Expanded supports - Helping Ukrainian newcomers settle in Alberta
Alberta’s government is committed to supporting Ukrainian newcomers fleeing the war and helping them resettle in Alberta.
The government continues to accelerate the assessment of applications for permanent residency made by Ukrainian nationals and waive fees through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.
Ukrainians arriving in Alberta
There are programs, resources and services available to help Ukrainians who come to Alberta.
Ongoing assistance from Alberta’s government and partnering settlement agencies is helping to ensure Ukrainians arriving in Alberta can:
- access health coverage
- enrol children in K to 12 schools in their new communities
- get an Alberta identification card, including a driver’s licence
- obtain financial support
- find licensed child care
- get help finding work
- access community adult learning programs to improve financial and literacy skills
See the list of provincial services below and visit Ukrainians in Alberta for more information.
Settlement agencies who can help
Through the Alberta Settlement and Integration Program, the Government of Alberta provides financial support to settlement agencies to deliver ongoing services to eligible newcomers who live and work in Alberta.
Alternatively, visit Ukrainians in Alberta.
Settlement agencies funded by the Alberta government:
- Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
- Catholic Social Services
- Centre d'accueil pour nouveaux arrivants francophones – Settlement Services for Francophone Newcomers in Calgary and Edmonton and Rural Small Centres in South, Central and North Alberta
- Centre for Newcomers (CFN)
- Edmonton Immigrant Services Association
- Francophonie Albertaine Plurielle-FRAP-Society – Settlement and Integration Services in Edmonton region, Fort McMurray and Red Deer
- Grande Prairie Centre for Newcomers
- Kneehill Adult Learning Society – Kneehill Adult Learning & Settlement and Integration Services
- Taber & District Community Adult Learning Association – Taber Newcomer Support Services
- YMCA of Northern Alberta
Learn more about settlement support programs in Alberta.
Federal settlement services
The Government of Canada has made settlement services available to all Ukrainian temporary residents and their dependents in Canada until March 31, 2023. Visit the Government of Canada website for more information.
Alberta public libraries
Alberta public libraries are a valuable resource for newcomers. At more than 300 locations, library visitors can access books and magazines, computer and internet access, educational and language tools, resources on immigration and job seeking, and much more.
Details on programs and services, and where newcomers can go to get more information, are on Library supports for newcomers.
Through the Alberta Settlement and Integration Program, the Alberta government provides financial support to settlement agencies to deliver ongoing language services to newcomers who live and work in Alberta. These services include language assessments, language training and education referrals and drop-in English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes.
English language assessments and training referrals
- Catholic Social Services – Language Assessment and Referral Centre
- Immigrant Services Calgary - Calgary Language Assessment and Referral Centre
EAL drop-in services offer eligible newcomers alternative English language learning opportunities when they cannot access regular programming. For more information, contact:
- Cultural Connections Institute – The Learning Exchange (CCI-LEX) - EAL Drop-In Services
- Taber & District Community Adult Learning Association - Taber English as an Additional Language Drop-In Centre
- The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) – Drop-in ESL, Literacy and Basic English Classes
- Forest Lawn Calgary Office: 403-235-3666
- Whitehorn or Westwinds Calgary Office: 403-291-0002
Email [email protected] if you have any general questions about settlement and language supports.
Community Adult Learning Program
Through the Community Adult Learning Program, the Government of Alberta is providing an additional $1 million to help improve your reading, writing and learning skills once you arrive in Alberta.
Organizations across Alberta deliver part-time, non-formal learning opportunities that support the development of literacy, numeracy, language, digital or other life skills.
Learn more about the Community Adult Learning Program.
Federal language services
The Government of Canada provides language assessments for newcomers to register into the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program.
Getting a driver’s licence or identification
Visitors from outside the country, including Ukrainian evacuees, who enter Alberta and do not live in Alberta permanently, can drive the same type or class of motor vehicle in Alberta on their existing driver’s licence from their home jurisdiction for up to one year.
It is recommended that you carry an International Driving Permit, which translates what your Ukrainian driver’s licence allows you to operate into English. Information on getting an International Driving Permit is available at: Exchange a licence from outside Alberta.
If you are living in Alberta and take up residence, you must exchange your current driver's licence for an Alberta driver’s licence within 90 days of moving to the province.
To get a driver’s licence or Alberta ID card for the first time, a registry agent will ask for documentation that proves who you are, proves you are an Alberta resident and proves that you are lawfully entitled to be in and remain in Canada. All documentation presented must be valid, and in English or accompanied by a written translation from an approved translator.
