OTTAWA — Settlement agencies are preparing for a surge of Ukrainians arriving in Canada before emergency visas for those fleeing the Russian invasion expire at the end of March.
The federal government has issued more then 930,000 temporary emergency visas since March 2022 for Ukrainians who want to work or study in Canada while the wait out the war.
So far, about 210,000 people have actually made the journey to Canada.
Operation Ukraine Safe Haven says pre−arrival surveys show as many as 90,000 more emergency visa holders are thinking of coming before the deadline.
The group’s executive director Sarosh Rizvi says the biggest challenge is finding those people places to live, especially as public interest has waned, along with offers from families to open their homes to new arrivals.
The organization is trying to encourage people who choose to come before the deadline to consider settling in smaller communities where housing is easier to find and more affordable.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024.
Laura Osman, The Canadian Press