Leamington woman working to bring her Ukrainian refugee family to Canada

Mary Jane Macvicar has been glued to her Skype, constantly video calling her family caught in the war in Ukraine to check on their safety.

“It’s been horrifying. They have food and electricity but there are no streetlights at night. They can hear the bombing in the distance,” says Macvicar.

The Leamington woman is working to bring her second cousin, his wife and three children to Canada, but has discovered the process would not happen immediately.

“There are so many visa applications. He (my cousin) said it could take up to two weeks for them to get an application,” says Macvicar.

Her family fled Ukraine about two weeks ago and are currently staying at a hotel in Poland. With money running low, the family will be heading to Germany where they will wait for their Canadian visa application to be approved.

They plan to live near the Leamington area once they receive the green light to enter the country.

“It’s terrible because they feel like they are homeless. They’re just going from one place to another. They can’t establish themselves,” says Macvicar.

Canada is expediting Ukrainian refugee applications.

The department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) says they have created new avenues of support for Ukrainians and those looking to immigrate, study or work in Canada.

The federal government has set up a hotline for Ukrainians abroad and in Canada to assist with immigration supports at 613-321-4243.

Mary Jane Macvicar. (Courtesy Mary Jane Macvicar)

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