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Last Updated: 2023/03/30
United Way British Columbia is bringing together the power of many to support displaced Ukrainians.
United Way British Columbia (UWBC) supports communities and strengthens the vital connections that make them healthy; this includes newcomers seeking safety and belonging. Through our newly integrated service, 211, we are eager to provide support for displaced Ukrainians as they navigate this challenging transition, and connect compassionate British Columbians to volunteer and donation opportunities.
Have you arrived in BC from Ukraine?
- A list of supports and resources is available below.
Looking to donate or volunteer?
- Housing - please fill out the United for Ukraine Housing Intake Form. The purpose of this form is to collect the information needed to connect you with settlement organizations that are supporting Ukrainians with available housing as they arrive to BC. A Criminal Record Check is required. It’s a simple process to complete and it's free.
- Goods and Services - please fill out the In-kind Ukraine Donation Intake Form. United Way British Columbia (UWBC) will coordinate and direct donations according to community needs.
- Volunteer - please sign up via UWBC iVolunteer website. There is a specific need for volunteers fluent in Ukrainian.
- Financial Donations - Show your local love. Donate to UWBC's United for Ukraine fund. Learn more and donate here.
Check back regularly for updates. We will be adding new information as it becomes available.
Resources for Ukrainians arriving in British Columbia
Scammers are active on social media. Be careful when connecting with people online about travel and housing. Don't send money to strangers.Only use a trusted source for housing, employment, and other offers of assistance. Offers of aid from trusted sources can include family, friends or housing/employment organized through government services or established organizations. Medical Services Plan (MSP) enrolment does not require a deposit, and getting a Social Insurance Number (SIN) is free.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Reception
In partnership with the Government of Canada, SUCCESS’s Community Airport Newcomer’s Network (CANN) provides reception services for people displaced from Ukraine as they arrive at YVR airport. Services include reception, information, orientation, assistance with emergency accommodation, and information and referral to additional supports. Ukrainians can attend the SUCCESS Kiosk located in the Voluntary Compliance (VC) room for assistance; hours are 8 am to 10 pm. This replaces the reception services that were provided by the Canadian Red Cross. The Kiosk phone number is 604-270-0856. Services are offered in English, Ukrainian, Russian, and French. People are screened for housing needs and those with immediate needs are placed in a hotel space for two weeks. SUCCESS is also set up at the hotel to provide settlement assistance while people are temporarily there. A settlement agency will then help people get into the donated transitional housing supply.
Canadian Red Cross offers downloadable Welcome Packages in English, Ukrainian and Russian.
Unvaccinated and Partially Vaccinated Ukrainians
Federal information and guidance on vaccinations for Ukrainian nationals and family members is available here.
A Government of British Columbia website that provides information for Ukrainians who are moving to BC, as well as for British Columbians who want to volunteer or donate to show their support. Visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/tourism-immigration/ukraine/welcome (Українська | Русский)
A Government of British Columbia website that provides general settlement information, including a guide for newcomers’ First Few Days in BC and how to Find a Place to Live. Visit: https://www.welcomebc.ca/Start-Your-Life-in-B-C. A Newcomers’ Guide is available in Ukrainian.
Government of British Columbia Contact Centre that offers assistance to Ukrainians arriving in BC with accessing provincial government services such as employment, health care, housing and education. Dial 1-800-663-7867, Mon-Fri 7:30 am to 5 pm. Translation is available in Ukrainian, Russian, and 140 other languages.
The Canadian Government is making all federally funded settlement services available to all Ukrainian temporary residents and their dependents in Canada. Ukrainian temporary residents are also eligible for provincially funded settlement services.
Language classes are available at no cost to permanent residents and Ukrainians arriving under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET).
Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral
New Westminster, BC - Offers a team of professionals to help with safe and successful resettlement for Ukrainians including help with visa application forms, plane tickets and insurance, temporary free accommodation, paperwork after arrival, mental health issues, community settlement, and job search. Online form to request help. (Українська)
Help Ukraine Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, BC - A volunteer-run organization supporting displaced Ukrainians across Vancouver Island. The website offers information on resources, housing and finding a host, events, local organizations, news, job postings, free household items, and more. Offers free food and grocery cards in partnership with other organizations. For Canadians, it offers information on how to donate, volunteer, or host Ukrainians. Online form for Ukrainians to request help.
Slavic United Network
Vernon, BC – A network of volunteers to assist Ukrainians with settling in the Okanagan Valley. Assists with visa applications; distributes welcome packages; provides orientation and leads on housing and transportation options; facilitates access to government resources; helps with school registrations; and connects with local employers and service providers. Online form to request help.
Ridge Meadows Ukrainian Welcoming Committee
Ridge Meadows (Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows), BC – A grassroots, community organization that assists Ukrainians with settling in the Ridge Meadows area. Connects newcomers to housing, jobs, food, translation, legal advice, education, immigration matters, and counselling. Visit their Facebook page or contact RMUWC@outlook.com.
