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Uniting for Ukraine

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Uniting for Ukraine

On April 21, 2022, President Biden announced Uniting for Ukraine, a new streamlined process to provide Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression opportunities to come to the United States. This represents a key step toward fulfilling the President’s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Uniting for Ukraine builds on the robust humanitarian assistance the U.S. government is providing as we complement the generosity of countries throughout Europe that are hosting millions of Ukrainian citizens and others who have been displaced.

For more information on how to apply, eligibility requirements, and what to expect after the Form I-134 is filed, visit USCIS.

Note: this webpage will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for displaced Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily for up to two years. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States.

The first step in the Uniting for Ukraine process is for the U.S.-based supporter to file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS. The supporter will then be vetted by the U.S. government to protect against exploitation and abuse, and ensure that they are able to financially support the individual(s) whom they agree to support.

Ukrainians who present at U.S. land ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine may be denied entry and referred to apply through this program.

Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily, with a period of parole up to two years. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States. The process begins when the supporter files Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to include information both on the supporter and the Ukrainian beneficiary. Ukrainians who meet the requirements receive authorization to travel directly to the United States and seek parole at a port of entry.

Eligibility

Beneficiaries are eligible for the process if they:

  • Resided in Ukraine immediately prior to the Russian invasion (until February 11, 2022) and were displaced as a result of the invasion;
  • Are a Ukrainian citizen and possess a valid Ukrainian passport (or are a child included on a parent’s passport), or are a non-Ukrainian immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen who is applying through Uniting for Ukraine;
  • Have a supporter who filed a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, on their behalf that has been confirmed as sufficient by USCIS;
  • Complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, and;
  • Clear biometric and biographic screening and vetting security checks.

Note: To be eligible for this process, children under the age of 18 must be traveling to the United States in the care and custody of their parent or legal guardian.

Step 1: Financial Support

Individuals participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have financial support in the United States. A U.S.-based supporter will file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS through the online myUSCIS web portal to initiate the Uniting for Ukraine process.

The supporter will then be vetted by the U.S. government to protect against exploitation and abuse, and ensure that they are able to financially support the individual whom they agree to support. Financial supporters must be verified and found eligible by the U.S. government before the Ukrainian beneficiary moves forward in the process.

Step 2: Submit Biographic Information in myUSCIS

Once a supporter has demonstrated sufficient financial support and is approved, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS on how to create an account with myUSCIS and instructions on next steps. The Ukrainian beneficiary will be required to confirm their biographic information in myUSCIS and attest to completing all eligibility requirements.

Step 3: Complete Vaccination Requirements

As part of confirming eligibility requirements in their myUSCIS account, individuals who seek authorization to travel to the United States via the Uniting for Ukraine process will need to confirm prior vaccination against measles, polio, and COVID-19. If not previously vaccinated, individuals will need to receive a first dose of required vaccines prior to obtaining travel authorization to come to the United States.

Step 4: Approval to Travel to the United States

After completing requirements, Ukrainians will receive a notice to their myUSCIS account confirming whether they are authorized to travel to the United States to seek parole. If approved, this authorization is valid for 90 days and Ukrainians are responsible to secure their own travel via air to the United States. Ukrainian citizens will need to meet other CDC travel requirements, including pre-departure testing for COVID-19.

Step 5: Seeking Parole at the Port of Entry

Upon their arrival at a port of entry, each individual will be inspected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and considered for parole for a period of up to two years, and may have conditions placed on their parole. All individuals two years of age or older will need to complete a medical screening for tuberculosis, including an IGRA test, within two weeks of arrival to the United States.

As part of the Uniting for Ukraine process, Ukrainians will undergo additional screening and vetting, to include biometric vetting. Anyone determined to pose a national security or public safety threat will be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Ukrainians who present at U.S. land ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine may be denied entry and referred to apply through this program.

Step 6: Approved for Parole

If granted parole pursuant to this process, individuals will generally be paroled into the United States for a period of up to two years and are eligible to apply for employment authorization. Individuals may request authorization to work by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with USCIS.

What is Uniting for Ukraine?

