Supporting Refugees

Each year, Canada welcomes thousands of refugees from across the world. WIS is one of three re-settlement assistance agencies in Manitoba that is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), to assist all refugees. For more information about out re-settlement assistance program, click here.

Refugees and Ukrainians are eligible to access all WIS services.

Recently the Canadian government announced support measures for people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. See the section below for more information on supports and services.

Here are the following ways you can stay informed and support refugees and Ukrainians in our community:


We have created a Refugee Emergency funds program. The money donated to this, will go towards helping refugees coming into Brandon and the Westman region.

Please click here to make an online donation. A tax receipt will be issued.

Volunteer Opportunities

Our volunteer roles support the needs of newcomers we are working with. Registering to assist as a volunteer benefits everyone involved.

Please note: all volunteers must undergo a screening process including: application, interview, reference checks, Child Abuse Registry Check and/or a Criminal Record Check.

For more information, or to apply to be a volunteer, please click here.

Supporting Ukrainians

Current information on measures

Visit IRCC’s immigration measures for people affected by the situation in Ukraine page for updates, resources and contact information, including:

  • Contacting IRCC about the situation in Ukraine
  • Status of IRCC’s offices overseas
  • If you have immediate family in Ukraine
  • Find useful information and resources if you are in Ukraine or if you are in Canada
  • What happens next

Federal measures for Ukrainian nationals to come on a temporary basis, or to immigrate

Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)

The CUAET is open as of March 17, 2022. Click here to learn more.

For a simple fact sheet on the CUAET, and what documents are needed to apply, click here.

New immigration streams for Ukrainian nationals

On March 3, 2022, IRCC issued a news release announcing the following new immigration streams for Ukrainian nationals who want to come to Canada temporarily or permanently:

  • CUAET, available for all Ukrainian nationals wishing to come to Canada temporarily; can be extended by at least 2 years.
  • Special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence, for Ukrainian nationals who are immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

More information on these new temporary and permanent residence programs, including processing times, will be available in the coming days and weeks. Visit IRCC’s website for future updates.

Vaccination exemption for Ukrainian nationals

You can enter Canada if you’re a Ukrainian national who is not fully vaccinated and you have a:

  • temporary resident visa (visitor visa)
  • temporary resident permit or
  • written notice of approval for an application for permanent residence in Canada

Click here to learn more, including testing requirements.

Hiring Ukrainian Nationals

The Government of Canada calls on employers wishing to offer employment to Ukrainians, to register job offers on the Job Bank’s Jobs for Ukraine webpage. Click here to learn more.

Emergency IRCC contact information for current applicants

  • IRCC established a dedicated service channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. Clients can add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC crisis web form with their enquiry and it will be prioritized.

Emergency contact information for Canadians in Ukraine (not related to immigration)

Anyone in need of help can call the government’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre, based in Ottawa. The centre can be reached:

  • By telephone at 1-613-996-8885
  • By email at
  • By text message at 1-613-686-3658

Ukrainian nationals in Canada unable to go back home

Visit the section for Ukrainian nationals in Canada on IRCC’s website to extend or renew your immigration status as a visitor, student, or worker, or to see if you can apply for a work permit as a temporary resident.

Communicating with loved ones in Ukraine

Canadian telecom companies Shaw and Telus offer free long-distance calls to Ukraine. Local company, Westman Communications Group is also offering free long-distance calls to Ukraine.

Access to Settlement Services upon arrival into Canada

Update March 30, 2022: Canada expands settlement support for Ukrainians coming to Canada. 

WIS has been receiving phone calls and offers of donations and support for people from Ukraine. We thank everyone for their generosity.

When we know about the specific needs of Ukrainians when they arrive and what their needs are, we will add the requests to this page and on our Facebook page.

Manitoba for Ukraine

The Manitoba government has created the website Manitoba for Ukraine as a central place to list government supports and information is located.