If you are applying for a driver’s licence and you already have a valid driver’s licence(s) from another jurisdiction, you must surrender it to the registry agent.
Your Alberta driver’s licence or ID card may take up to two weeks to arrive by mail at your Alberta address. The card will not be delivered if you have mail-forwarding.
To get a Class 7 driver’s licence (for example, learner for cars but can drive mopeds alone), a person must be at least 14 years old.
To get a Class 5 driver’s licence (drive cars and trucks alone), a person must be at least 16 years old.
To get an identification card, a person must be at least 12 years old.
Proof of identity
Documents that contain a photo and prove your identity include:
- non-Canadian passport
- a driver’s licence or ID card issued by an official government
- permanent residence card issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Examples of documents that are accepted for proof of legal entitlement in Canada (these documents may also contain a photo and can be used to prove your identity):
- Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) issued by IRCC
- work permit issued by IRCC
- study permit issued by IRCC
- confirmation of permanent residence issued by IRCC
- permanent residence card issued by IRCC
Example of documents that are accepted for proof of Alberta residency, which must contain an Alberta address:
- utility, gas, phone or cable bills
- bank or credit card statements
- residential lease agreement
- pay stub
- written confirmation of Alberta employment
- written confirmation from an Alberta educational institution
- statutory declaration completed in a registry agent office stating you are a resident of Alberta
No proof of identity
If you do not have ID, or your ID has been lost, stolen, or destroyed a registry agent can help you. Contact a registry agent office to determine the options available to you.
Parental or guardian consent requirement for children under the age of 18
A person under the age of 18 must have the consent of a parent or guardian when applying for a driver’s licence or ID card for the first time. A guardian is someone who is responsible for the care and well-being of the person who is under the age of 18.
The cost of a driver’s licence, for a 1-year term, is $16. In addition, the registry agent may charge a service charge of up to $10.
The cost of an ID card, for a 1-year term, is $8. In addition, the registry agent may charge a service charge of up to $8.
There are additional costs for taking driver’s licence tests, which vary depending on the test being taken.
Testing requirements for driver’s licences
To get a driver’s licence in Alberta, you will need to pass a medical assessment and knowledge and skills testing. You are also required to surrender your driver’s licence issued by the Ukraine, if you have one, before being issued an Alberta driver’s licence. The following are 2 types of driver’s licences you may be eligible to apply for:
Class 7 driver’s licence
Alberta’s Class 7 learner’s licence allows you to drive the following vehicles:
- moped (by yourself)
- all Class 5 or Class 6 vehicles (with someone over 18 who has a full Class 5 driver’s licence)
To obtain a Class 7 driver’s licence:
- visit a registry agent and pass the Class 7 knowledge test – the knowledge test is available in Ukrainian
- pass a vision assessment to ensure your vision is good enough to drive
- purchase your licence card
Class 5 driver’s licence
Alberta’s Class 5 driver’s licence allows you to drive the following vehicles by yourself:
- 2-axle single motor vehicle
- motorhome without airbrakes unless you hold an air brake certificate
- tow a trailer with 1 or more axles if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes
- moped, recreational vehicle, or any combination of recreational vehicles and a trailer, if the trailer has 2 axles or less and is not equipped with air brakes
To obtain a Class 5 driver’s licence:
- obtain a Class 7 driver’s licence
- hold the Class 7 driver’s licence for 1 year and until you are 16 years of age
- If you have previous driving experience and are 16 years of age, you can be exempted from the requirement to hold this licence for 1 year.
- pass the Class 5 basic road test and purchase a probationary Class 5 driver’s licence and hold it for 2 years and until you are 18 years of age
- If you have previous driving experience and are 18 years of age, you can be exempted from these requirements.
- pass the Class 5 advanced road test and purchase a non-probationary Class 5 driver’s licence
Exchange Ukraine licence
- If you have previous driving experience, the registry agent will check to see if you can apply for the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Exemption Program to be exempted for some of the requirements listed above and will give you an application to complete.
- If you apply for a GDL exemption, support documents, including your Ukrainian driver’s licence, will be sent to the Service Alberta Special Investigations Unit (SIU) for review. If approved, you will be exempted from the requirements listed below, based on the amount of driving experience you had previously. The GDL requirements are as follows:
- you must hold a learner's driver's licence (class 7) for at least 1 year
- you must be accompanied by a fully licensed (non-GDL probationary) driver who is 18 years of age or older and is seated next to you
- you are not permitted to drive from midnight to 5 am
- you are not permitted to have more passengers than seat belts
- you will be suspended if you accumulate eight or more demerit points
- you must have zero level of alcohol and drug when driving (or riding a motorcycle)
For more information on getting an Alberta driver’s licence, visit: Exchange a licence from outside Alberta.