Uniting for Ukraine is an innovative approach to provide a safe and orderly process for displaced Ukrainians who have been impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainians who have a supporter in the United States may be considered for parole, on a case-by-case basis, for a period of up to two years. Once granted parole, Ukrainians are eligible to apply for employment authorization in the United States.

Why is the United States creating a process for Ukrainians to come to the United States?

As a result of the Russian military’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine and ongoing aggression, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes. The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression. To meet this commitment, the Administration intends to utilize the full range of legal pathways to the United States, including new processes such as Uniting for Ukraine and existing opportunities such as immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, and refugee resettlement processing.

What is parole?

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides the Secretary of Homeland Security with discretionary authority to parole noncitizens into the United States temporarily, on a case-by-case basis, for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

Individuals who are granted parole pursuant to the Uniting for Ukraine process will generally be paroled into the United States for a period of up to two years and are eligible to apply for employment authorization.

Am I eligible to participate in Uniting for Ukraine?

To be eligible, Ukrainians must have been resident in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022, have a supporter 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 authorized to travel to the United States to be considered for parole, on a case-by-case basis, for a period of up to two years. Once paroled through this process, Ukrainians will be eligible to apply for work authorization.

How long can I stay in the United States under Uniting for Ukraine?

Individuals granted parole under this process will generally be paroled for a period not exceeding two years.

How do I travel to the United States?

Individuals who clear initial screening, vetting, and security checks will receive authorization to travel to the United States valid for a period of 90 days. Once authorized, they will be responsible for arranging and funding their travel to the United States. With this authorization, individuals will be able to book their own commercial air travel directly from Europe to the United States. Individuals traveling to the United States must have a valid passport, or, if a child without their own passport, be included in a parent’s passport, and adhere to travel requirements as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including pre-departure testing for COVID-19.

What is the role of a financial supporter?

Ukrainians must have a financial supporter in the United States. Supporters initiate the Uniting for Ukraine process by filing the Form I-134 Declaration of Financial Support and providing information about themselves and the Ukrainian beneficiary. Supporters will be vetted by the U.S. government to ensure that they are able to support Ukrainians and to mitigate against potential exploitation.

Every Ukrainian seeking authorization to travel to the United States to seek parole must be supported by a U.S.-based individual, including representatives of non-governmental organizations. Each supporter must pass security and background vetting and demonstrate sufficient financial resources to “receive, maintain, and support” the Ukrainians they commit to support.

Will I be able to work once I arrive in the United States?

Yes, individuals paroled into the United States pursuant to this process may request authorization to work by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For more information on employment authorization in the United States, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/i-765.

How do I apply to Uniting for Ukraine?

A supporter – a U.S.-based individual, including representatives of non-government organizations – must first file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through the myUSCIS online portal. Supporters need to also include specific information on the Ukrainian beneficiary they intend to support. Once a supporter has been confirmed by USCIS, Ukrainian beneficiaries will receive notification from USCIS about next steps in the process to obtain authorization to travel to the United States and seek parole.

Will Ukrainians be vetted prior to arriving to the United States?

As part of the process, individuals will submit biographic and biometric information to the U.S. government for the purposes of security vetting. Individuals will be checked against a range of interagency intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism holdings. Anyone who does not pass security checks conducted overseas will not be authorized to travel the United States.

Upon their arrival at a port of entry, each individual will be inspected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and undergo additional screening and vetting, to include biometric vetting. Anyone determined to pose a national security or public safety threat will be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Are vaccines required?

Individuals who seek authorization to travel to the United States via the Uniting for Ukraine process will need to confirm prior vaccination against measles, polio, and COVID-19. If not previously vaccinated, individuals will need to receive a first dose of required vaccines prior to obtaining authorization to travel to the United States. In addition, all individuals two years of age or older will need to complete a medical screening for tuberculosis, including an Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRA) test, within two weeks of arrival to the United States. Ukrainian citizens will need to meet other travel requirements as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including pre-departure testing for COVID-19.

Do Ukrainians have to be in a certain location to apply for Uniting for Ukraine?

This process is aimed to support Ukrainians who have been recently displaced by Russia’s invasion and who fled Ukraine after February 11, 2022. We anticipate that most eligible Ukrainians will be in neighboring countries or other EU states. However, Ukrainian citizens in other locations are also eligible for Uniting for Ukraine.

