Uniting for Ukraine is a streamlined process for Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by the war with Russia to apply for humanitarian parole in the United States. To be eligible, Ukrainians must
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Beginning on April 25, 2022, U.S.-based individuals and entities can apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by the war with Russia through the Uniting for Ukraine process, which will go live that day 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. The Department of Homeland Security 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 Department of Homeland Security strongly 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.
In addition to Uniting for Ukraine, the United States is announcing a series of measures designed to expand access to existing legal pathways for Ukrainian citizens.
The Department of State will expand U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) operations in Europe to provide eligible Ukrainians with greater access to refugee resettlement processing under the Lautenberg program, while also expanding referral mechanisms for Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s war in Ukraine who are in need of permanent resettlement.
As part of these efforts, the Department of State will expand U.S. resettlement operations in Europe to provide more resources to process Ukrainian citizens for refugee resettlement under the Lautenberg program, and will expand referral mechanisms for Ukrainian citizens and others fleeing the war in Ukraine to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). To do so, the United States is working with European partners, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and NGOs to identify particularly vulnerable Ukrainian citizens and others fleeing the conflict who may warrant permanent resettlement through USRAP. These particularly vulnerable populations include women and girls, children, older persons with special needs, members of ethnic and religious minority groups, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, medically fragile individuals, and stateless persons.
In addition, European embassies and consulates are increasing, to the extent possible, the number of nonimmigrant visa appointments and ensuring there is an expedited visa appointment program for individuals with humanitarian, medical, or other extraordinary circumstances to get priority access.
Our attorneys are continuing to monitor the situation, and are available to answer any questions you may have about the Uniting for Ukraine program and other options that may be available to you.