On April 21, 2022, President Biden announced Uniting for Ukraine, a new streamlined process to provide Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression opportunities to come to the United States. This represents a key step toward fulfilling the President’s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Beneficiaries are eligible for the process if they:
- Resided in Ukraine immediately prior to the Russian invasion (until February 11, 2022) and were displaced as a result of the invasion;
- Are a Ukrainian citizen and possess a valid Ukrainian passport (or are a child included on a parent’s passport), or are a non-Ukrainian immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen who is applying through Uniting for Ukraine;
- Have a supporter who filed a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, on their behalf that has been confirmed as sufficient by USCIS;
- Complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, and;
- Clear bio-metric and biographic screening and vetting security checks.
An individual who holds lawful status in the United States or is a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who has passed security and background vetting and demonstrated sufficient financial resources to receive, maintain, and supports the individuals whom they commit to support for the duration of their stay in the United States.
Examples of individuals who meet the supporter requirement include:
- U.S. citizens and nationals;
- Lawful permanent residents, lawful temporary residents, and conditional permanent residents;
- Nonimmigrants in lawful status (that is, who maintain the nonimmigrant status and have not violated any of the terms or conditions of the nonimmigrant status);
- Asylees, refugees, and parolees;
- TPS holders; and
- Beneficiaries of deferred action (including DACA) or Deferred Enforced Departure.
Note: To be eligible for this process, children under the age of 18 must be traveling to the United States in the care and custody of their parent or legal guardian.
Supporters who file Form I-134 on behalf of a beneficiary under Uniting for Ukraine must be in lawful status in the United States or a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and willing and able to receive, maintain, and support the beneficiary listed in Form I-134. Examples of the types of support for beneficiaries that supporters should keep in mind when considering their ability to meet this commitment include:
- Receiving the beneficiary upon arrival in the United States and transporting them to initial housing;
- Ensuring that the beneficiary has safe and appropriate housing for the duration of their parole and initial basic necessities;
- As appropriate, helping the beneficiary complete necessary paperwork such as for employment authorization, for a Social Security card, and for services for which they may be eligible;
- Ensuring that the beneficiary’s health care and medical needs are met for the duration of the parole; and
- As appropriate, assisting the beneficiary with accessing education, learning English, securing employment and enrolling children in school.
HOW TO APPLY:
Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for displaced Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily for up to two years. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States.
The first step in the Uniting for Ukraine process is for the U.S.-based supporter to file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS. The supporter will then be vetted by the U.S. government to protect against exploitation and abuse, and ensure that they are able to financially support the individual(s) whom they agree to support.
Ukrainians who present at U.S. land ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine may be denied entry and referred to apply through this program.
Do Ukrainians have to be in a certain location to apply for Uniting for Ukraine?
This process is aimed to support Ukrainians who have been recently displaced by Russia’s invasion and who fled Ukraine after February 11, 2022. We anticipate that most eligible Ukrainians will be in neighboring countries or other EU states. However, Ukrainian citizens in other locations are also eligible for Uniting for Ukraine.
How long will the process take?
We anticipate that the process will be fairly quick, but DHS cannot say definitively how long the process will take.
How much money do prospective supporters need to have in their bank accounts?
There is no specific threshold prospective supporters must meet. The prospective supporter must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient income or financial resources to support the beneficiary for the period of parole. Generally, individuals granted parole under the Uniting for Ukraine process will be paroled for a period of up to two years. USCIS will review the form and supporting evidence to ensure the supporter has sufficient financial resources to support the beneficiary and any other dependents of the supporter.
How long does the travel authorization last?
Ukrainians who receive advance authorization to travel to the United States to seek parole at a port of entry will have a specified period of 90 days during which the authorization is valid. Individuals who do not travel within the 90-day period will be required to begin the process again with their supporter filing Form I-134″
For more details: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine