President Joe Biden recently announced a program called Uniting for Ukraine, which aims to accelerate the applications of Ukrainians who fled their countries and sought asylum in the United States.
Biden administration officials stated that the new program, which took effect at the top of this week, will complement existing legal pathways available to those fleeing from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.
On April 21, US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas stated that "the US Department of Homeland Security 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."
What is the Uniting for Ukraine program?
The program allows US citizens and legal residents to sponsor Ukrainian refugees under different immigration statuses. The online portal is open to potential sponsors or organizations, and it accepts applications. The portal has received more than 4 thousand sponsorship requests so far, according to CNN.
Who qualifies under the program?
Ukrainians or immediate family members of Ukrainian citizens are eligible for application. Potential applicants must have been residents of Ukraine as of February 11, and they must have a sponsor in the United States.
What are the requirements of the program?
Ukrainians who wish to join the program must pass security checks, including giving fingerprints, going through an FBI name check, and passing through biometric screening, and meet public health requirements such as having the proper vaccinations before entering the United States.
Those approved will be allowed to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds. These people will be allowed to stay in the United States for two years, and they will be able to apply for work permits.
A DHS statement said that "the United States 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."
Who qualifies as a sponsor?
US citizens and other residents who hold lawful status in the United States, foreign nationals who are beneficiaries of Deferred Enforced Departure, Temporary Protected Status, or Deferred Action, among others, can sponsor Ukrainians.
Sponsors must prove that they have the necessary resources to give financial support to the refugees. They also need to pass security and background vetting "in order to protect against exploitation and abuse." Ukrainian applicants will receive authorization only after every condition is met. These conditions include proving that the person or organization intending to sponsor them has the financial means to support them.
Who is not eligible for the program?
Ukrainian citizens already residing in the US are not allowed to participate in the Uniting for Ukraine program.
More details; https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine