A new program for Ukrainians in the USA has been launched: who can apply and how
US Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that the new US program to receive Ukrainians fleeing the war has started working. It was called "Unity for Ukraine" (Uniting for Ukraine). Now Ukrainians will not be allowed to cross the American border if they do not have a visa (before that, exceptions were made for them due to the war). Now everyone who wants to receive temporary protection in the United States needs to apply in advance on a special website, as well as find a sponsor in America.
US President Joe Biden's administration announces new program 21 April. Unity for Ukraine is a streamlined US humanitarian parole application process for Ukrainian citizens displaced by Russian aggression. The program allows citizens of Ukraine and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and temporarily stay there for two years. Ukrainians participating in this program must have a sponsor in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support during their stay in the country.
How to apply for the program Uniting for Ukraine
First step is the submission by the sponsor of the Ukrainian in the USA of the form I-134 “Declaration of Financial Support”. He must send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The US government will then review the sponsor to make sure they are able to financially support the immigrant.
A sponsor can be either an individual or an organization in the United States. They must be prepared to undergo security checks to protect Ukrainian refugees from exploitation and abuse.
The sponsor must meet the following requirements:
- have legal status in the US (or parole, or deferred deportation (DED);
- pass a security and background check;
- demonstrating the availability of sufficient financial resources to receive, support and support Ukrainians during their stay in the United States.
Examples of types of beneficiary support that sponsors should keep in mind when deciding to sponsor a Ukrainian visit to the US:
- Meeting the beneficiary upon arrival in the US and transportation to the original accommodation.
- Providing the beneficiary with safe housing and basic necessities.
- Assistance to the beneficiary in filling out the necessary documents (applications for a work permit, social security card, etc.).
- Ensuring that the medical needs of the beneficiary are met.
- Assistance to the beneficiary in accessing education, learning English, finding a job and enrolling children in school.
Several sponsors may come together to be financially able to support one or more Ukrainian beneficiaries. In this case, the primary sponsor must file Form I-134 and include additional evidence of identity and resources to be provided by the secondary sponsors, as well as a statement explaining the intent to share responsibility. The ability of these sponsors to support Ukrainian beneficiaries will be judged collectively.
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Form I-134 can only be filed by an individual. Organizations cannot act as a designated sponsor on Form I-134. However, if an organization or other entity provides financial or other services to a named individual for the purpose of facilitating support, this information must be provided as part of the evidence submitted with Form I-134 and will be taken into account in determining the sponsor's ability to support the named beneficiary. .
There is no fee to file Form I-134.
Who can get temporary asylum in the USA under the program Uniting for Ukraine
Apply for entry to the United States under the Uniting for Ukraine program may be a citizen of Ukraine (or his next of kin who is not a citizen of Ukraine) who is outside the United States.
Immediate family members in this process include:
- spouse or civil partner of a citizen of Ukraine;
- their unmarried children under the age of 21. If the child is under the age of 18, they must be traveling with a parent or legal guardian to use this procedure.
Ukrainians (and their relatives) are eligible to participate in the process if they:
- lived in Ukraine immediately before the Russian invasion (before February 11, 2022) and were displaced as a result of the invasion;
- are citizens of Ukraine and have a valid Ukrainian passport (or the child is entered in the parent's passport);
- have a US sponsor who has filed Form I-134;
- passed biographical and biometric security checks.
- if you are not a citizen of Ukraine, but are the closest relative of a citizen of Ukraine receiving a parole under the Unity for Ukraine program, then you can also apply for entry into the United States.
To apply for a parole under the Unity for Ukraine program, a Ukrainian must have a sponsor in the United States who will file Form I-134 on their behalf. Ukrainians cannot directly apply for parole under Unity for Ukraine. The sponsor must complete and submit Form I-134 to USCIS, indicating in it information about the Ukrainian whom he is ready to sponsor: name and email address. After verification, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive information from USCIS about the next step in the process of obtaining permission to enter the United States.
Who is not eligible for parole under the “Unity for Ukraine” program
- Ukrainian citizens who are in the US will not be considered for parole under the program. However, Ukrainian citizens in the United States may be eligible for temporary protected status (TPS). For more information see page Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine.
- Children traveling without a parent or legal guardian are not eligible for parole. Upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry, a child who is traveling without parents or legal guardians may be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect the child from human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
What to Expect After Filing Form I-134
After the sponsor files Form I-134 with USCIS, the service will review the form and supporting evidence to ensure that the sponsor has sufficient financial resources to support the Ukrainian beneficiary. In some cases, USCIS may request additional evidence in order to make a decision. If approved, Ukrainian beneficiaries will receive an email from USCIS with instructions for setting up an account with myUSCIS and other next steps.
Specifically, the beneficiary will need to verify their biographical information with myUSCIS and verify that all requirements have been met, including:
- Confirmation that you have met vaccine requirements. Information about vaccination requirements can be found at this page.
- Upon arrival in the United States, the beneficiary will be required to confirm that they have completed a medical examination for tuberculosis, including an interferon gamma release test (IGRA), within 14 days.
People should check their email, including spam and junk folders, for important messages from USCIS.
As soon as the Ukrainian beneficiary confirms his biographical information and confirms the fulfillment of all other requirements, his case will be checked again. Soon after, Ukrainians will receive an email with instructions to check their myUSCIS account for a travel permit.
If a person has been allowed to travel to the United States under the Unity for Ukraine program, they will be responsible for organizing and funding their trip. This authorization is valid for 90 days.
What to do after arriving in the USA
1. Get a work permit
Once the beneficiary receives the parole, they are eligible to apply for a discretionary work permit. To do this, you must submit a form I-765 “Application for Work Permit”using category code (c)(11). There is a fee for this application.
2. Get a social security number
USCIS recommend that you apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), using Form I-765, Work Permit Application and following the instructions on the form. If you request an SSN in Part 2 (items 13a-17.b) of your Form I-765 and your application is approved, USCIS will electronically transmit this information to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SSA will assign you an SSN and issue a card social insurance. SSA will mail your Social Security card to the address you provided on Form I-765. Social Security numbers are usually assigned to individuals who have a work permit in the United States.
If you do not request an SSN on your Form I-765, you can apply for an SSN after you receive a work permit from USCIS. To submit such an application, follow the instructions on the SSA web page “Social Security number and card”.
3. Address updates
If you reside in the United States for more than 30 days, you must provide Immigration with your address. This can be done using the system USCIS online address changes. You must report a change of address within 10 days of the move.
The above method of changing your address will update the address in the USCIS file for any pending applications, petitions, or requests.
Termination of parole by program Uniting for Ukraine
Your parole (right to reside in the US) will automatically terminate if:
- you leave the United States without prior travel authorization;
- your parole has expired, Uniting for Ukraine provides for the right to live in the USA for 2 years;
- DHS may decide to terminate your parole for other reasons, such as violation of any laws in the United States.
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How to apply for the program Uniting for Ukraineif you have already completed Form I-131 (Application for a Travel Document)
If you have already filed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, but want to apply under the program Uniting for Ukraine, you can either revoke the pending Form I-131 or leave the Form I-131 pending with USCIS. If you withdraw Form I-131, it will not affect your ability to file Form I-134 under the Unity for Ukraine program. If you choose to revoke a pending Form I-131, you will receive a refund of the fee.
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