Uniting for Ukraine, a New Streamlined Process to Welcome Ukrainians Fleeing Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

ukraine flag holding hands

On April 21, 2022, President Biden announced Uniting for Ukraine, a new streamlined process to provide Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia's war opportunities to come to the United States. Additionally, the State Department announced increased refugee resettlement processing and greater access to visa processing at consular posts overseas. This adds to the humanitarian assistance the U.S. government is providing to supplement the efforts of countries throughout Europe who are hosting displaced Ukrainian citizens.

“We are proud to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian aggression to the United States. The Ukrainian people continue to suffer immense tragedy and loss as a result of Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on their country,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “DHS will continue to provide relief to the Ukrainian people, while supporting our European allies who have shouldered so much as the result of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.” 

“The U.S. Department of State stands with the people of Ukraine,” said Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. “We will help deliver on the President’s commitment to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian citizens and others forced to flee their homes in Ukraine, and our partnership with the Department of Homeland Security will help us fulfill that commitment.” 

To be eligible for humanitarian parole through Uniting for Ukraine, Ukrainians must have been residents in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022, have a sponsor in the United States, complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, and pass biometric and biographic screening and vetting security checks. Ukrainians approved via this process will be permitted to travel to the United States and be considered for parole, on a case-by-case basis, for a period of up to two years. After being paroled through this process, Ukrainians will be eligible for work authorization. 

Beginning today, U.S.-based individuals and entities can apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by Russia’s aggression through the Uniting for Ukraine process on the DHS website. Any U.S. citizen or individual, including representatives of non-government organizations, can sponsor Ukrainian applicants. Individuals and organizations seeking to sponsor Ukrainian citizens in the United States will be required to declare their financial support and pass security background checks to protect against exploitation and abuse. DHS will administer the program. Eligibility requirements will include required vaccinations and other public health requirements, as well as biographic and biometric screening, vetting, and security checks. 

The United States 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 U.S. government is working with European partners to ensure Ukrainians can meet the vaccination requirements of Uniting for Ukraine. Ukrainians should not travel to Mexico to pursue entry into the United States. Following the launch of Uniting for Ukraine, Ukrainians who present at land U.S. ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine will be denied entry and referred to apply through this program.  

If you would like further details or have any questions regarding humanitarian parole or the Uniting for Ukraine program, please contact The Gillispie Law Firm.

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