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24 Mar. 2024


Tips to help you apply to the Uniting For Ukraine (U4U) program in the US

For refugees
USA (United States)


Tips to help you apply to the Uniting For Ukraine (U4U) program in the US

U4U is currently the only program in the United States that allows Ukrainians who are forced to flee the war to obtain residency, work, and financial support. Here are the steps you need to take to get into the program and the pitfalls

Legal assistance on migration issues
Legal assistance on migration issues

The "Uniting For Ukraine" program is a simplified initiative to provide Ukrainian citizens with a humanitarian parole (entry permit) to the United States. At the same time, starting from February 27, 2024, the U.S. Migration Services, in accordance with Section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, accepts and reviews applications from Ukrainians and their immediate family members to re-parole for up to two more years.

We have previously described in detail the social support and financial assistance available to refugees from Ukraine. Today we will talk about the conditions and pitfalls of the U4U program.

How to find a sponsor for the U4U program in the United States?

Currently, there is a lot of evidence that it is quite difficult to find a sponsor who is willing to host refugees from Ukraine. Those who have already been accepted into the program recommend looking for sponsors through friends in the United States, special groups on social media, or through the pages of religious organizations in America.

You can post an announcement about you, your activities and life circumstances that require moving to the United States in these groups:

– United for Ukraine;

– Sponsor USA;

– USA/Canada/Americas help;

– U4U Uniting for Ukraine USA;

– Uniting for Ukraine 🇺🇸🇺🇦 Ukrainian;

– U4U - Uniting For Ukraine - Sponsors & Beneficiaries

As for religious institutions, churches continue to actively support Ukrainians. Therefore, you can choose a specific state and find contacts of local religious institutions, tell them your story and ask for help with sponsorship.

How to apply for the Uniting For Ukraine program: details about the conditions and pitfalls

STEP 1: Financial support

Individuals who participate in the Uniting For Ukraine program must have financial support in the United States. To initiate the process, the U.S. sponsor electronically submits a Declaration of Financial Support (Form I-134) to the USCIS through the online portal "myUSCIS".

After that, the US federal authorities will verify the sponsor to protect against exploitation and abuse, as well as to ensure that financial support to the program beneficiary can be provided. In other words, the sponsor's solvency will be checked to make sure that he or she can theoretically support the refugees who will come to him or her. At the same time, the sponsor must be prepared to provide the US government with bank statements. 

STEP 2: Provide biographical information through the online portal myUSCIS

Once the sponsor demonstrates sufficient financial support and is approved by the US side, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from the USCIS on how to create a myUSCIS account and instructions on how to proceed. The Ukrainian beneficiary will have to confirm his/her biographical information in "myUSCIS" and fulfill all requirements. Remember that each family member (including children) should have a separate email address.

STEP 3: Immunization requirements

As part of the eligibility verification process in their myUSCIS account, individuals seeking travel authorization must verify that they have been vaccinated against measles, polio, and COVID-19. If they have not been previously vaccinated, individuals will need to receive the first dose of the required vaccines before being authorized to travel to the United States. All family members must be vaccinated within three months of completing the application.

At the same time, all persons over the age of two must undergo a medical examination for tuberculosis, including a gamma interferon release assay (IGRA), within two weeks of arrival in the United States. It should also be remembered that Ukrainian citizens will need to meet other U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel requirements, including COVID-19 testing before departure. That is, Ukrainians will be required to provide coronavirus test results.

STEP 4: Obtaining permission to enter the United States

Once all the requirements are met, Ukrainians will receive a notification on their myUSCIS account confirming whether they are eligible to enter the United States to receive a humanitarian parole. If approved, this authorization is valid for 90 days. At the same time, Ukrainians must personally arrange air travel to the United States. 

STEP 5: Passing the US entry check and obtaining a humanitarian parole

Upon arrival at a U.S. border crossing, each person will be screened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and considered for a humanitarian parole valid for up to two years.

CBP officers will ask questions about the purpose of your arrival in the U.S. (to escape the war), your previous place of residence (region and city in Ukraine), and your financial support for the period of your stay in the country (show the border guards your Tourist Authorization and tell them about your sponsor). Answer the questions calmly and honestly. After the interview, adults will be asked to go to a separate room and be fingerprinted. It is advisable that your sponsor be in touch at all times to discuss the necessary nuances or clarify information if necessary.

STEP 6: Approval of the humanitarian parole

If the humanitarian parole is approved under this program, Ukrainians will receive permission to enter the United States for up to two years (with the possibility of extension) and the right to apply for employment in the United States. Individuals will be able to apply for employment by submitting an application for employment authorization (Form I-765) to the USCIS. Read more about how to obtain a work permit here.

Other details on the program and sponsor requirements can be found on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security portal 

We remind you! To enter the United States, every Ukrainian must have appropriate insurance - this is a mandatory condition for those traveling on a tourist visa and a desirable condition for refugees. Read our previous article on how to choose the right insurance policy for traveling abroad.

Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.

Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 

Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

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