Family Sponsorship Program for Ukrainians Opening in October

by Ronalee Carey Law

September 2023

     Starting October 23, 2023, Canadian family members can sponsor their Ukrainian family members for permanent residence. The Ukrainian family member must be in Canada with temporary resident status to be eligible. (They cannot be without legal status in Canada.)

Siblings, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren of Canadian citizens and permanent residents qualify for the program. Spouses and common-law partners are also mentioned in IRCC’s news release, though these individuals were always eligible to be sponsored and did not need a special pathway. 

     More details about the new pathway will not be available until closer to the program launch. There will be no government processing fees, and the pathway is to remain open for one year.

      Will other pathways be launched for Ukrainians who do not have a family member to sponsor them? I recently gave a presentation through Ottawa’s Jewish Family Services’ Settlement Services to Ukrainian CUAET work permit holders looking to apply for permanent residence. The head of settlement services for JFS attended and stated that within her network, there were rumours that a new pathway may be announced ‘in the fall.’ However, the government will need to carefully balance public pressure in Canada to provide a permanent solution to those Ukrainians currently living with temporary status in Canada with its diplomatic relations with Ukraine. IRCC will not want to be accused of ‘brain drain,’ poaching Ukraine’s skilled workers. As quoted in a recent article, Ihor Michalchyshyn, CEO of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, stated, ‘We want to, generally, encourage the eight to 11 million people that fled to go back and rebuild.’