructure of the province of Prince Edward Island
    • Service New Brunswick
    • Service NL of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Department of Transportation of Northwest Territories
    • Department of Community Government and Transportation of Nunavut

Option 2:

You may:

  • Show one piece of ID from List A above, and
  • Show one piece of ID from the following List B

List B

  • Employee ID card with your picture on it that has been issued by an employer well known in the community
  • Debit card or bank card issued by a member of Payments Canada, with your name and signature on it
  • Credit card issued by a member of Payments Canada, with your name and signature on it
  • Client card from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with your picture and signature on it
  • Foreign passport

Option 3:

You may:

  • Show one piece of ID from List A, and
  • Have someone confirm your identity who is a client in good standing with the bank or federal credit union or who is someone in good standing in the community where the financial institution is located

Additional identification containing your photo and signature may be required if bank or federal credit union staff have reason to doubt your identity as presented.

Tip:  The process of obtaining a bank account for your spouse is similar to your process; however, it is often more convenient to apply together.

ONLINE BANKING

Find information about online banking, mobile banking and protecting your banking information online in Canada here.

 

Credit/Debit Cards & Mortgages

CREDIT CARDS

You can use a credit card to make several different types of transactions to pay for goods or services including:

  • At a cash register or checkout, that is, a point of sale
  • Over the phone
  • Online

Keep receipts for all your credit card purchases. Check your receipts against your credit card statement to make sure there are no mistakes. If you find a mistake, immediately contact the other financial institution that issued your credit card.

To learn more about credit cards, visit the following:

DEBIT CARDS

A debit card is a plastic card that you can use to pay for goods and services or withdraw money directly from your bank account. You may have to pay a fee when you use your debit card. Financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, usually give you a debit card when you sign up for an account. Learn more about debit cards here.

MORTGAGES

Learn more about mortgages including choosing a mortgage, renewing your mortgage, paying off your mortgage faster and more here

 

Phone Services

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POSTPAID VERSUS PREPAID SERVICES

 In Canada, the Wireless Code establishes basic rights for all wireless consumers. However, there are some differences between postpaid and prepaid services. Not sure if you have prepaid or postpaid?

You have postpaid services if you receive a monthly bill that tells you what charges you have accumulated for the month – your bill might be the same each month or you might see extra charges (e.g., you went over your data for the month). You pay for the services you have already used.

You have prepaid services when you pay for your account to activate your services for the month. If you forget to pay, chances are that your services will be temporarily suspended until you pay your account. You pay for the services you are planning on using.

Learn more about your rights as a postpaid and prepaid cell phone consumer here.

CHOOSING A CELL PHONE SERVICE PLAN

Pick the best cell phone service plan for you in 3 simple steps

Step 1: Find out which providers are available in your area here.

Step 2: Compare and pick a plan

Before you commit to a plan, consider the questions below. What are the rates and charges for local phone service? What is included in that rate?

  • Are there any up-front, one-time or service charges?
  • How much do call features (for example, call display, call waiting or voice mail) cost?
  • Will my existing services - such as Internet access, long-distance, wireless or TV broadcast - change in any way?
  • Can I change my features or package?  If so, are there restrictions and/or charges associated with making a change?
  • Do I have to subscribe for a certain amount of time to get the quoted rates?
  • What cancellation fees do I need to pay?

Next, you need to decide which provider offers the best plan that suits your budget and lifestyle. Learn more about providers here.

Step 3: Take advantage of low-cost and occasional-use plans.

Are you on a tight budget? Do you use your mobile phone sparingly? If so, you may want to investigate what options are available to you with your wireless service provider or shop around for a different plan or provider. Learn more here.

IMPORTANT TIP: Please check on your service provider’s website if your mobile device is compatible with their service, before finalizing your service provider.

HOW TO USE YOUR MOBILE DATA MORE EFFICIENTLY:

  • Using Wi-Fi access more often
  • Using applications that offer texting and voice services
  • Turning off network access for applications
  • Using data monitoring applications
 

Permanent Relocation

A WORK PERMIT:

  • Allows a person to legally work in Canada for a temporary period (usually 1-3 years)
  • Can be extended.

PERMANENT RESIDENCY

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.

