MP’s office addresses concerns over Ukrainian refugee status - New Canadian Media
File photo of protestors in Vancouver demonstrating in February 2022 against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Bruno via Unsplash)

MP’s office addresses concerns over Ukrainian refugee status

Concerns that refugees won't be allowed to stay in Canada are 'simply untrue,' MP's office says

By Amanda Modaragamage, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Multicultural Association of Perth Huron raised alarm bells last month over questions related to Ukrainian refugee status as many have been led to believe that status will expire and those without could be sent back to Ukraine.

Geza Wordofa, president of the multicultural association, said at a recent press conference he is worried those whom the association has supported will not be able to stay in Canada and they will be sent away from a country in which they’ve started to build a new home.

“It’s an emergency; we need to be sure that Ukrainians are safe here in Canada and can continue to live here without being worried they will have to return to their country. It’s not right. It’s not fair,” Wordofa said.

Tim Sparks, executive assistant at the office of Perth-Wellington MP John Nater, attended the event and said the confusion about Ukrainians being sent away from Canada is simply untrue and he wanted to clear the air that those living in Canada can continue to do so.

“We have heard from many groups that there is a level of concern within our new Ukrainian newcomers about how the government will be extending, viewing, or allowing them to stay,” Sparks said. “We’re hearing it from multiple groups and we’re not sure why there is such a level of uncertainty. It shouldn’t be there.

“There is a process in place that by March 31, if this paperwork is submitted, the Ukrainians who came here under the original emergency transit plan can extend for up to three years. (They) can extend their work permits. (They) can extend their study permits for their children.”

Sparks said Ukrainians can extend their stay in Canada for up to 3 years as long as their passports or other travel documents, including biometrics, are valid the entire time.

He said Ukrainians may also be able to apply to extend their visitor status in Canada with valid temporary resident status as long as that person is a Ukrainian national or a non-Ukrainian family member of a Ukrainian national.

Those looking to extend their stay must be in Canada with valid temporary resident status under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program (CUAET). If eligible, they can apply to extend their visitor status in Canada and are exempt from paying the visitor-record processing fee or the biometrics fee.

Settlement services are also available to all Ukrainians and their family members in Canada until March 31, 2025.

As of Oct. 23, 2023, Ukrainians can apply for the new permanent residency pathway for if they are in Canada and are the family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

More information can also be found at and

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The Local Journalism Initiative supports the creation of original civic journalism that is relevant to the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada, broadening availability and consumption of local and regional news on matters of civic governance. Launched by the Government of Canada in 2019, the Local Journalism Initiative provides news organizations with funding to hire reporters to cover underserved communities.

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