In this blog post, we breakdown the Biden administration’s new Humanitarian Parole program, known as “Uniting for Ukraine,” a new initiative that will allow up to 100,000 Ukrainian nationals displaced by the Russian invasion to live and work in the United States for a period of up to 2 years.
Who is eligible for Uniting for Ukraine?
Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States may remain temporarily for a two-year period of parole.
You are not eligible for humanitarian parole under the Uniting for Ukraine program if you are currently physically present in the United States, however you may be eligible to receive Temporary Protected Status instead.
Additionally, children traveling without their parent or legal guardian are not eligible for humanitarian parole under Uniting for Ukraine.
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. U.S. Supporters are required to file a Form I-134 Declaration of Financial Support with USCIS online, which states that they agree to financial support the Ukrainian national in the United States, also known as the “beneficiary.” There is no fee to file Form I-134 online.
Beneficiaries are eligible for humanitarian parole if they:
- Resided in Ukraine immediately prior to the Russian invasion (through Feb. 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);
- If not a Ukrainian citizen, are an immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen beneficiary of Uniting for Ukraine with a valid passport;
- Have a supporter who filed a Form I-134 on their behalf that has been vetted and confirmed as sufficient by USCIS; and
- Clear biographic and biometric 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.
The supporter must complete and file Form I-134 online with USCIS and be vetted by the U.S. government to protect against exploitation and abuse, and ensure that they are able to financially support the Ukrainians they are agreeing to support.
Who is eligible to be a supporter under Uniting for Ukraine?
Individuals who file Form I-134 on behalf of a beneficiary under Uniting for Ukraine must be:
- in lawful status in the United States or
- a parolee or
- beneficiary of deferred action or
- Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
and be willing and able to receive, maintain, and support the beneficiary listed in Form I-134. Examples of the types of support for beneficiaries that supporters should keep in mind when considering their ability to meet this commitment include:
- Receiving the beneficiary upon arrival in the United States and transporting them to initial housing;
- Ensuring that the beneficiary has safe and appropriate housing for the duration of the parole and initial basic necessities;
- As appropriate, assisting the beneficiary in completing necessary paperwork such as that related to employment authorization, social security card, and for services for which they may be eligible;
- Ensuring that the beneficiary’s health care and medical needs are met for the duration of the parole; and
- As appropriate, assisting the beneficiary with accessing education, learning English, securing employment and enrolling children in school.
- Multiple supporters may join together to have 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 intention for shared responsibility. These supporters’ ability to support Ukrainian beneficiaries will be assessed collectively.
- The Form I-134 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.
What happens after the Supporter Files Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support?
After the supporter files the Form I-134 with USCIS, the agency will review the form and supporting evidence to ensure that the supporter has sufficient financial resources to support the Ukrainian beneficiary for the duration of the parole period and conduct background checks on the supporter.
USCIS will determine whether the Form I-134 is sufficient, and may request additional evidence to make their determination. If approved, Ukrainian beneficiaries will receive an email from USCIS with instructions on how to set up an account with myUSCIS and other next steps. Individuals should check their emails including spam and junk folders for important messages from USCIS.
If the Form I-134 is Sufficient
Once USCIS confirms that the Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support is sufficient, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS with instructions on how to set up an account with myUSCIS online and other next steps. The Ukrainian beneficiary will be required to confirm their biographic information on myUSCIS and attest to completion of all requirements including:
- An attestation to certify understanding of the family relationship requirements for children under 18 for Uniting for Ukraine.
- An attestation that they have completed vaccine requirements or are eligible for an exception to vaccine requirements for Measles, Polio, and the first dose of an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a WHO-Emergency use listed (EUL) COVID-19 vaccine.
- Upon arrival to the United States, the beneficiary will need to attest to receiving a medical screening for tuberculosis, including an Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRA) test, within 14 days.
- More information on vaccine requirements can be found on the preview of the vaccine attestation page.
If the Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support is Insufficient
If USCIS is unable to confirm the Form I-134 is sufficient, that decision is final. The Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS notifying them that the Form I-134 filed on their behalf was determined to be insufficient. The Ukrainian beneficiary will not be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine based on the insufficient Form I-134. However, the supporter may file a new Form I-134 on behalf of the same or another Ukrainian beneficiary, or a different supporter may file a Form I-134 on behalf of the beneficiary
Authorization to travel to the United States
Once the Ukrainian beneficiary has confirmed their biographic information and attested to completing all other requirements, their case will be further processed. Ukrainians will receive an email instructing them to check their myUSCIS online account for the result of their authorization to travel. If the individual has been authorized to travel to the United States to seek parole pursuant to the Uniting for Ukraine process, they will be responsible to arrange and fund their own travel. This authorization is valid for a period of 90 days.
Where can I find more information about the program?
For more information people visit the Uniting for Ukraine webpage here.
Contact Us. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- Uniting for Ukraine Webpage
- President Biden to Announce Uniting for Ukraine, a New Streamlined Process to Welcome Ukrainians Fleeing Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
- Reuters: US Launching program bringing Ukrainians fleeing conflict
- CBS News: U.S. unveils sponsorship program to resettle Ukrainian refugees, discourage travel to U.S.-Mexico border
- Washington Post: Biden administration rolls out plan for Ukrainian refugees
- DHS Announces Registration Process for Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine and Sudan
- Designation: Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status
- Designation: Sudan for Temporary Protected Status
- Secretary Mayorkas Designates Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
- Secretary Mayorkas Designates Sudan for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
- Announcement on Resumption of Processing of EB-5 Visas Associated with the Regional Center Program
- USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Respond to RFEs
- DOS Youtube Channel
- DOS Visa Services Operating Status Update
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
- Youtube channel
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