How many Ukrainians have already arrived in the United States under the Uniting for Ukraine program, and how does it work
Since April 2022, about 85 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the United States seeking refuge from a Russian military invasion. Voice of America.
This was reported by representatives of the Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Millions of Ukrainians left their homes and fled to other countries in search of safety and protection from the Russian invasion.
To help Ukrainians fleeing the war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine, on April 25, 2022, the US government approved the “Uniting for Ukraine” program, which allows residents of Ukraine to receive a parole provided by the US Department of Homeland Security to enter for temporary residence in the United States.
The program allows up to 100 Ukrainian citizens who fled the country due to Russian aggression to the United States, along with their families.
Under the program, Ukrainians will be able to live and work in the United States for two years. Individuals are allowed to sponsor the stay of Ukrainians in the United States.
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According to the Citizenship and Immigration Services, starting from April 2022, the number of Americans who applied for sponsorship of Ukrainians in the United States amounted to 171; the number of Ukrainians who received sponsorship and entry permits is 121.
How to apply for the program Uniting for Ukraine
First step is the submission by the sponsor of the Ukrainian in the USA of the form I-134 “Declaration of Financial Support”. He must send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The US government will then review the sponsor to make sure they are able to financially support the immigrant.
Who can be a sponsor
The sponsor must meet the following requirements:
- have legal status in the US (or parole, or deferred deportation (DED);
- pass a security and background check;
- prove the availability of sufficient financial resources for the reception, maintenance and support of Ukrainians during their stay in the United States.
Examples of types of beneficiary support that sponsors should keep in mind when deciding to sponsor a Ukrainian visit to the US:
- meeting upon arrival in the US and transportation to the original accommodation;
- providing safe housing and basic necessities;
- assistance in filling out the necessary documents (applications for a work permit, social security card, etc.);
- ensuring that medical needs are met;
- assistance in accessing education, learning English, finding a job and enrolling children in school.
Several sponsors may team up to be financially able to support one or more Ukrainians. In this case, the primary sponsor must file a Form I-134 (it's free) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and include additional proof of identity and resources to be provided by the secondary sponsors, as well as a statement explaining the intent. share responsibility. The ability of these sponsors to support Ukrainians will be judged collectively.
Form I-134 can only be filed by an individual. Organizations cannot act as a designated sponsor on Form I-134. However, if an organization or other entity provides financial or other services to a named individual to facilitate support, this information must be provided as part of the evidence submitted with Form I-134 and will be taken into account in determining the sponsor's ability to support the named beneficiary.
Form I-134 was not designed for this program, it has been around for a long time and has been used as evidence of the desire of a US resident to financially support a person arriving in the US on a nonimmigrant visa.
Forms apply to fiance and groom visas (K1 and K2) and some forms of visitor visas.
What are the risks for the sponsor
When a sponsor completes and signs Form I-134, they assure the U.S. government that the non-immigrant they are sponsoring will not need to apply for government assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) , food stamps, or any other government-subsidized benefit, writes Nolo.
And if, as a result, a Ukrainian applies for any of these benefits and receives it, then your income or property may be taken into account when considering the application. Moreover, the government may sue you for reimbursement of the costs of providing public assistance to the Ukrainian, whom you promised to sponsor. But the case rarely goes to court.
On the other hand, this "temporary" Form I-134 Affidavit of Support is often referred to by legal experts as "unenforceable." It is called so for several reasons:
- US visitors are not eligible for the vast majority of government benefits, and if they apply, they will be denied in most cases;
- most government agencies do not have the time or resources to enforce Form I-134 even if the temporary visitor is on public assistance;
- the sponsor agrees to support the non-immigrant only for a limited and defined period of time (under the Ukrainian assistance program it is 2 years), so any potential liability is limited in time.
Legally speaking, Form I-134 "barks but does not bite". It is used to show that a Ukrainian with a protected status in the United States has someone to rely on and someone to turn to.
The consulate may ask for a deposit
The US Consulate has the right to ask the sponsor to post a bond to ensure that the Ukrainian fulfills all the conditions before the end of the humanitarian password. However, the consulate usually does this only in extreme cases. For example, if a Ukrainian receives government assistance, this deposit can be used to pay damages.
