In recent times, Canadian immigration policies have adapted to global crises, offering support through initiatives like the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET). However, unique challenges such as passport renewals amidst geopolitical tensions require understanding specific provisions and alternatives. This post delves into how Ukrainian nationals and their families can maintain their CUAET status in Canada without a passport.


Understanding CUAET and Its Implications


CUAET Overview

The Government of Canada has extended a supportive stance to Ukrainian nationals through the CUAET, which facilitates their travel and stay in Canada amidst the crisis in Ukraine. Notably, the CUAET allows eligible Ukrainians to apply for open work permits (OWP), ensuring they can work and live in Canada during turbulent times.


Key Dates and Deadlines

– **Application Deadline**: Ukrainians had until July 15, 2023, to apply for a CUAET visa free of charge.

– **Travel Window**: Those with a CUAET visa can travel to Canada until March 31, 2024.

– **Status Extension**: CUAET holders in Canada can extend or adjust their status without fees until the same date.


Eligibility Criteria for Ukrainian Nationals and Their Families


For Ukrainian Nationals

To qualify for an OWP under CUAET, Ukrainian nationals must:

– Be 14 years or older and a national of Ukraine.

– Have applied for a temporary resident visa by July 15, 2023, or hold valid temporary resident status in Canada.

– Submit their OWP application online unless an exemption applies.


For Family Members

Family members eligible for the OWP must:

– Be related to a Ukrainian national who has applied under CUAET or holds valid temporary resident status in Canada.

– Be in Canada with valid temporary resident status or eligible to restore it.

– Apply for their work permit online unless exempted.


The Passport Challenge and Immigration Solutions


The Issue of Passport Renewal

Many Ukrainians face delays and obstacles in renewing their passports due to the ongoing conflict. Recognizing this, Canadian immigration officers are instructed to consider written explanations accompanying applications, which detail why passport renewals are not feasible.


Alternative Measures for Maintaining Status

When renewing or applying for status extensions, Ukrainian nationals may provide:

– A copy of their old passport.

– A letter stating efforts to extend their passport and a commitment to submit the new one upon receipt.


Processing Work Permits Without a Passport


Overseas and In-Canada Applications

The Canadian government has streamlined processes to issue OWPs to eligible Ukrainians, whether they apply from abroad or within Canada. This includes biometric requirements and immigration medical exams, with certain exemptions provided under the CUAET measures.


Special Provisions at Ports of Entry

For those arriving or adjusting their status at Canadian ports of entry, special codes and procedures ensure they can access the necessary work permits to begin or continue their employment in Canada legally.



For Ukrainian nationals struggling with passport issues, Canada’s immigration policies offer several accommodations to ensure they can maintain their legal status and contribute to Canadian society without undue hardship. It’s essential to stay informed about these options and seek assistance from immigration experts or IRCC resources to navigate these complex situations effectively.

If you have a question about Canadian status such as maintaining Canadian status or acquiring Canadian status, contact us.


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