Ukrainian Diaspora Support Canada
Provides assistance with visa applications and matchmaking with Canadian host families. Visit the website for intake forms.
Settlement services are available to assist with finding housing.
Ukrainian Canadian Congress
An organization that brings together national, provincial and local Ukrainian Canadian organizations under one umbrella. They may be able to connect Ukrainians with short-term transitional housing offered by members of the community. Visit: https://www.ucc.ca/
Ukrainian Village Transition House
Vancouver Island, BC - Transitional housing that provides free, safe, and supportive housing on Vancouver Island for women, single mothers, seniors, and people with disabilities for up to three months. Offered in partnership with the Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island, Help Ukraine Island Society, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Victoria Branch) and other organizations. Visit: https://ukrainehelpvi.ca/ukrainian-village-transition-house/.
Government of Canada
The federal government is providing financial assistance of $3,000 per adult (18 years and older) and $1,500 per child (17 years and under) to Ukrainians and their family members who are in Canada with a valid work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit, or visitor record under CUAET. The assistance is a one-time, non-taxable benefit to take care of basic needs while individuals get settled in Canada. Payments will be made by direct deposit, which requires individuals to have a Canadian bank account. More information, instructions on how open a bank account and apply for assistance, and a link to the online application form can be found here. Contact 1-833-760-1162 if the payment isn't received, if it isn't the right amount, or for more information about the application; interpretation is available in Ukrainian and Russian. Phone hours are 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday, Eastern time.
Government of British Columbia
The Government of BC is providing up to six months of hardship assistance to Ukrainians arriving under CUAET. Eligibility is based on need and can be as much as $935 per month (single person), $1,770 per month (family of four), $1,358.50 per month (single person with a disability) and $2,193.50 per month (family of four, one adult is a person with a disability). To be eligible, individuals must have already applied for the federal transitional financial assistance. Applications can be completed online, in-person, or over the phone. More information, including instructions on how to apply, is available here.
Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island / Ukrainian Cultural Centre
TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE - Vancouver Island, BC - A Ukrainian organization that is coordinating some emergency financial assistance to Ukrainians holding CUAET status and living on Vancouver Island. UCC is prioritizing assistance based on need and the following criteria (people who meet 3 or more criteria will be further prioritized): people with limited to no financial resources; single parents travelling with one or more children under age 18; individuals or families who were living in the Ukraine on or after January 1, 2022; people with documented permanent disabilities and their caregivers; and people who identify as LGBTQ+. More information is available here.
Help Ukraine Vancouver Island Emergency Fund
Vancouver Island, BC – A volunteer-led organization that is providing some emergency financial assistance to Ukrainians living on Vancouver Island for crisis situations such as sudden homelessness. Applicants should email email@example.com with the subject line EMERGENCY FUND. More information is available here.
Ukrainian nationals can apply for an open work permit. An open work permit allows you to work for almost any employer in Canada. An open work permit is valid for up to 3 years.
Jobs for Ukraine
Government of Canada has set up a Job Bank page dedicated to Ukrainians coming to Canada that includes information for job seekers as well as hiring employers.
Jobs throughout BC can be found on the WorkBC Job Board. Ukrainians are also eligible for WorkBC services, which assist with job search and other employment services.
Is an independent online community platform connecting people in Vancouver with resources to assist Ukrainians in their time of need. Employers can register to offer employment in Metro Vancouver.
Help Ukraine Vancouver Island
This website lists job postings for Vancouver Island and allows employers to post jobs.
Immigrant Employment Council of BC
Provides employers with information about hiring immigrant talent and creating diverse and inclusive workplaces.
Talent Beyond Boundaries
A charity connecting refugees with jobs internationally. Anyone displaced by the Ukrainian crisis can register on TBB's Talent Catalog to be considered for international employment and skilled visa opportunities.
Canada-Ukraine Science Partnership
Natural Resources Canada is providing temporary employment, scholarships, temporary stay arrangements, and other kinds of support to scientists, post-graduate students, and subject matter experts who have fled or are fleeing Ukraine. More information on applying is available here.
Medical Services Plan (MSP)
Displaced Ukrainians arriving in BC with visas issued under the federal Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) will now have access to date-of-arrival Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage. Government is encouraging those arriving in British Columbia from Ukraine under the CUAET to submit their application for MSP enrolment as soon as they arrive in British Columbia at: www.gov.bc.ca/MSP/applyforhealthcare or by calling 1-800-663-7100 for more information.
BC PharmaCare helps pay for eligible drugs, medical devices and supplies, and pharmacy services. Ukrainians arriving under the CUAET who have completed their enrolment in MSP are covered by PharmaCare’s Plan C (Income Assistance) for one year. The plan provides 100% coverage of eligible prescription costs. BC Phamacare will also fully cover costs of urgently needed drugs for CUAET arrivals not yet enrolled in MSP. More information on BC PharmaCare for Ukrainian CUAET arrivals, including information on emergency drug coverage, the Fair PharmaCare plan, and psychiatric medications, is available here.
