New Canada-Ukraine deal to expand immigration

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: February 2, 2021

Canada and Ukraine have established a new Mobility Working Group, immigration minister Marco Mendicino announced Wednesday.

The new partnership will look to improve mobility opportunities for Ukrainian nationals who are looking to move to Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will still ensure that Canada’s visa framework and migration rules will remain intact.

This will go into effect after the COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

The Canada-Ukraine Mobility Working Group will also allow the respective governments to share insights and best practices on how to best manage migration. It will also allow Canada to promote its economic class immigration programs to Ukrainian nationals.

“Through generations of Ukrainians who have made Canada their home, the Ukrainian-Canadian community continues to make outstanding contributions to Canada’s economy,” said Mendicino, “The unique partnership that we are announcing today will serve to further strengthen the deep-rooted, people-to-people ties between our two countries.”

Wednesday marked the 29th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations. Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed strong ties since 1992 – just a few months after Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991.

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Canada and Ukraine have had close ties since. Currently, there are over 1.3 million Canadians that are of Ukrainian descent. In addition, the two nations introduced the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement in 2017, that waived tariffs on 86 per cent of Canada’s exports to Ukraine.

Canada has also committed north of $800 million to support Ukraine since 2014. This includes financial, development, security, non-lethal military and humanitarian assistance.

New Canada-Ukraine Youth Mobility Agreement

Canada and Ukraine will work together through the new Mobility Working Group to develop a new youth mobility agreement. This agreement will mean that Canadian youth and Ukrainian youth the opportunity to travel and work. This will go into effect after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Youth mobility agreements improve labour market access for youth between 18 and 35 years old by allowing them to work abroad for 12 months. Candidates have the option to participate twice, for up to 24 months.

Canada has similar agreements with many other countries. Recently, Canada signed a new youth mobility agreement with Italy. Citizens of these countries can take advantage of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program to live and work in Canada.

Canada expecting increased immigration post-pandemic

Canada understands the importance of immigration for the country’s economic recovery and continued growth. This is illustrated in Canada’s 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, which was set out in October 2020.

The levels plan shows significant increases in the country’s immigration targets compared to previous years. Canada aims to welcome upwards of 400,000 immigrants every year between 2021 and 2023.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

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