The Uniting for Ukraine program offers a route for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members residing outside the US, to enter and temporarily reside in the US for a 2-year period through parole. Participants in the program must have a supporter in the US who is willing to financially support them during their stay.
Who can be the US-based supporter under Uniting for Ukraine?
The definition of supporter is broad under USCIS guidance. Most individuals who are lawfully present in the U.S. can serve as a supporter in the program.
Examples of individuals who meet the supporter requirement include:
- U.S. citizens and nationals;
- Lawful permanent residents, lawful temporary residents, and conditional permanent residents;
- Nonimmigrants in lawful status (that is, who maintain the nonimmigrant status and have not violated any of the terms or conditions of the nonimmigrant status);
- Asylees, refugees, and parolees; TPS holders; and
- Beneficiaries of deferred action (including DACA) or Deferred Enforced Departure.
An individual who holds lawful status in the United States or is a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who has passed security and background vetting and demonstrated sufficient financial resources to receive, maintain, and supports the individuals whom they commit to support for the duration of their stay in the United States.Source: USCIS
Who is eligible to become a beneficiary under Uniting for Ukraine?
The Ukrainian citizen (or their non-Ukrainian immediate family member) who is outside the United States and who may be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine.
Immediate family members in this process include:
- the spouse or common-law partner of a Ukrainian citizen; and
- their unmarried children under the age of 21. NOTE: If a child is under 18, they must be traveling with a parent or legal guardian in order to use this process.
To be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine, the beneficiary must have a supporter who files a Form I-134A on their behalf.
Beneficiaries are eligible for the process if they:
- Resided in Ukraine immediately before 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, they must be 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-134A on their behalf that USCIS has vetted and confirmed as sufficient; 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-134A 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.
Ukrainian citizens who are present in the United States will not be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. However, Ukrainian citizens present in the United States may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
How to file for a Ukrainian beneficiary to be paroled into the US under Uniting for Ukraine?
So how exactly does this process work? It is initiated by a supporter in the US, who must file a form online with USCIS.
US-based supporters must start the process by filing form I-134A online with USCIS. I-134A can be filed by a supporter by registering a USCIS online account and filling out I-134A online after logging into uscis.gov.
To register an account with USCIS, follow this link: https://myaccount.uscis.gov/
Expect the following process to unfold after Form I-134A is filed online:
After the supporter files the Form I-134A with USCIS, we 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. We will determine whether the Form I-134A is sufficient, and we may request additional evidence to make our 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 email, including spam and junk folders, for important messages from USCIS.
If the Form I-134A is Sufficient
If we confirm the Form I-134A is sufficient, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS with instructions on how to set up an account with myUSCIS 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; and
An attestation that you 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 Assay (IGRA) test, within 90 days.
Find more information on vaccine requirements on the preview of the vaccine attestation page.
If the Form I-134A is Insufficient
If we are unable to confirm the Form I-134A is sufficient, that decision is final. The Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS notifying them that we determined the Form I-134A filed on their behalf was insufficient. We will not consider the Ukrainian beneficiary for parole under Uniting for Ukraine based on the insufficient Form I-134A. However, the supporter may file a new Form I-134A on behalf of the same or another Ukrainian beneficiary, or a different supporter may file a Form I-134A 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 account for the result of their authorization to travel. If the individual has been authorized to travel to the United States to seek parole under Uniting for Ukraine, they will be responsible for arranging and funding their own travel. This authorization is valid for 90 days.Source: USCIS