President Joe Biden announced Thursday the creation of a new humanitarian parole program for Ukrainians fleeing their country because of Russia’s invasion.

Key Points:

  • The program, called Uniting for Ukraine, will go live April 25, 2022.
  • Beginning on that date, U.S. individuals and entities will be able to apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced because of the invasion.
  • In order to be eligible for the program, Ukrainians must have been residents of Ukraine as of Feb. 11, 2022, have a U.S.-based sponsor, complete vaccinations and other public health requirements and pass applicable screening and security checks.
  • Eligible Ukrainians will be considered on a case-by-case basis for humanitarian parole for up to two years in the U.S. Once paroled, they will be eligible for work authorization.
  • The administration stressed that Ukrainians will not be processed for the program at land borders. Beginning April 25, Ukrainians who are present at U.S. ports of entry without a valid visa or pre-authorization to travel to the U.S. will be denied entry and referred to apply through Uniting for Ukraine.

Additional Information: Uniting for Ukraine will be administered by DHS and will supplement existing legal pathways for coming to the U.S., including immigrant visas and refugee processing. In a statement, DHS said the U.S. “strongly encourages Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States who do not have and are not eligible for a visa to seek entry via Uniting for Ukraine from Europe, this will be the safest and most efficient way to pursue temporary refuge in the United States.”

The State Department has also pledged additional resources, including resources to process Ukrainian citizens for refugee resettlement under the Lautenberg Program. It will also expand mechanisms for referrals to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and broaden access, where possible, to nonimmigrant visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates in Europe. Consular sections will ensure individuals with humanitarian, medical or other extraordinary circumstances have access to expedited visa appointments.

BAL Analysis: Thursday’s announcement came after President Biden pledged on March 24 to welcome up to 100,000 individuals fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. has taken a number of steps to help Ukrainian nationals, 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. 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

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact