On April 21, the Biden administration announced Uniting for Ukraine, a new streamlined process to provide up to 100,000 Ukrainian citizens with a path to come to the United States temporarily for urgent humanitarian purposes.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated, “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. ”
Under the new streamlined process, Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced may apply for humanitarian parole to come to the United States. To be eligible, Ukrainians must have been residents in Ukraine as of Feb. 11, 2022, have a U.S. sponsor, complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, and pass rigorous biometric and biographic screening, as well as security checks. Ukrainians approved via this process will then be authorized 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. Once paroled through this process, Ukrainians will also be eligible to apply for work authorization. As of April 25, 2022, U.S.-based individuals and entities may apply to sponsor Ukrainian citizens on the DHS website.
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 U.S. government will then vet the supporter to ensure they are able to financially support the individual. There is no requirement that the sponsor be related to the applicant. Any U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or non-governmental organization may apply to be a sponsor as long as they have sufficient income or financial resources to support Ukrainians and their immediate family members as part of Uniting for Ukraine.
The sponsor must provide evidence of sufficient income and resources, as appropriate and listed below:
- A signed statement from an officer of the bank or other financial institution that states when the account was opened, the total amount deposited for the past year, and the present balance of such account
- A signed statement from an employer on business letterhead that states the date and nature of employment, salary paid, and whether the position is temporary or permanent
- A copy of the sponsor’s last federal income tax return filed, or a report of commercial rating concern (if self-employed)
- A list containing the serial numbers and denominations of bonds and names of the owners (if applicable)
In addition, the U.S. State Department has announced increased refugee resettlement processing and broadened access to visa processing at consular posts overseas.
The timing and implementation of this new streamlined process to bring up to 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States remains uncertain.