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"Uniting for Ukraine" Humanitarian Parole Program

On April 21, 2022, the Biden Administration announced "Uniting for Ukraine," which provides a streamlined process 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. The Administration stressed that Ukrainians will not be processed for the program at land borders. Beginning April 25, Ukrainians who are present at U.S. ports of entry without a valid visa or pre-authorization to travel to the U.S. will be denied entry and referred to apply through Uniting for Ukraine.

To be eligible, Ukrainian applicants must have been in their home country as of February 11, 2022. They will also need to undergo rigorous security vetting and checks, including biographic and biometric screening, and complete vaccinations and other public health requirements.

In addition, these applicants must have a sponsor in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States. Sponsors must complete Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to include information both on the sponsor and the Ukrainian beneficiary. Sponsors can file Form I-134 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 to ensure that they are able to financially support the individual whom they agree to support.

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. 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 for securing 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.

Once Ukrainian beneficiaries are paroled into the United States, they will be eligible to apply for discretionary employment authorization from USCIS. You can find additional information on this program here.

If you have questions about this program or any other immigration needs, please contact L. Mabel Arroyo or any member of Baker Donelson's Immigration Team.

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