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05 May. 2024


USA: Uniting for Ukraine (U4U), rules of entry and residence. Everything a Ukrainian needs to know in 2024 (updated)

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USA (United States)


USA: Uniting for Ukraine (U4U), rules of entry and residence. Everything a Ukrainian needs to know in 2024 (updated)

The United States continues to accept Ukrainians and provide them with protection under the Uniting for Ukraine program. At the same time, Ukrainians already in the country can renew their previously issued humanitarian parole. Here's a look at the current rules for entering and staying in the United States in 2024

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine

The United States continues to actively support Ukraine and Ukrainians. The country still has a special program that allows Ukrainians to obtain an entry permit under a simplified procedure, and social support for refugees is available. In addition, Ukrainians who have previously received a residence and work permit under humanitarian parole can apply for a re-parole.

How to prepare the documents and what is important to consider when moving to the United States in 2024 is described below.

Entry rules

Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) is a program for Ukrainians introduced by US President Joe Biden. Today, with the exception of a tourist visa, it is the only program under which Ukrainian citizens can enter the United States and receive an analog of temporary protection in Europe. In general, under the U4U program, Ukrainians can obtain the right to enter, reside and work in America for up to 2 years. 

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, accept and consider applications from Ukrainians and their immediate relatives for the re-parole.

This means that Ukrainian citizens whose humanitarian parole expire will be able to obtain re-parole for up to 2 years. For more information on the procedure for re-parole, please follow the link.

Insurance for entering the United States: when you need it, the rules for different visa categories, and where to get it - read here.

Basic requirements for a first-time applicant

— reside on the territory of Ukraine as of February 11 and have left the country because of the war;
— have a valid Ukrainian passport;

— have a sponsor in the United States who guarantees you accommodation and financial support during the move, it does not have to be a relative. You can find a sponsor on a special platform

— complete a full course of vaccination against Covid-19, polio and measles. 

— pass biometric, biographical and security checks.

More information about the program can be found here.

Ukrainians can also apply for a visa under the standard procedure. However, due to the large number of applications, priority is given to people traveling to visit their immediate family. At the same time, the approval rate is higher than last year.

You can apply for the "Uniting for Ukraine" program and obtain a visa at the U.S. Embassies in Europe - Poland, Austria, Germany, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria.

Social support

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement guarantees social support for Ukrainians: employment assistance, English language courses, immigration documents, and assistance from the federal Matching Grant program.

The list of services may vary depending on the region of residence. To receive assistance, you should contact the nearest refugee accommodation office.

Tips to help you apply to the Uniting For Ukraine (U4U) program in the United States. 

Financial assistance

The United States provides financial support for refugees. However, the amount and duration of payments is calculated individually and will depend on your age, family composition, and place of residence.

The government program provides the following types of financial support:

— Financial assistance to refugees;

— Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

— Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

— Assistance for the elderly and people with disabilities.

You must apply for financial assistance at your local health and welfare department.

Financial and Social Support for Ukrainians in the United States: What Assistance Can Refugees Receive in 2024? Find out here.

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Nutrition assistance

The SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a program that provides food assistance to low-income people in the United States. The applicant receives a card that can be used to pay for food in stores. The Department of Health and Human Services will send you money to this card on a monthly basis, the amount of payments depends on the region of residence and family composition. The average amount is $250 per person per month. The application for food assistance is submitted together with the application for financial support.

Medical services

Ukrainians who came to the United States under the "Uniting for Ukraine" program are eligible for health insurance under the state Medicaid program. The insurance will give you the opportunity to visit doctors for free. You can apply through the Medicaid office in the region where you live.

It should be borne in mind that Ukrainians need to obtain an insurance policy to enter the United States. This is a mandatory condition for those traveling on a tourist visa, as the insurance will be checked by US border guards when crossing the border. And it is a desirable condition for those who leave under the refugee program, because at first, after arrival, in particular during the preparation of documents and health insurance under the state Medicaid program, it is better to be sure that in case of emergency or illness, a person will be able to receive guaranteed assistance in a language they understand. You can apply for a health insurance policy for the required period on the Visit Ukraine portal at this link.

How to find accommodation?

According to the terms of the program "Uniting for Ukraine", when you move to Ukraine, a sponsor should provide you with accommodation for the first time, but you should be prepared to rent accommodation on your own after a while.

In order to find a place to live in the United States, you need to prove that you can pay long-term rent and that the landlord likes you. In the US, tenants' rights are protected, so it is a long and expensive process to evict a person from an apartment. Because of this, landlords are very careful when choosing new tenants for their apartments. Sometimes you may even be asked to pay the rent for 6 months in advance.

It is better to look for accommodation online, the most popular sites are: Airbnb, Craigslist and ForRent.

Apartment prices vary: in a small city, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment will be about $900, while in San Francisco it will be about $3500. The cost of utilities also varies from $100 to $350.

Where to look for a job?

The main advantage of relocating under the Ukrainians program is the possibility of obtaining a work permit. It is worth noting that it is not automatically granted along with the right to enter, the permit must be obtained separately. The application is easy to fill out, but the cost of the document is $410 and the waiting period is 6 to 10 months. Detailed instructions on how to apply for the permit are available on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

You can get help in finding a job at the Office of Refugee Resettlement or through a local employment center. 

Detailed instructions on how to obtain a work permit when re-parole in the United States can be found here.

Assistance to families with children

Families with children are eligible to apply for financial assistance to pay for child care while parents are at work.

The Head Start program also provides support for mothers, infants, and early childhood development, including school readiness, social worker visits, and food support. 

There are two types of schools in the United States: public and private. All children have the right to attend public school, regardless of social status. However, due to the large number of applications, some schools may have a waiting list. Education in private schools is possible with the support of charitable foundations and organizations. You may be lucky enough to find a suitable program for your child and start studying in a private institution. 

All the necessary information about moving to the United States is collected on the website.

We remind you! The Government of Ukraine plans to actively encourage refugees to return to their homeland through payments. This initiative is aimed at ensuring the integration of citizens and the restoration of life in Ukraine. Read more about how soon Ukrainians abroad will be paid a return home allowance in our previous article.

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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