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22 Feb. 2024

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The Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program in the US: how to get an entry permit in 2024?

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The Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program in the US: how to get an entry permit in 2024?

With the exception of a tourist visa, Uniting for Ukraine is currently the only program through which Ukrainians can enter the United States and receive so-called temporary protection. Find out what are the eligibility requirements and how to apply for the U4U program in 2024

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The Uniting for Ukraine program is a simplified initiative to provide Ukrainian citizens with a humanitarian parole (entry permit) to the United States. To be eligible under this program, Ukrainians must have been in the territory of Ukraine as of February 11, 2022, have a sponsor in the United States, have been vaccinated, and have passed a number of mandatory tests. This program allows Ukrainians to obtain the right to enter the United States for up to 2 years with the possibility of applying for employment in the United States.


Who can get a humanitarian parole under the Uniting for Ukraine program? 


• persons who lived in Ukraine immediately before the full-scale russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine (until February 11, 2022) and were displaced as a result of the invasion;

• citizens of Ukraine who have a valid Ukrainian passport (or a child inscribed in the passport of their parents), or are the next of kin in a parent's passport), or are an immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen;

• have a sponsor in the United States who files a Declaration of Financial Support for them (Form I-134), which will be verified and approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);

• have been vaccinated (against Covid-19, polio and measles) and other medical requirements;

• passed biometric, biographical and security checks.


Who can be a sponsor under the Uniting for Ukraine program?


Starting from April 25, 2022, individuals and legal entities in the United States may apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by russian aggression under the Uniting for Ukraine program. Ukrainians (called beneficiaries in the program) cannot apply directly; a sponsor applies for Ukrainian citizens. 

A sponsor can be any U.S. citizen or person lawfully present in the United States, including representatives of non-profit organizations. Individuals and organizations wishing to sponsor Ukrainian citizens in the United States must declare their financial support for the Ukrainian during their stay in the United States and undergo the necessary checks. 

If the sponsor's application is approved, the Ukrainian citizen will be sent information about further steps to obtain an entry permit to the United States by e-mail. The sponsor fills out and submits Form I-134A to the USCIS and undergoes a US government background check to prevent potential exploitation and abuse, as well as to confirm that he or she is able to financially support the Ukrainians he or she agrees to assist.




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What is the function of a sponsor under the Uniting for Ukraine program?


Sponsors who file a Form I-134 on behalf of a Uniting for Ukraine participant must have lawful status in the United States, either a humanitarian parole or a deferred action for departure (DED), and be willing and able to accept, maintain, and support the beneficiary identified on the Form I-134. 


In assessing their ability to fulfill this obligation, sponsors should consider the following examples of types of beneficiary support:

• The ability to meet the beneficiary upon arrival in the United States and transport him or her to his or her initial place of residence;

• Provide the beneficiary with safe housing that meets his or her needs, as well as basic necessities for the duration of the parole period;

• If necessary, assist the beneficiary in obtaining the necessary documents for obtaining a work permit, social security card, services to which they may be entitled, etc;

• Ensure that the beneficiary receives the necessary medical care and that their medical needs are met during the term of the humanitarian parole;

• If necessary, help the beneficiary with education, learning English, employment and enrollment of children in educational institutions.


What is the procedure for obtaining an entry permit?


After filling out the program application form, you need to add vaccination information to your personal account within three months. After the Ukrainian beneficiary confirms his/her biographical information and fulfills all other requirements, his/her case will be considered further. 


If approved, Ukrainians will receive an email asking them to check their myUSCIS account for travel authorization. If a person is approved to enter the United States with a humanitarian parole under the Uniting for Ukraine process, they will be responsible for organizing and funding their travel. The travel authorization will be valid for 90 days.


Upon arrival at a U.S. border crossing, each individual will be screened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If approved under this program, Ukrainians will receive permission to enter the United States for up to two years and will be eligible to apply for employment in the United States. Individuals can apply for employment by submitting an application for employment authorization (Form I-765) to the USCIS. 


To get help with the paperwork and the procedure for obtaining a humanitarian parole to enter the United States, please contact Visit Ukraine lawyers. Our specialists will answer all your questions and help you solve your urgent problems. Follow the link to order a legal consultation or full legal support. 


We remind you! The United States has accepted many Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war. However, it has become known that the requirements and vetting procedures for Ukrainians wishing to travel to the United States are being tightened. Read more about what is changing for refugees in our previous article.


Photo: milwaukeeindependent.com


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