18 Jan Successful start for the new COA site in Ukraine

Launched on April 1st 2015, the new permanent site in Kyiv is now in full swing mode. After a challenging start with the testing and implementation of various referral methods to inform eligible clients of the upcoming COA sessions in Ukraine, the COA team has been able to spread the word among Ukrainian individuals and families preparing for their new lives in Canada.

Illia Borovynskyi

COA Ukraine Coordinator and Facilitator

Over the last nine months, COA Ukraine provided pre-arrival orientation to 341 visa-ready immigrants from both the Economic and Family classes. As the number of attendees and registrants increases, COA Ukraine started considering the need for other training locations outside Kyiv.

In September 2015, mobile sessions were delivered in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine, as well as Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine. Positive feedback via social networks and COA evaluation forms resulted in an increased number of applications, which led the team to plan for more mobile sessions in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and other important cities such as Odessa.

Apart from its geographical expansion, COA Ukraine is providing training to a wider number of immigrant categories, including individuals from the Investor Class.

Ivan, a 43 year old investor who started his immigration process six years ago, pinpoints the key reasons for his immigration to Canada:

“My brother moved to Canada in 1990. I have visited him many times, and there are a lot of things I like about Canada. I enjoy how Canada values cultural differences, making each immigrant feel at home. The climate is very similar to what we have in Ukraine, with four distinct seasons, which is likely to ease my adaptation. But, I guess, the main reason for me is family. I have two daughters, 23 and 11 years of age, and I want a better life for them and my wife. Moreover, I find Canada to be a promising business environment to further realize my entrepreneurial potential in the field of retail sales. Recent political, economic and military turmoil in Ukraine leaves little hope for a bright future here. I am a businessman, and doing business in Ukraine is like going around in a circle – each five to ten years you need to start over again. This is why I am investing into Canada and into a new life for my family.”

The COA Kyiv (Ukraine) training room with the COA Facilitator Illia Borovynskyi (right) and Mr. Stephen Rogers, IOM Kyiv Senior Program Coordinator (left).

Tamara, a mother of four immigrating under the Federal Skilled Worker category, shared her feelings:

“Our family decided to immigrate to Canada in order to ensure a better life for us and our children. We believe that Canada is a good place to fulfil our professional potential and apply our skills. In Ukraine, I work as a financial expert and hope to pursue the same career path in Canada. We chose Canada because this country adheres to the concept of justice; it cares about its citizens and permanent residents by providing comprehensive social protection. Like everyone else, I have fears regarding my adaptation in a new environment and I am concerned about finding a decent job. It is hard not to omit some important organizational things while getting ready for your life in a new country. And this COA session is a great idea to equip people with information and a network; it does provide key details on my first steps in Canada and gives my family a certain road map.”

These individual stories echo and resound with the stories of hundreds of other Ukrainian immigrants, embarking on a journey to Canada in order to safeguard a better future for their families. Whilst the economic situation in Ukraine is becoming more and more volatile, a surge in the number of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada is expected during the upcoming years. COA is ready to take up the challenge and equip Ukrainian immigrants to succeed as newcomers to Canada.