Getting health coverage
Health insurance in Alberta
In Alberta, Ukrainian evacuees who have applied for health insurance coverage are issued an Alberta Personal Health Card, which they present to receive insured health services without charge from physicians/practitioners, labs, imaging centre and hospitals. The health insurance coverage for Ukrainian evacuees is provided through the Ukrainian Evacuee Temporary Health Benefits Program.
How to apply for health coverage and get a health card
1. Complete an application form.
The application form is included in your welcome package and is also available online.
2. Take photocopies of your identification and immigration documents.
3. Mail your application and documents or take them to a registry office.
You can mail your completed application form and copies of your identification and immigration documents or you can take these documents to a health registry office.
PO Box 1360, Station A
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2N3
A list of health registry locations is available online.
A personal health card will be mailed to you.
If you have questions, you can send an email to [email protected].
Your Alberta personal health card
Due to the high volume of applications, the processing time of applications is 3 to 4 weeks. Mail delivery time is not included in the processing time. Processing of these applications is completed at the Alberta Health office.
When you receive your Alberta personal health card, remember to carry it with you. Your card may be laminated.
Show your personal health card and photo identification whenever you need to get health services.
Medicals for the immigration process or other third parties are not included with the exception of the chest x-ray.
Your Alberta personal health card can only be used for health services in the province of Alberta. If you plan to travel outside Alberta, obtaining private health insurance is recommended.
The AHS Support for Ukraine website provides information about health services and resources for Ukrainian evacuees in Alberta. Information can be found in English, Ukrainian and Russian.
How to get health information and advice
Call Health Link at 811. Translation services are available. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How to get mental health or addiction information and advice
Call 1-877-303-2642. Translation services are available. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How to find a doctor
Ask your host family or search online: albertafindadoctor.ca.
How to find a hospital
How to get emergency health care
How to get emergency prescription drug coverage and emergency dental and optical services
- Call Alberta Supports – Help is available in more than 100 languages
- Call the 24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre
Alberta Health Benefits program
Once you receive your Alberta personal health card, you can apply to receive additional health benefits that includes on-going coverage for prescription drugs, essential over-the-counter medications, eye exams and glasses, dental care, essential diabetic supplies and emergency ambulance services.
Ukrainian evacuees will receive an Alberta Health Benefits (Ukrainian Evacuee) application form in the mail after they receive their Alberta personal health card. Complete this form and mail it using the pre-addressed envelope provided (registries cannot accept this form) or fax it to the number below.
Alberta Seniors, Community and Social Services
Health Benefits Contact Centre
P.O. Box 2222 Station Main
Edmonton, AB T5J 5H3
780-415-8386 in Edmonton
1-855-415-8386 toll free outside Edmonton
An Alberta Health Benefits card will be mailed to you once the application has been processed. Please allow 2 to 4 weeks for processing. If you require emergency prescription drug coverage and/or emergency dental and optical services while your application is being processed, call Alberta Supports or the 24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre as listed above.
Remember to carry both your Alberta personal health card and the Alberta Health Benefits card whenever you need health services.
Your Alberta Health Benefits card can only be used for health services in the province of Alberta.
If you have already received an Alberta personal health card but did not receive an Alberta Health Benefits (Ukrainian Evacuee) application form, you can request one by sending an email to [email protected].
For more information about health services in Alberta, visit:
Accessing education services
To register in a school, parents should:
1. Contact your local school board(s) and they will help you find your children’s school(s).
2. Follow the school board’s directions and contact the school to complete the student registration form.
3. The school may request the following documentation:
- Immigration documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that a person receives prior to or when entering Canada, such as temporary resident documents, Confirmation of Permanent Residence or Refugee/Refugee Claimant documents. These documents should be provided for both parent(s) and child, if possible.
- Student birth certificates or other documentation that shows the parent/child connection if the IRCC documents do not name family members.
4. If you cannot immediately produce these documents, the school can still register your children. Provide the documents when they become available.
- View a list of Alberta schools with Ukrainian language programs (PDF, 437 KB).
Accessing child care
Displaced Ukrainian parents can call Child Care Connect toll free at 1-844-644-5165 to:
- learn about child care options in your area
- get help finding the licensed child care program in your community that works best for your family
Child care subsidy
As of June 1, Ukrainian parents can apply for funding to cover the cost of licensed child care, through the Child Care Subsidy Program.
Eligible child care programs include: daycare, preschool, out-of-school care, or a day home provider through a licensed family day home agency.