Who can get temporary asylum in the USA under the program Uniting for Ukraine
Apply for entry to the United States under the Uniting for Ukraine program may be a citizen of Ukraine (or his next of kin who is not a citizen of Ukraine) who is outside the United States.
Immediate family members in this process include:
- spouse or civil partner of a citizen of Ukraine;
- their unmarried children under the age of 21. If the child is under the age of 18, they must be traveling with a parent or legal guardian to use this procedure.
Ukrainians (and their relatives) are eligible to participate in the process if they:
- lived in Ukraine immediately before the Russian invasion (before February 11, 2022) and were displaced as a result of the invasion;
- are citizens of Ukraine and have a valid Ukrainian passport (or the child is entered in the parent's passport);
- have a US sponsor who has filed Form I-134;
- passed biographical and biometric security checks.
- if you are not a citizen of Ukraine, but are the closest relative of a citizen of Ukraine receiving a parole under the Unity for Ukraine program, then you can also apply for entry into the United States.
To apply for a parole under the Unity for Ukraine program, a Ukrainian must have a sponsor in the United States who will file Form I-134 on their behalf. Ukrainians cannot directly apply for parole under Unity for Ukraine. The sponsor must complete and submit Form I-134 to USCIS, indicating in it information about the Ukrainian whom he is ready to sponsor: name and email address. After verification, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive information from USCIS about the next step in the process of obtaining permission to enter the United States.
Who is not eligible for parole under the “Unity for Ukraine” program
- Ukrainian citizens who are in the US will not be considered for parole under the program. However, Ukrainian citizens in the United States may be eligible for temporary protected status (TPS). For more information see page Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine.
- Children traveling without a parent or legal guardian are not eligible for parole. Upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry, a child who is traveling without parents or legal guardians may be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect the child from human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
What to Expect After Filing Form I-134
Specifically, the beneficiary will need to verify their biographical information with myUSCIS and verify that all requirements have been met, including:
- Confirmation that you have met vaccine requirements. Information about vaccination requirements can be found at this page.
- Upon arrival in the United States, the beneficiary will be required to confirm that they have completed a medical examination for tuberculosis, including an interferon gamma release test (IGRA), within 14 days.
People should check their email, including spam and junk folders, for important messages from USCIS.
As soon as the Ukrainian beneficiary confirms his biographical information and confirms the fulfillment of all other requirements, his case will be checked again. Soon after, Ukrainians will receive an email with instructions to check their myUSCIS account for a travel permit.
If a person has been allowed to travel to the United States under the Unity for Ukraine program, they will be responsible for organizing and funding their trip. This authorization is valid for 90 days.
What to do after arriving in the USA
1. Work Permit and Social Security Number
On November 21, the US State Department announced that Ukrainians who came to America under the United for Ukraine (U4U) program will automatically receive the right to work and a social security number. They won't have to wait months for their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as they do now.
You will still have to apply for a work permit
Ukrainians and Afghans do not need to pay the I-765 filing fee, which is $410. Already now, you can submit a paper version of the form for free, from December 5, online submission will also become free.
IMPORTANT! The 90-day period when you can work without a permit does not start on the date you arrived in the US, but on your first day of work.
What to show the employer so that he understands that you can work in the US without a permit (EAD)
In order to get a job, it will be enough for you to show your card with form I-94, which you were given at the border (the status of DT, UHP or OAR should be indicated there). You can print it yourself from the electronic version on website of the Border Service. This form shows the expiration dates for your password. The main thing is that the timing of your arrival in the United States fit within the framework February 24, 2022 to September 30, 2023. Even if your work permit has expired, you can exercise your right to work absolutely legally within 90 days.
For more information, visit USCIS.
2. Address updates
If you reside in the United States for more than 30 days, you must provide Immigration with your address. This can be done using the system USCIS online address changes. You must report a change of address within 10 days of the move.
The above method of changing your address will update the address in the USCIS file for any pending applications, petitions, or requests.
Termination of parole by program Uniting for Ukraine
Your parole (right to reside in the US) will automatically terminate if:
- you leave the United States without prior travel authorization;
- your parole has expired, Uniting for Ukraine provides for the right to live in the USA for 2 years;
- DHS may decide to terminate your parole for other reasons, such as violation of any laws in the United States.
According to UN statistics, as of November 22, almost 7,9 million Ukrainian refugees were registered in Europe alone, who received the status of temporary asylum.
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