Newcomers must have a medical exam within 90 days of arriving in Canada. Find an approved physician for a medical exam. Effective October 1st, 2022, individuals under the CUAET who are enrolled in MSP and who must complete the exam or diagnostic tests will not receive a bill. Those who already completed and paid for the medical exam can submit the receipts along with a request for reimbursement.
Clinics, Hospitals, and Pharmacies
Health services such as walk-in clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and more are available across BC.
The BC Government provides free COVID-19 vaccines. Learn how to get vaccinated.
Mental health resources are available to anyone residing in BC.
Kids Help Phone
Provides phone counselling via interpretation in Ukrainian or Russian to children or youth. Call 1-800-668-6868 and press 3 to be connected to a counsellor and an interpreter. Available 24/7 in Canada.
Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees (VICCIR)
Vancouver Island, BC - Offers counselling services with interpretation support. VICCIR offers a specialist team of therapists, interpreters, social services worker, and volunteers to meet the mental health needs of refugees and persons who have immigrated to Canada. Accepts referrals from settlement agencies, sponsorship groups, schools, medical professionals, ministries, and individuals.
Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (VAST)
Metro Vancouver, BC - Provides trauma-focused psychological counselling to refugees and other newcomers who have experienced trauma as a result of torture, political violence, or other traumatic event.
Mansio Global Collective NFP
The Razom Initiative provides a global network of trauma-sensitive mental health care to Ukrainians who live in Ukraine or have been displaced due to war. Offers up to five free virtual sessions of individual therapy by Ukrainian- or Russian-speaking therapists. Sessions can take place virtually from any location. There is an online form to request therapy.
Immigration is the responsibility of the federal government of Canada. You must follow federal guidance to enter Canada.
Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET)
The Government of Canada has created the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) to help Ukrainians and their family members come to Canada as quickly as possible and to provide them with the ability to work and study while in Canada. Apply online for the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Authorization for Travel. When applying for this visa, one should also request a work permit. For immigration and visa questions, dial 1-613-321-4243.
Additional Government of Canada Information:
- Canada’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- Immigration measures for people affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- Extend your stay or restore your status in Canada
- Assistance for Canadians in Ukraine
- Additional Immigration Support for Those Affected by the Situation in Ukraine
The Canadian Bar Association
The Canadian Bar Association Immigration Law Section provides legal services, without charge, to individuals affected by the crisis in Ukraine. These services include legal consultations and advice for those seeking to take advantage of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s facilitative initiatives and programs to bring eligible Ukrainian nationals to Canada. There is an online form to Request Pro Bono Assistance - Ukraine.
Pro Bono Ontario
Offers a Canada-wide toll-free hotline to provide free legal information, summary legal advice, and referrals to pro bono lawyers for Ukrainians or their family members requiring assistance with sponsorship, refugee claims, and study and work permit questions. Assistance is available in Ukrainian, English, or French. Call 1-877-873-7875 between 12 pm and 5 pm EST Monday to Friday.
Help Ukraine Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, BC – Volunteer-run website lists donated free items such as clothing, household items, electronics, toiletries, furniture, sporting goods, and toys. Visit: https://ukrainehelpvi.ca/classified-listings-categories/. Also offers free food and grocery cards in partnership with other organizations.
Different types of child care exist in BC. Learn how to access child care in BC.
Children aged 5 to 18 should be registered in a local school upon arrival. Find your local school district and contact information on this map. Information about BC’s kindergarten to grade 12 curriculum is available here.
Post Secondary Education
Individuals require a study permit prior to studying in Canada at the post-secondary level. Ukrainians arriving though CUAET may be eligible for domestic tuition rates. Learn how to apply for a study permit or extend a study permit. Find post-secondary institutions and programs here. Those who don’t have access to education documents like diplomas or academic transcripts can contact the World Education Services Gateway Program.
YWCA Metro Vancouver
Metro Vancouver, BC – Provides an online support group for Ukrainian mothers (of children under 18 years old) in Metro Vancouver who are parenting alone to build community, learn about resources, and make connections. Includes monthly field trips and a monthly grocery gift card. Held weekly on Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 pm. Led by a Ukrainian facilitator and offered in Ukrainian language. Contact Natalia Charif (Ukrainian or English) at 604-230-7173 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New arrivals from Ukraine can use their Ukraine driver’s licence for up to 90 days. ICBC offers help with driver licensing at their driver licensing offices across BC. Learn how to get a driver’s license.
BC Ferries is offering free ferry travel to support Ukrainians arriving at their final destination in BC. Translators and host volunteers providing travel assistance to Ukrainians are also eligible for free ferry travel. Travelers should call 1-888-223-3779, extension 6, and will be asked to provide their route, time, and passenger information. More information is available here.
Animal Food Bank
Provides pet food for pets of displaced Ukrainians. Contact email@example.com. More information is available here.