How many Ukrainians will be eligible for Uniting for Ukraine?

The number of Ukrainians potentially eligible for Uniting for Ukraine will be driven by the breadth of welcome U.S.-based supporters are willing and able to provide. Therefore, we cannot estimate a specific number of potential Ukrainian beneficiaries.

In support of President Biden’s commitment to providing legal pathways to displaced Ukrainians as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. government will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression. We will deliver on this commitment through the full range of legal pathways, including humanitarian parole, immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and new processes such as Uniting for Ukraine.

How long will the process take?

We anticipate that the process will be fairly quick, but DHS cannot say definitively how long the process will take.

Are Ukrainian children seeking to come to the United States without their parent or legal guardian eligible for Uniting for Ukraine?

Not at this time. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), any child under the age of 18 who is not accompanied by their parent or legal guardian generally must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and vetted to protect against exploitation and abuse. Sponsors must be vetted before that child can be released and reunified. As a result, children traveling on their own, or with a non-parent or non-legal guardian adult, are not currently eligible for this process. We are working towards establishing other mechanisms to permit travel of vulnerable children and caregivers with appropriate safeguards.

What will happen to Ukrainians who arrive at the Southwest border?

From April 25, 2022, Ukrainian nationals who present at U.S. Southwest border land ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine may be denied entry and referred to apply through this process.

Can U.S.-based individuals support more than one individual beneficiary?

Yes. The supporter must file a separate Form I-134 for each beneficiary (including each member of a family). Additionally, multiple supporters may join together to demonstrate the financial ability to support one or more Ukrainian beneficiaries. In this case, a primary supporter should file a Form I-134 and include in the filing supplementary evidence demonstrating the identity of, and resources to be provided by, the additional supporters and attach a statement explaining the intent to share responsibility. These supporters’ ability to support Ukrainian beneficiaries will be assessed collectively.

Can U.S.-based organizations support Ukrainian beneficiaries?

Yes, they may provide the financial or in-kind support, but the Form I-134 still requires an individual to sign the form. Organizations may not serve as the named supporter on a Form I-134. However, if an organization or other entity is providing financial or other services to the named individual for the purpose of facilitating support, this information should be provided as part of the evidence submitted with the Form I-134 and will be taken into account in determining the supporter’s ability to support the named beneficiary.

How much money do prospective supporters need to have in their bank accounts?

There is no specific threshold prospective supporters must meet. The prospective supporter must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient income or financial resources to support the beneficiary for the period of parole. Generally, individuals granted parole under the Uniting for Ukraine process will be paroled for a period of up to two years. USCIS will review the form and supporting evidence to ensure the supporter has sufficient financial resources to support the beneficiary and any other dependents of the supporter.

How long does the travel authorization last?

Ukrainians who receive advance authorization to travel to the United States to seek parole at a port of entry will have a specified period of 90 days during which the authorization is valid.  Individuals who do not travel within the 90-day period will be required to begin the process again with their supporter filing Form I-134 with USCIS.

Will the U.S. Government stop accepting Uniting for Ukraine applications once 100,000 Ukrainians have been admitted through the U.S. Refugee Assistance Program or with a visa or have been paroled?

President Biden committed to providing refuge to 100,000 displaced Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian aggression in the United States. This figure is not a cap. The design of Uniting for Ukraine relies on the generosity of supporters in the United States who primarily will drive demand for this pathway and whether we meet or exceed this goal. The U.S. Government will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine, the situation for Ukrainians in other host countries, and how Ukrainians access a variety of pathways to the United States.

Where can those interested go with additional questions?

Anyone interested in the Uniting for Ukraine process is strongly encouraged to first review the information provided on the DHS and USCIS websites, including the Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, and the form instructions at uscis.gov/i-134. Additional information and new FAQs will continue to be posted to those platforms. If additional questions remain after reviewing this information, inquiries may be made through the USCIS live chat feature at https://www.uscis.gov/tools/meet-emma-our-virtual-assistant or the USCIS Contact Center. USCIS is working to provide additional support at the USCIS Contact Center for those requesting assistance related to Uniting for Ukraine.

Last Updated: 05/27/2022
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