Refugees and asylum seekers

Crisis in Gaza: Special measures for extended family

This webpage is to provide accurate information on the Canadian Government’s resettlement program and available resources for those impacted by the crisis in Gaza. 

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) program

On January 9, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the creation of a temporary pathway for Palestinians with extended family in Canada in response to the humanitarian crisis created following Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023.

This measure provides a temporary safe haven for Palestinians directly affected by the crisis in Gaza who have Canadian citizen or permanent resident family members in Canada willing to support them. Eligible family members include a spouse, common-law partner, child, grandchild, sibling, parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, as well as their immediate family members (spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, and dependent child of a dependent child).

Who qualifies for this program?

Palestinians who:

  • live in Gaza
  • are related to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who lives or intends to live in Canada
  • will be supported in Canada by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident for a period of 1 year

What I mean is that this should be not part of the criteria, it could stand by itself with emphasis, for example: 

Those eligible to sponsor, will have to support financially  the sponsored  for one year

How many people will be accepted under these measures

IRCC announced the temporary measures will end when 1,000 complete TRV applications have been received and have been accepted for processing or one year after these measures come into effect, whichever comes first.

Requirements and how to apply

For specific details on documents and criteria to qualify for this program, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Quick facts about the program

  • IRCC has a dedicated service channel for enquiries on these special measures available for people both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted.
  • IRCC will be carefully monitoring program volumes as well as the evolving situation on the ground to ensure Canada is continuing to meet the needs of the population.
  • Exemptions at the port of entry for people who hold a temporary resident visa that was issued under the public policy expire on January 9, 2025.
  • These multiple-entry temporary resident visas will be valid for up to 3 years or the length of the person’s passport validity, whichever comes first.
  • As of December 21, 2023, the Government of Canada made fee-exempt study permits and open work permits available for immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Where possible, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is also prioritizing the processing of existing and new permanent residence applications for Palestinians within family-based streams.
Family-based permanent residence pathway for people affected by the conflict in Sudan

For specific details on documents and criteria to qualify for this program, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Afghan Resettlement in London & Middlesex

This webpage is to provide accurate information on the Afghan resettlement program and available resources.

Basic information

- The federal government launched several humanitarian programs to help resettle vulnerable Afghans into Canada

- The Government will assign the number of Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) that our region will receive

- Four out of the five special programs launched by the federal government have now stopped receiving applications. You can see a list of all the programs here.

- The government is still receiving applications under its Permanent residence for extended family of former Afghan interpreters’ program. Up to 5,000 people will be welcomed under this pathway. You can learn all the information about this program here.

- As of January 2024, more than 47,000 Afghans had arrived in Canada since August 2021 

- While applications for some of these programs have closed, Afghans continue to arrive in Canada on a weekly basis. It is likely that a number of Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) will also continue to settle in London.

How will these newly arrived refugees be supported?

- GARs will be received by the staff of the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC)

- GARs will be provided with initial settlement needs, which include temporary housing, basic needs and addressing immediate medical needs through the RAP staff

- CCLC has teamed up with Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes, to facilitate donations. Donors wishing to make a financial contribution are requested to direct their gifts to CCLC’s Highest Priority Needs fund

Settlement agencies will provide support to all immigrants, including GARs

How is the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP) offering support?

- LMLIP will share information on available additional supports;

- Support the sector by sharing information on social media outlets;

- Provide information to the established Afghan community as per need; and

- Convene information sessions as per need.

How can the community help?

- Learn about Canada’s Program for Vulnerable Afghans;

- Provide information on available housing to the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre;

- Connect with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre to volunteer;

- Check with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre for suitable donations;

- Learn about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program to sponsor Afghan refugees outside Canada in need of resettlement

- Be welcoming

Other Resources:

https://london.ca/immigration/work/employment-support

- How to volunteer and donate

For Information contact: London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP) at hhussein@lmlip.ca; 519-663-0774 ext.: 283

Support for Those Affected by Ukrainian Crisis

This webpage is to provide accurate information on support in London & Middlesex for those impacted by the crisis in Ukraine. This webpage will be updated on a regular basis as new information unfolds.