To be eligible:
- you must be a Ukraine National
- you must be a Ukrainian family fleeing Ukraine
- you must have a specially issued Alberta Health Care Card with an expiry date
- your children must attend a licensed child care program in Alberta
- your children must be 12 years of age or younger and not yet attending Grade 7
- you must be accessing child care because you (and your partner) are working, attending school, or looking for work; or because you or your child has a special need, or have an exceptional circumstance
Currently, displaced Ukrainians can apply up until March 31, 2023 to receive subsidy for 6 months.
Income testing is not required for displaced Ukrainians to receive the Child Care Subsidy. However, after 6 months, if you wish to continue receiving subsidy, you must re-apply to the Child Care Subsidy program. Your application will be assessed based on your family’s total gross income and other subsidy eligibility factors.
You will receive the maximum subsidy amount for each child. The subsidy amount will be different for each family. It will depend on whether the child is school age and the type of care requested. Use the estimator tool and enter $0 for income to estimate the amount of subsidy you are eligible to receive.
To apply, download and complete the application form (PDF, 94 KB) and submit it by email or fax:
Email: [email protected]
If you have questions, contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.
There are a number of organizations and resources that can help you find work and build your career in Alberta:
- Alberta Supports Centres provide employment programs and services across Alberta, including job fairs, workshops, information sessions, and labour market information.
- alis provides career, learning and employment information for Albertans.
- Immigrant-serving agencies offer services to newcomers, including help with finding a job.
Apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
To work in Canada or access government programs and benefits, you will need a 9-digit number known as a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Service Canada is responsible for issuing SINs. To learn about what documents are required to apply for a SIN, or to apply for your SIN online, go to: www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin.html
Alternatively, you may apply for your SIN in-person at a Service Canada location. If you choose to apply in person, it is strongly recommended that you book an appointment prior to your visit by using the Service Canada request form available at: eservices.canada.ca/en/service/
Learn more about working in Alberta.
Getting your credentials and qualifications recognized
Educational and professional qualifications and standards differ from country to country. You may need to have your international credentials assessed to see how they compare with Alberta's standards.
Your educational credentials are certificates that show that you have completed high school or post-secondary education. The International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) will assess your international academic credentials and provide an assessment that indicates how your credentials compare to standards in Alberta.
An IQAS assessment can be used to support your application for employment, admission to select post-secondary institutions, and licensure with select Professional Regulatory Organization (PRO). As an agency designated by the Government of Canada, IQAS also completes Educational Credential Assessments (ECA) for immigration purposes.
For more information, visit International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS).
Regulated occupations and trades
Many trades and occupations in Alberta are regulated, which means you need to be licensed by a provincial Professional Regulatory Organization (PRO) to work in that occupation. Other common terms that mean the same thing as regulated are “certified” and “registered.” Regulated occupations and trades require recognition by professional regulatory bodies to ensure workers meet standards of practice.
To learn more about regulated occupations in Alberta, visit Foreign Qualification Recognition.
To learn more about designated trades in Alberta, visit Apprenticeship and Industry Training.
Opening a bank account
Most Albertans keep their money in a bank, a credit union or ATB Financial. You must pay a service charge for most banking services. Financial institutions offer services such as:
- chequing, savings and other types of accounts
- utility, telephone and credit card bill payment services by phone, online or at an automated teller machine (ATM)
- safety deposit boxes
- debit cards and credit cards
- money exchange, money orders and traveller’s cheques
When you open an account, you will need to provide:
- photo identification (ID)
- a second piece of ID
- your social insurance number for income tax purposes
You do not need to have a job or deposit a certain amount of money into your account.
Visit Opening a bank account to learn more about opening a bank account, or visit a financial institution near you.
Financial supports for Ukrainians
As of July 25, 2022, the Government of Alberta is providing new financial benefits for eligible Ukrainian newcomers fleeing the war.
Individuals may be eligible for up to 6 months of financial supports to help cover costs for basic expenses such as food, shelter and clothing.
Applicants will be expected to access all other available assistance programs before being eligible for Alberta’s financial benefits. This includes accessing the Government of Canada’s financial assistance program, which is a one-time, non-taxable benefit to take care of any basic needs while getting settled in Canada.
Find out more about the program or to apply online at Ukraine immigration measures: Financial assistance – Canada.ca
Eligibility for Alberta’s benefits will be based on income and asset levels. The financial benefit rates align with Income Support benefits and will also be based on family composition.
How to apply
To find out more about available financial supports in Alberta, call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 (or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton) and press option 9. Services are available in English and Ukrainian.
Emergency financial support
One-time emergency benefits may be available to those with limited income and assets who are facing an emergency.
