Taber Adult Learning hosts Ukrainian information session

·4 min read

With the ongoing invasion in Ukraine, many individuals are comcerned about the Ukrainian civilians and have been working on methods to assist them in leaving the conflict. Cindy Slender, executive director at the Taber and District Community Adult Learning Association, hosted a digital and in-person presentation bv Edwin Silang, a settlement counsellor of Catholic Social Services, on April 5 at the Alberta Provincial Building in Tabor Anna Kuranicheva, an immigration lawyer from Edmonton Communitv Legal Contre, openod the presentation by discussing how Ukrainian citizens can begin to immigrate in to Canada and the new immigration measures announced by the Canadian government to assist them in the process of immigration. The three main topics that Kuranichova discussod were options to come to Canada temporarilv how Ukrainian citizons can oxtend thoir stay within Canada, and finally, the options that can be used to apply for permanent residonca.

"All of thoso pathwars concorn Ukratnian cititons and imodiato fam ily members of Ukrainian citizens,” said Kuranicheva. “This is how the government so far has defined people legible for immigration admission, im- migration privileges, and rights. These measures are for those who have been impacted by the war in Ukraine.”

These measures’ main targets are Ukrainian citizens around the world, not just the ones who are still in Ukraine with secondary targets being any immediate family members of Ukrainian citizens. The immediate family includes both married spouses and common law individuals as well as biological or adopted children. Despite Canada requiring Ukrainian citizens to still apply for a temporary residents visa, or a visitor visa, Ukrainian citizens will not need to apply for an extension to their stay, or a new visa for three years instead of the normal six months. Howovor the government has relaxed some of the requirements to receive a temporary residence visa, such as Ukrainian citizens not requiring passports since the Ukrainian govermment is currently being occupied by the invasion. Furthermore, Ukrainian citizens that are immigrating to Canada are eligible to apply for open work permits for an initial duration of three years. Any Ukrainian child who has immigrated into Canada with their parents do not have to apply for a study visa as long as they are still in grade school and if one of their parents has a study visa or work permit. Those who will be taking college or university level courges will still have to apply for a study visa as normal. Despite Ukrainian martial law requiring the majority of male individuals to remain within the country, the Canadian government has not restricted their ability to immigrate to Canada. Kuranicheva also spoke on how Ukrainian citizens arriving in Alberta are able to receive public healthcare.

"I know that people whose arrival destinations in Alberta, those with work permits, they were receiving healthcare," Kuranicheva said. "By law, work permit holders in Alberta of more than six months of duration of the permit are entitled to public healthcare."

There have also been some cases of other individuals who have not received work permits potting a permit that allows them to have public health care for up to three months Kuranicheva also stated the Alberta government made broad statements promising that Ukrainian citizens won't be without essontial lisalthcare services.

Once Ukrainian citizens arrive in Alberta, there are several services available through Catholic Social Services and the Ukrainian Canadian social services to assist with immigration and settlement. Some of these ser- vices are teaching English as a second language, free employment workshops, food support and assistance for parents and newborns. For any Ukrainian citizens who find themselves arriving in Taber or surrounding areas, they will be able to receive help from Taber and District Community Adult Learning Association.

“We have resources in the community,” said Slenders. “We have the Taber Food Bank, we provide settlement services here we also provide English language services here. So any Ukrainians who are settling in the M.D. of Taber or the Town of Warner or the municipalities within can come to Taber Adult Learning."

Even if the Ukrainian citizens are unable to reach Taber for assistance from Taber and District Communit Adult Learine Association is offering Slender also commented, "If we can't provide those supports we will find somewhere where those supports can be provided for them."

Ian Croft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times

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