How Ukrainians can stay in the US after Uniting For Ukraine expires: 6 ways - ForumDaily
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How Ukrainians can stay in the US after Uniting For Ukraine expires: 6 ways

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than 170 thousand Ukrainians have come to the United States under the Uniting For Ukraine program. Of course, many of them dream of returning home after the end of the war. But there are also those who have nowhere to return. Or people simply realized that they were ready to build a life in a new country. But at the same time, neither the humanitarian password status obtained under the Uniting For Ukraine (U4U) program nor the TPS (temporary protection status) provide any opportunity to be legalized in the United States. They are usually issued for two years, meaning for those who arrived at the beginning of the war, these statuses will soon expire. That's why we met immigration lawyer Ekaterina Muratovato find out how Ukrainians can legally stay in America.


Of course, both the U4U password and TPS can be extended. But, in any case, they remain temporary protection programs, and no one knows when their validity will end. Therefore, if you decide that you definitely want to make the United States your second homeland, there are several options for how Ukrainians can get a green card.

1. Marry a US citizen or win a green card

We cannot help but point out these methods because they do provide the right to obtain immigration status in the United States. True, marrying a US citizen and winning a green card in the lottery are ways of immigrating to America that we often cannot influence, so there is no point in dwelling on these options in detail.

2. Become an investor

This option of legalization in America is suitable for wealthy Ukrainians, because, according to the rules of the EB‑5 program, an investor must invest at least $800 thousand in the US economy. The amount is large, but perhaps affordable for those Ukrainians who still have assets in their homeland. We wrote more about the EB-5 visa and how to get an investment green card here.

3. Prove that you are talented

A viable option for those who can demonstrate their extraordinary abilities is the EB-1 program. People in creative professions, and in general anyone who can prove that they have reached unprecedented heights in their field of activity, can obtain a talent visa in the United States.

On the subject: How to reduce the waiting time for political asylum in the USA: advice from an immigration lawyer

4. Benefit America

High-class specialists, as well as people whose business can be useful to the United States, have the right to apply for a green card under the EB2 program with the National Interest Waiver. We wrote more about it in this stuff.

5. Ask for political asylum in the USA

For Ukrainians, this option is quite difficult to implement. The fact is that military actions are not grounds for obtaining political asylum in the United States. The war concerns all the inhabitants of the country, which means that you will not be able to justify why you should be given asylum. Theoretically, Ukrainians from the occupied territories, for example, can apply for this status. But even here, proving facts of personal persecution in order to substantiate a case for asylum in the United States will not be easy.

“Some residents of the occupied territories can prove that they are being persecuted for their political opinion and it is dangerous for them to continue living in this region. But this is a very complex case, - noticed immigration lawyer Ekaterina Muratova. - Usually we position it in such a way that people with pro-Ukrainian views cannot remain living in the occupied territories. And in another part of Ukraine they face persecution because of their origin and place of birth. But I want to emphasize that only people who have actually been subjected to certain persecution have the right to apply for political asylum, and not everyone.”

6. Ask your employer to become a sponsor

Perhaps the most effective of all programs, which suits most able-bodied immigrants, is the EB-3 program. Most people who come via U4U go to work sooner or later. And if you have already settled into a new place and your relationship with your superiors is going well, you can ask him to help you obtain an immigrant work visa to the United States.

"We always say that the shortest road is the straight one,” lawyer Ekaterina Muratova shares her experience. — Ifи normal relations with employers, it is clear that the company is interested in you, then you can start a dialogue with them so that the company sponsors you for work migration. It is suitable for all professionals, both skilled and unskilled workers. There are different categories there. There is no education or experience requirement for this program, the main thing is that there is an employer willing to sponsor you. The entire US immigrant work visa process takes two to three years, and people must receive their green cards before TPS ends.".

According to Ekaterina, both the employee and the employer benefit from this program. No effort is required from the company - the lawyers do all the work. But at the same time, the employer gets an employee he likes and who will definitely not leave him in the coming years.

“Of course, no one can forcibly detain anyone. An employee has the right to resign at any time, but then he will lose the opportunity to receive a green card. Therefore, the employer understands that the person will most likely try. This is especially true in an industry where there is high staff turnover. For example, companies willingly sponsor green cards for truck drivers, construction workers, and hotel business employees. They sponsor absolutely everyone, even handymen, just so that people work for several years and there is no turnover.”,” explained Ekaterina.

Photo from the personal archive of Ekaterina Muratova

There is an opinion among immigrants that only high-class specialists can get a green card through work, because the employer needs to prove that this person is irreplaceable, and he could not find anyone like him in the United States. In reality everything is different.

“This is a very common myth. In fact, the employer does not have to prove that he, in principle, could not find workers in the United States. He needs to prove that the US citizen or green card holder did not want to do this work, — shares experience Ekaterina Muratova. - This can be a profession that requires a person to have certain knowledge and skills, but it can also be general workers who do hard physical work. Especially if we are talking about some states that are not very popular among immigrants. Let's say in South Dakota the governor encourages everyone to come to them, they have tens of thousands of open vacancies there. My clients also include a hotel chain in Michigan. They sponsor work visas for many of their employees, from the cleaners to those who work in the kitchen, because there are no people there, no one to work!”

What to choose? Advice from a lawyer

Ekaterina Muratova herself, based on the experience of her clients, advises Ukrainians to pay attention specifically to labor immigration. If you already work somewhere, try to discuss this option with your employer. Sponsors of a work visa to the USA can be both large companies and representatives of small businesses.

“The only thing an employer must show is the financial ability to pay the market rate to its employee. On the contrary, it happens that in small businesses it is easier to reach an agreement, because the employee has direct access to the person who makes this decision. In my practice, for people who work in large companies, this process took quite a long time because they had to get a lot of approvals.”“, she clarified.

Among the clients of the immigration lawyer who received a residence permit in the United States under the EB-3 program are IT specialists, truck drivers, and hotel and restaurant employees. Ekaterina is sure that representatives of virtually any profession can obtain a green card through work.

“Of course, it will be difficult to prove that the company, for example, could not find a secretary. But in the case of professions that require certain skills or involve hard work, the shortage of qualified workers is easily demonstrable,” says the lawyer.

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Or maybe we should wait until everyone is simply given a green card?

On immigrant forums there is talk every now and then that Ukrainians don’t need to do anything at all. They say that since the United States has already accepted so many Ukrainians, it means that sooner or later the government will simply issue green cards to everyone. Catherine just shakes her head at this suggestion.

“Of course, everyone wants to believe in good things. But objectively, there is not even a law according to which a residence permit can be issued in such a situation. That is, such a law must first be adopted. Both Republicans and Democrats should vote for him. You understand that this is already unlikely. Well, from a political point of view, how ethical and correct will it look that no other nationalities were given green cards, but Ukrainians will? It seems to me that it is unlikely that any politicians will agree to this”,” summarizes Ekaterina Samsonova.

Read also on ForumDaily:

“The country simply didn’t show up for the protest”: Why a successful entrepreneur from Saint Petersburg decided on an unplanned move to the USA

How to reduce the waiting time for political asylum in the USA: advice from an immigration lawyer

Investment green card: lawyer revealed all the secrets of obtaining an EB-5 visa

Educational program Ukrainians in the USA Ekaterina Muratova Immigration in the USA Uniting for Ukraine
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