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Since April 21, 2022, eligible applicants can submit an application for the Uniting for Ukraine Program.

Uniting for Ukraine is an American program created for Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainians who qualify for the program will be able to reside and work in the US for up to 2 years under a Humanitarian Parole.

If you are fleeing Ukraine to the US due to the current war, please do not hesitate to contact us. The New Jersey immigration lawyers at Curbelo Law will help you with this program and with any other immigration matter in the country.

Application And Step-By-Step Process Of The Uniting For Ukraine Program For The United States In 2022

To apply for the United for Ukraine program, you must first have a benefactor who is legally residing in the United States and who files with USCIS Form I-134, Affidavit of Support on behalf of the Ukrainian.

In addition, both benefactors and Ukrainian citizens who wish to apply for this program must take into account the following:

  • The benefactor will be investigated by the US government for:
    • Protecting the beneficiary from abuse and exploitation.
    • Ensuring that the benefactor is legally capable of financially supporting the individuals they intend to help. 
  • Ukrainians are advised not to attempt to enter the United States through the Mexican border, especially if they do not have a valid visa or prior authorization to enter the US.
  • Ukrainians who show themselves at US land ports of entry without prior authorization from the Uniting for Ukraine program or without a valid visa may be denied entry into the country.
free consultations for ukrainian nationals

Our firm offers help for Ukrainian nationals in the form of free consultations in this time of need. Attorney Carolina T. Curbelo has more than 10 years of experience helping aliens in the US who have been victims of terrible situations.

Step-By-Step Application Process

  1. Get an approved sponsor. The Ukrainian applicant must find a USCIS-approved sponsor or benefactor in the US.
  2. Create an account on MyUSCIS. After approval of the supporter, USCIS sends an email to the Ukrainian beneficiary on how to create this account.
    1. The beneficiary must submit their biographical information to the platform and confirm that they meet all the eligibility requirements.
  3. Complete vaccination requirements. The beneficiary must complete all public health and vaccination requirements against measles, polio and COVID-19.
    1. In case of not having been previously vaccinated, individuals must receive their first dose of said vaccines before obtaining travel authorization. 
  4. Wait for a notice about permission. Once the above step is completed, the beneficiary will receive a notice as to whether they are allowed to come to the United States to apply for a Parole.
    1. The authorization will be valid for 90 days.
    2. Applicant must complete all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) security checks for COVID-19.
    3. The applicant must purchase their travel fare for the United States.
  5. Request Parole. Upon arrival at a US port of entry, each individual (adult or child) will be inspected by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Said individuals:
    1. Must undergo all necessary screenings by CBP.
    2. Will be considered for parole and may receive additional parole conditions if necessary.
    3. If they are considered a threat to public or national safety, they will be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  6. Parole approval. If this permission is granted, individuals will be able to enter the country for up to 2 years and apply to USCIS for a work permit through Form I-765, application for employment authorization.

Who Is Eligible To Join The Uniting For Ukraine Program?

To qualify for the program, the beneficiary must:

  • Be a Ukrainian citizen.
  • Hold a valid Ukrainian passport (Minors must be included in the passport of a parent or non-Ukrainian immediate relative of a Ukrainian citizen applying for this program).
  • Have resided in Ukraine until February 11, 2022 and have been displaced by the Russian invasion of the country.
  • Comply with all public health requirements and their respective vaccines.
  • Have a sponsor in the United States who has been approved by USCIS and who has previously filed the form on their behalf.
  • Comply with all required biographical and biometric checks, as well as be screened for security checks.
minors in the uniting for ukiraine program

Minors who wish to apply to this program must travel to the US with their parents or legal guardians to be eligible. 

Supporter Eligibility

Since Ukrainians cannot apply directly to the program, the application must be submitted on their behalf by a sponsor/supporter in the US. Sponsors must meet the following criteria:

  • Fill out the special forms and indicate the contacts of the Ukrainians to whom it responds.
  • As of April 25, 2022, US individuals and legal entities can apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor Ukrainians for the Uniting for Ukraine program application.
  • Any American citizen or legal permanent resident (Green Card holder), including non-governmental organizations, can sponsor Ukrainians.
  • Aliens in the U.S. under the following legal statuses may also be Uniting for Ukraine supporters:
  • Sponsors must declare their financial support to the Ukrainian during their stay in the US and undergo all necessary checks.

If you are in the US under legal status and would like to become a supporter. Contact our firm to see if you are under a permitted status to be a sponsor. 

Who Is Not Eligible For The Uniting For Ukraine Parole?

  • Ukrainian citizens already in the United States will not be eligible for the Uniting for Ukraine program application. However, if they are already present in the country, they may be eligible for TPS.
  • Minors traveling to the US without a parent or legal guardian will not be eligible for the program.
    • If a minor travels without a parent or legal guardian, upon arrival at a US port of entry, they may be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
    • Such action will be under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), in order to protect the minor from human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

Minors who arrive in the US without a parent or legal guardian, but will meet one of them, can apply for Parole. To do this, they must use Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document.

What Does The Ukrainian Minor Need To Stay In The US?

