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Fewer than 24 per cent of Ukrainians granted visas have come to Canada

November 25, 2022

By Vancouver Sun

Less than one quarter of the 370,000 approved Canadian visa applications from Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country have so far made it to our borders.

Testifying Thursday before the Senate committee on foreign affairs, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza said only between 80,000 and 90,000 Ukrainians managed to make the journey to this country, under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program.

“Ukrainians have always travelled a lot to Canada, so it’s seen as a friendly place to go, a welcoming place to go, if they’re willing to make the trip,” she said.

“It’s an unprecedented program, with an unprecedented number of applicants.”

She said Canada is receiving around 14,000 new applications every week.

“How many of those will come to Canada, we don’t know — and how many of the people who’ve arrived will stay here and take a path towards a more permanent residence, we don’t know,” Galadza said.

“Those who came, the vast majority have availed themselves of the assistance provided both by the federal government and by the provinces.”

So far, around seven million civilians have fled Ukraine, she said.

When asked by Sen. Michael MacDonald on the discrepancy between visa issued and visas used, Galadza couldn’t provide an answer — but said she felt many applicants wanted to have a “Plan B” stamped into their passports in case they felt the need to flee.

“Some may face obstacles to getting out,” Galadza said.

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