Government information & support:

Government of Canada

Here are the programs created by the Government of Canada to support Ukrainians fleeing the war following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Path to permanent residency for Ukrainians 

On July 15, 2023, the federal government announced a new pathway for Ukrainians to gain permanent resident status in Canada starting on Oct. 23, 2023.

The program is available to Ukrainian nationals living in Canada with temporary resident status and who have one or more family members in Canada. For more details on the program and those eligible, you can visit the Government of Canada website to read Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's announcement.

  • The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel  (CUAET) was a pathway for temporary residence and closed on July 15, 2023.
  • Settlement Program services, which are typically only available to permanent residents, will remain active until March 31, 2024, for temporary residents in Canada eligible under CUAET
Special Reunification Sponsorship Pathway (permanently)
  • Immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents may want to start a new life in Canada
  • They will be able to do so through a special reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence 

Ukrainians who come as part of these measures may be eligible to apply for open work permits, making it easier for employers to quickly hire Ukrainian nationals. 

IRCC will also issue open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students who are currently in Canada and cannot safely go home.

Dedicated Service Channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries: 

  • Call 613-321-4243, collect calls accepted 
  • Use the IRCC crisis web form and add the keyword "Ukraine2022"

Stay up to date on immigration measures for people affected by the situation in Ukraine.

Ontario Government

The Ontario government has developed this webpage to provide information on provincial support for Ukrainians including information on school, healthcare and income support. 

Some highlights of provincial support provided to Ukrainians includes:

  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan including access to health care and mental health services, as well as a dedicated refugee helpline.
  • Emergency income assistance for up to six months; includes drug benefits.
  • Elementary and secondary education; trauma-informed counselling and culturally responsive supports to students. Eligible for subsidized child-care.
  • Settlement services, including orientation, adult language training, bridging programs for skilled newcomers and access to Employment Ontario services.
  • Coordination of offers of accommodation including vetting hosts, viewing the accommodations, conducting police checks, and matching Ukrainian newcomers with appropriate accommodations.
  • Ongoing engagement with municipalities on temporary housing options. 
  • Financial support for retraining through the Better Jobs Ontario program for eligible clients. 
  • New Ontario-Ukraine Solidarity Scholarship for those studying at Ontario's publicly assisted colleges and universities.
  • Reduced barriers to acquiring a driver's license by crediting foreign driving experience for refugees from non-reciprocating jurisdictions and Ukrainian arrivals; includes alternative proof of driving experience and self-declaration.
  • Priority processing for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program applicants from Ukraine.
City of London

The following documents are available in English, Ukrainian and Russian. They provide information on support available through the City of London.

Community needs & support for Ukrainians: 

There are several ways our community can help Ukrainians. The links below provide information on area-specific needs in our community, as well as provide information to Ukrainians seeking to access support in these areas.

Donations

The London Ukrainian Centre  is accepting medical supplies and monetary donations. 

The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre has set up a  Newcomer Fund for community donations. This short-term fund will support the immediate needs of those living and studying in London who have been affected by the crisis in Ukraine. Newcomers, including refugees and/or claimants, as well as those who hold a valid visitor visa, or open work and study permit holders issued because of the crisis in Ukraine will be supported.

The Canadian Government has launched the new Canadian Industry for Ukraine donation portal. Through this online portal, Canadian businesses can provide offers of high-priority goods and services to supported displaced Ukrainians and the organizations providing aid and resettlement services. At this time, the focus is on large-scale donations, including temporary housing, gift cards for the purchase of priority items, transportation and jobs for those arriving in Canada. 

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is currently accepting various supports through their donations portal in the areas of housing, employment, services and goods.

If you are interested in hosting a newcomer family from Ukraine, you can complete this intake form with London Ukrainian Humanitarian Action (LUHA). 