Benefits cover costs for:
- Replacement clothing
- Emergency food
- Repairs to major appliances
- Repairs to home
- Damage deposit
- Eviction due to outstanding rental arrears
- Utility arrears, connection, deposit, reconnection
- Escaping abuse (while in Alberta)
- Other emergency goods and services
For more information:
- Call Alberta Supports – Help is available in Ukrainian as well as more than 100 languages
- Call the 24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre
As part of the $1.2 million to settlement services announced in April, the government is funding the Alberta Association of Immigrant-Serving Agencies (AAISA) and Catholic Social Services to streamline housing options for Ukrainians that will complement and reduce pressure on other government systems. This will ensure a coordinated approach to housing options for Ukrainians arriving in Alberta.
Rental information – tenants
There are many resources available to help understand your rights and responsibilities as a renter in Alberta:
- Residential tenancies provides information for landlords and tenants, and rent and rental properties.
- Information for landlords and tenants can help you find information related to specific topics about living in or operating a residential rental property.
- Starting a tenancy has information related to rental security deposits, sometimes called a damage deposit in Alberta.
- Learn what information a landlord can and cannot ask for of new tenants.
- In Alberta, the Residential Tenancies Act applies to most people who rent the place where they live. This law sets out the rights and responsibilities that apply to tenants.
- Tip sheet for tenants covering all aspects of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
- If you encounter a violation of the RTA when trying to find a rental property, the Consumer Investigations Unit (CIU) of Service Alberta is responsible for Alberta’s consumer protection and tenancy laws.
- Consumer Tips Filing a Complaint explains how to file a consumer complaint with Service Alberta and when an investigation may be opened, as well as other options available to consumers.
Ways to help
Canadian businesses are invited to donate goods through the Call to action: Canadian Industry for Ukraine website. Donations from Canadian businesses will go to Ukrainians and other displaced persons making Canada their home.
If you would like to make a cash donation to support displaced Ukrainians, please visit Get Involved – Ukraine Safe Haven. Donations can be directed to a specific province or territory.
Miles4Migrants uses donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points and cash to help those individuals in need of flight assistance to be able to come to Canada. To donate go to Miles4Migrants – Support a flight for a refugee – Miles4Migrants
You can also visit the Ukrainians in Alberta website to find ways to help.
Other supports and resources
Additional resources for women and girls can be found through the Women’s Hub, including supports for finding work, accessing financial assistance, staying healthy and staying safe.
Prioritizing AAIP applications
Alberta’s government is prioritizing the assessment of applications for permanent residency made by Ukrainian nationals through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). Candidates must still meet all program criteria.
Application and post-decision service fees for the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program are also being temporarily waived for new applications and requests made by Ukrainian nationals. These measures will be reviewed quarterly.
Read the news release to learn more.
Supporting humanitarian aid in Ukraine
Financial support for Ukraine
Alberta’s government is contributing more than $23 million in support for Ukraine, including:
- $10 million to the Ukrainian World Congress’s Unite with Ukraine campaign for humanitarian aid
- $2.2 million for settlement and language services delivered across the province
- $1 million to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Canada Ukraine Foundation, to help coordinate and deliver humanitarian aid.
- $5 million to the Ukrainian World Congress to equip 5,000 members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Force with defensive equipment.
- $5 million to the Canada Ukraine Foundation for additional humanitarian aid.
- $350,000 to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council to support their efforts.
Albertans who wish to donate to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal can visit cufoundation.ca.
The Government of Canada has implemented immigration measures to make it easier for Ukrainians to come to Canada, and is providing income support and other federal settlement services for Ukrainian newcomers.
Living and working in Alberta
There are programs available to help individuals live and work in Alberta, Canada. Explore options to work temporarily or to become a permanent resident.
Come to Canada
To find out if you can apply for permanent residence, please use the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Come to Canada online tool. It will help you determine what immigration programs you may be eligible to apply for, and how to submit an application.
Bringing family to Canada
You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you are at least 18 years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must support your relative financially when they arrive.
Federal Express Entry
Express Entry is an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) electronic application system that manages and selects applicants for permanent residence who have skilled work experience. To access Express Entry, you must first complete a profile. If you are accepted into a pool of candidates, IRCC may invite you to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
National Occupational Classification
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the nationally accepted authoritative resource on occupations. It is used to categorize occupations in Canada by skill levels. The NOC can help you determine if your work experience is eligible under Canada’s immigration or work permit programs.
A tutorial is also available to help you determine your NOC code.
Was this page helpful?
You will NOT receive a reply on your feedback. Do NOT include personal information. To get answers to questions, use Alberta Connects.
Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.