Administration launches ‘Uniting for Ukraine,’ accepts applications from supporters

26 Apr 22

UNITED STATES

The Biden administration has formally launched “Uniting for Ukraine,” a humanitarian parole program that is key to its efforts to welcome 100,000 displaced Ukrainians to the U.S.

Key Points:

  • In order to participate in the program, Ukrainians must have a supporter in the U.S. who agrees to provide them with financial support during their time in the country.
  • U.S.-based supporters must first file the Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of a Ukrainian beneficiary. The government will vet applicants to ensure they can meet their financial obligations. USCIS began accepting applications Monday. Detailed information on who can be a supporter is available here.
  • In order to become a beneficiary, an individual must be a Ukrainian citizen (or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen), must have resided in Ukraine as of Feb. 11 and must have been displaced by the invasion. They must also pass biographic and biometric security checks. The full list of criteria is available here.
  • Beneficiaries will be considered for humanitarian parole for up to two years in the U.S. Once paroled into the U.S., they will be eligible to apply for work authorization. The program does not provide a direct pathway to permanent residence.
  • The administration announced the creation of “Uniting for Ukraine” last week, saying it would supplement existing legal pathways for coming to the U.S., including immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and refugee processing.

Additional Information: The U.S. has taken a number of steps in response to the invasion of Ukraine, including designating Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), suspending some employment authorization requirements for certain students from Ukraine and exempting some individuals traveling from Ukraine from COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements. The State Department pledged additional resources last week, including resources to process Ukrainian citizens for refugee resettlement under the Lautenberg Program, expand mechanisms for referrals to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), and broaden access to nonimmigrant visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates in Europe. BAL will continue to follow the administration’s response to the crisis in Ukraine and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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