Under the process of the permission granted by the form I-131, the Ukrainian minor who wants to travel to the US without a parent or legal guardian, will need:

  • A written permission from all adults who have legal custody of the minor. That is, parents or legal guardians.
  • Include the length of your stay in the US in the accompanying evidence with the I-131 form. 
  • Evidence of the relationship between the minor and the parent or legal guardian who is in the US.
  • If the legal guardian provides written permission, it must include proof of legal custody issued by a government authority. 
    • In addition, the application must include a statement about the minor’s relationship to the individual filing the I-131, and whether they intend to:
      • Provide care and custody of the child in the U.S., or
      • Reunite the minor with a parent or legal guardian in the US.

It is possible to apply for a fee waiver when filing Form I-131 for a Ukrainian minor. To do this, you must file Form I-912, Petition for Fee Waiver.

how to apply for uniting for ukraine program

What Must Sponsors Offer A Beneficiary Under The Uniting For Ukraine Program?

Sponsors in the US must:

  • Meet the Ukrainian beneficiary upon arrival in the US and ensure their transportation to the initial residence.
  • Ensure that the beneficiary will have safe and appropriate housing for the duration of their Parole and their initial basic needs.
  • Ensuring that all health care and medical needs are met for the duration of the Parole.
  • Help the beneficiary, as appropriate, either with learning English, getting a job, accessing education, enrolling children in school, or completing required paperwork.

Sponsors in the US must include the name of the beneficiary on the I-134. Also, they cannot file an I-134 in the name of a beneficiary who is not named on the form. 

A sponsor may commit to assisting more than one beneficiary, regardless of whether they are different members of a household. However, you must file the I-134 separately for each beneficiary.

What About Temporary Protected Status For Ukrainians?

As of April 19, 2022, Ukrainians can apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the US. Those who benefit from this program can also apply for employment authorization.

To apply for TPS, Ukrainians must file with USCIS Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. For more information, visit our article on TPS granted for Ukrainians.

What Should Be Expected After Filing Form I-134?

Following the filing of the I-134 by a sponsor in the US, USCIS will review that application and supporting evidence to:

  • Ensure that the sponsor has sufficient financial resources to sponsor the Ukrainian beneficiary during the Parole period.
  • Check the background of the sponsor.

USCIS may determine if Form I-134 is sufficient, but may also request additional evidence. Next, we will explain about these.

If The Form I-134 Is Sufficient

The beneficiary will receive an E-mail from USCIS with information about MyUSCIS and other subsequent steps. Additionally, you must confirm your biographical information and completion of all requirements, including:

  • A statement to certify that you have understood the family relationship requirements for children under the age of 18 under the United for Ukraine program, and
  • A statement that you have completed all immunization requirements or,
  • You are eligible to apply for an exception to the FDA-approved vaccine requirements for polio, measles, and the first dose of COVID-19 or a WHO Emergency Use Listed (EUL) vaccine .

Upon arrival in the US, the beneficiary must certify that they have received a medical examination for tuberculosis. In addition, it must include an interferon gamma screening test (IGRA) within 90 days.

If Form I-134 Is Not Enough

If the I-134 form is insufficient, the Ukrainian beneficiaries will receive an email from USCIS notifying them of the insufficiency of said form.

  • The Ukrainian beneficiary will not be considered for Parole under Uniting for Ukraine based on insufficient Form I-134.
  • However, the sponsor may file a new Form I-134 on behalf of the same or another Ukrainian beneficiary.
    • A different sponsor can also file a new Form I-134 on behalf of the beneficiary. 

What Happens After The Period Of Stay Under The Uniting For Ukraine Program Ends?

At the end of the period of stay in the United States (that is, after the 2 years are up), if the individual has not taken steps to seek immigration status, they will begin to accumulate unlawful presence in the country.

  • If they stay in the US illegally, the Ukrainian will be subject to deportation proceedings.
  • If they obtained employment authorization, it will also expire at the end of parole.

If you wish to remain in the US beyond the legal period established by the parole, you should contact our immigration attorney to understand what options are available to you. 

help for ukrainian citizens in the united states

Can My Temporary Residence Permit Be Cancelled?

If the individual has already obtained permission to stay in the US temporarily, their permission may be automatically canceled if:

  • They leave the US without obtaining advance parole, or
  • Their period of permission in the US expires. 

DHS may also decide to cancel the individual’s permit for other reasons, such as violating any US law. 

Uniting For Ukraine Program Application FAQs

Can I work once I arrive in the United States?

Individuals with a temporary stay permit in the US pursuant to this process can apply for employment authorization with USCIS and work immediately upon approval of the permit.

Will the United States investigate Ukrainians before arriving in the country?

The process requires Ukrainians to submit biographical and biometric information for security screening purposes. Any Ukrainian who does not pass the established security controls will be denied for the program. 

Are there any limits for applying for the Uniting for Ukraine program?

There are no numerical limits on applications for this program, whether for a Uniting for Ukraine travel authorization or parole.

What is meant by legal guardian?

A legal guardian is an individual who has been awarded legal custody of an individual or minor by a court of law (or competent jurisdiction). Such guardian may legally exercise and assume all legal obligations on behalf of the individual or minor.

Curbelo Law In New Jersey Assists you with The Application Of The Uniting For Ukraine Program

Although immigration procedures can be complex, foreign nationals are not alone. Our New Jersey immigration attorney guides hundreds of immigrants through any process. 

Curbelo Law’s team of professionals takes the time to understand the needs of individuals and support them in each specific matter.

Call us today so that we can begin to determine if you qualify for this program or evaluate your immigration legal options in the United States.