Housing

If you are interested in hosting a newcomer family from Ukraine, you can complete this intake form with London Ukrainian Humanitarian Action (LUHA). 

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is currently accepting various supports through their donations portal including in the area of housing.

Employment

The Employment Standards and Occupational Health and Safety information has been translated into Ukrainian.  

There is an Ontario-led dedicated hotline (1-888-562-4769) and email address (ukrainianjobs@ontario.ca) to connect new arrivals with job search supports and local employers in the community.

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is currently accepting various supports through their donations portal including in the area of employment.

The Government of Canada has a Job Bank for both Ukrainian job seekers and employers interested in hiring Ukrainian talent.

English language trainning

Before accessing English as a Second Language classes, newcomers need to have their English skills assessed.

This can be done at the London Cross-Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC), where newcomers can also receive information about all available training programs in the city, including those offered by the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, College Boreal and the London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB). 

Appointments for a language assessment can be booked on the CCLC’s website or by calling 519-432-1133.
 

Supporting International Students

If you are an international student studying in London that is facing financial hardships as a result of bank sanctions, you may be eligible for support from your institution. Find contact information below:

Fanshawe College 

International Office

international@fanshawec.ca 

Brescia University College 

Lissette Ochoa

Lochoa2@uwo.ca

519.432.8353 x28012

Huron 

Jane Parker, Financial Aid Officer

mjparker@huron.uwo.ca 

King's 

international@kings.uwo.ca

Ukrainian Organizations
Ukrainian Canadian Congress 

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress represents the Ukrainian Canadian community before the people and Government of Canada. Visit their website to learn more about their efforts in response to the crisis. 

Local Ukrainian Churches 

Ukrainian Catholic Church of Christ The King 

707 Nelson Street

519-434-6593

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity London 

151 King Edward Ave 

519-681-6173

Additional Resources

For newcomers interested in learning more about Ontario and services available, COSTI's Orientation to Ontario (O2O) workbook has been translated into Ukrainian

The site settlement.org helps newcomers find information on settling in Ontario including what to do in their first days and connections to services in their area.

London Ukrainian Humanitarian Action (LUHA) is a working group of dedicated volunteers coordinating humanitarian needs in London and the surrounding area by helping those affected by the Ukrainian crisis. Both community members wanting to help and Ukrainians looking for support can find information through this site.

Ontario will credit foreign driving experience for protected persons, refugees, and people from Ukraine to help them get their driver's license sooner. You can learn more through the Ontario government DriveTest website.

Settlement Support

All Ukrainian temporary residents are their dependents may access IRCC-funded Settlement services in Canada. They may have come to Canada either through the Canadian-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) or through the regular Temporary Resident Program as visitors, students or workers.

The following settlement brochures are available in English and French and provide information about the settlement organizations in London & Middlesex and the support they can provide to Ukrainian newcomers:

 

 

 

 

Be welcoming

Contribute to creating a welcoming community for all newcomers by promoting that #AllAreWelcomeHere and performing acts of welcome. Find out where to pick up #AllAreWelcomeHere materials or submit an act

Further Information:

Key Figures

National

Between January 1st 2022 and February 19th, 2023, 23,385 Ukrainians arrived in Canada by land and 144,200 arrived by air.

Between March 17th 2022 and February 16th, 2023 approximately 862,386 applications for the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel temporary resident pathway were received and 559,868 were approved. 

Learn more about these figures here.

Information Session

If you were unable to attend our information session at the beginning of April and are interested in viewing the presentations, please visit this link & use the passcode 3@bEqL!C to access. Please note that this information was up to date as of the beginning of April when the session occurred. 

For information or to request support from the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP), contact Huda Hussein, Project Coordinator at hhussein@lmlip.ca or 519-663-0774 x283.

To share information or local initiatives that could be added to this page, contact the Communication Officer at 519-663-0551 x243.

Last modified:Wednesday, April 17, 2024