As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • Get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage
  • Live, work or study anywhere in Canada
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • You must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels

EXTEND YOUR STAY IN CANADA

If you’re a Ukrainian national or a family member of a Ukrainian national and you have valid status as a visitor in Canada or you hold a study or work permit, you can extend your stay in Canada for up to 3 years. Your application will be prioritized, and you’ll be exempt from paying some of the fees for your application.

EXTEND YOUR STAY AS A VISITOR

If you are a Ukrainian national or a family member of a Ukrainian national currently in Canada with valid temporary resident status, you can apply to extend your stay with these steps:

1. Apply online for a visitor record:

You must apply for the visitor record before your current status expires.

You will be exempt from paying the $100 processing fee for a visitor record.

  • When you complete the online application, answer “yes” to the fee exemption question.
  • You are not exempt from paying the restoration fee if you need to restore your status.

2. Identity as a “priority applicant”:

In the IMM 5708 form, under Details of visit to Canada, enter both of the following:

  • Select “other” as the purpose of visit (box 1).
  • Write “UKRAINE 2022” in the “other” field.

Learn about how to apply for a visitor record to extend your stay here.

EXTEND YOUR STAY AS A WORKER

If you already have a work permit and you are a Ukrainian national or a family member of a Ukrainian national in Canada, you can apply to extend it to maintain your status as a worker in Canada.

If you currently have an employer-specific work permit, you can only work for the employer on your employer-specific work permit until your open work permit is approved.

You are exempt from paying the work permit processing fee (CAN$155), however, you must prove that you are eligible when you apply. To do this, fill out the work permit application form as follows:

  • In the details of intended work in Canada section, select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit you are applying for
  • Enter “UKRAINE 2022” as the Job title
  • Enter “Ukraine 2022 public policy—open work permit” in the Brief description of duties field

Learn more about extending your work permit here.

If you do not have a work permit and you are a Ukrainian national or a family member of a Ukrainian national in Canada, you can extend your stay as a worker if one of the following applies:

  • You have valid status as a visitor or hold a valid study permit
  • You applied to extend your status before it expired (“maintained status”)
  • You are eligible to restore your status

When you apply for the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) in Canada, you are exempt from paying the following fees:

  • Work permit processing fee (CAN$155)
  • Open work permit holder fee (CAN$100)

However, if you have lost your status, you need to:

  • Restore your previous status
  • Pay the restoration fee (CAN$200)

You are not exempt from paying the restoration fee.

EXTEND YOUR STAY AS A STUDENT

If you are a Ukrainian national or a family member of a Ukrainian national in Canada, you can extend your stay as a student in Canada if one of the following applies:

  • You have valid status as a visitor or hold a valid study or work permit or
  • You applied to extend your status before it expired (“maintained status”) or
  • You are eligible to restore your status

When you apply for the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel in Canada, you’re exempt from paying the

  •  Study permit processing fee (CAN$150)

However, if you have lost your status, you need to

  • Restore your previous status
  •  Pay the restoration fee (CAN$200)

You are not exempt from paying the restoration fee.

To prove that you qualify for priority processing and the fee exemption, select the following options in the tuition payment section of your application:

  • “Other” for expenses paid.
  • “UKRAINE 2022” for other description.

Find out how to extend your stay in Canada as an international student here.

OBTAINING CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP

To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet all conditions, including:

Click ANOTHER Country to Read Our Latest Information and Updates

Please note that the information is subject to change at any given time due to rapidly changing circumstances.
Information varies by country.
Information for additional countries will be listed soon.

LEGAL STATEMENT

All information provided on this website directly by EPAM or its affiliates or employees is deemed reliable at the time of posting but is not guaranteed to be accurate. None of the information provided on this website by third-parties is verified for accuracy. None of the information provided on this website constitutes legal advice, medical advice, or immigration advice and is provided solely for your information and to assist you to locate resources where you can obtain such advice. EPAM is not responsible for the content provided by third parties, the security of third-party websites or links to those websites, or any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints. Some third-party websites linked to from this website are not secure and any information transmitted by you to the third party website can be intercepted and read. You should use such third-party websites with caution and should not provide any information, including credentials or login information, to unsecure websites. All information is subject to change and EPAM is under no obligation to update information if it changes. Information is provided for personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any other purpose.