Are you a Ukrainian looking for a flight to Canada at no cost?
April 20, 2022—Halifax—The Government of Canada is resolute in its commitment to provide Ukrainians and their families with a safe haven while the unprovoked and illegal war continues in their home country. We recognize that some Ukrainians may need support in their travel and we are calling on Canadians and Canadian businesses to continue our proud tradition of helping the world’s most vulnerable.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced a new Ukraine2Canada Travel Fund, which will be launched in partnership with Miles4Migrants, The Shapiro Foundation and Air Canada and will build on our support for Ukrainians wishing to travel to Canada.
As of today, Canadians and Canadian companies can donate Aeroplan points to the Ukraine2Canada Travel Fund through Air Canada or Miles4Migrants. For those who want to donate cash, the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto will be collecting donations on behalf of the Ukraine2Canada Travel Fund. These partners are inviting Canadians to donate, with the goal of bringing at least 10,000 Ukrainians and their families on flights to Canada. In addition to a significant donation of 100 million Aeroplan points by Air Canada, The Shapiro Foundation will match donations by Canadians, with a donation equivalent of up to 50 million Aeroplan points.
Canadians who would like to donate their Aeroplan points can do so through the Miles4Migrants website. Canadians who would like to donate cash can do so through the Travel & Settlement Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto, which will distribute these donations for the purposes of sponsoring displaced Ukrainians. Tax receipts will be issued for donations above $10.
The program will be open to Ukrainian nationals and their accompanying family members who hold valid Canadian travel documents and who have been approved for travel to Canada. Details on how eligible Ukrainians and their families can access the program will be made available in the coming weeks.
This partnership follows the recent measures announced by the Prime Minister of Canada, which include targeted charter flights to Canada for Ukrainian nationals, short-term income support to ensure basic needs are met, and temporary hotel accommodation for up to 2 weeks for those who require support.
“The outpouring of support from Canadians coast to coast who are stepping up to support Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s war has been remarkable. This new partnership with Miles4Migrants, The Shapiro Foundation and Air Canada is a testament to the Team Canada approach in supporting the world’s most vulnerable, and will help bring thousands of Ukrainians quickly and safely to Canada. We are grateful for their generous offers to help, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to support Ukrainians before and after they arrive in Canada.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“We are humbled to be able to play a part in assisting Ukrainian families who are being so warmly welcomed by Canadians. It has been a privilege to partner with the Government of Canada and our non-profit partners on multiple domestic and international community sponsorship programs over the past 5 years. We know that access to flights is a critical need, and we are excited to partner with Air Canada, Miles4Migrants and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on this critically important project.”
– Edward Shapiro, Trustee, The Shapiro Foundation
“Our vision at Miles4Migrants is a world where displaced persons of all backgrounds can find safety and community in new homes. We are deeply honoured to join the Government of Canada, The Shapiro Foundation and Air Canada to help fly Ukrainians to safety in Canada. Miles4Migrants is excited to partner with Canadian citizens and corporations to transform their donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, and cash into a life-changing force for good.”
– Diane Padilla, Executive Director, Miles4Migrants
“Together with our employees, we are ready and prepared to assist and support the Canadian government’s plans to bring Ukrainian people to Canada. With our 100 million Aeroplan points contribution, we offer our global network and the strength of our Star Alliance partnerships, which will contribute to enabling people to travel to Canada as quickly as possible.”
– Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada
Miles4Migrants is a non-governmental organization that uses donated frequent flyer miles from airlines around the world, credit card points and cash to help people impacted by war, persecution or disaster reunite with loved ones and start new beginnings in safe homes.
The Shapiro Foundation, founded by Barbara and Edward Shapiro in 2000, is a U.S. charitable foundation focused on improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The foundation’s primary focus is on children, refugees and immigrants, as well as education, global health and humanitarian aid.
Launched on March 17, 2022, the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) provides Ukrainians and their immediate family members of any nationality the opportunity to stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to 3 years. They are also eligible for a free open work permit or study permit, which allows them to take a job with almost any Canadian employer or enrol in an education program in Canada.
Between March 17, when the CUAET was launched, and April 12, IRCC received close to 141,000 applications and approved over 46,000 applications. Key figures are updated on a weekly basis.
IRCC recently announced that Canada is providing settlement services to Ukrainian nationals coming to Canada through the CUAET. These supports, which are typically only available to permanent residents, will help Ukrainians arriving under this special, accelerated temporary residence pathway settle in their new communities.