USA: Uniting for Ukraine (U4U), rules of entry and residence. What does a Ukrainian need to know?
The United States of America actively supports Ukraine with the beginning of a full-scale invasion. The country has a special program that allows Ukrainians to obtain an entry permit under a simplified procedure, as well as social support for refugees. How to prepare documents, and what is important to consider when moving to the USA?
Rules of entry
Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) is a program for Ukrainians introduced by US President Joe Biden. The program is designed to receive 100,000 refugees. Allows Ukrainians to obtain the right to enter and reside in America for up to 2 years.
The main requirements for the applicant:
• live on the territory of Ukraine as of February 11 and leave the country because of the war;
• have a valid Ukrainian passport;
• have a sponsor in the US who guarantees you accommodation and financial support when moving, it does not necessarily have to be a relative. You can find a sponsor on a special platform.
• undergo a full course of vaccination against Covid-19, polio and measles.
• undergo checks: biometric, biographical and security checks.
More detailed information about the program can be found at the link.
Ukrainians can also apply for a visa according to the standard procedure. However, due to the large number of applications, priority in registration is given to people who are going to visit their closest relatives. The percentage of approval is higher than last year.
You can apply for the United for Ukraine program and get a visa at the US Embassies in European countries - Poland, Austria, Germany, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria.
The Office for the Placement of Refugees in the USA guarantees social support to Ukrainians: assistance with employment, English language courses, registration of immigration documents, assistance from the federal Matching Grant program.
The list of services may differ depending on the region of residence. To get help, you need to contact the nearest refugee accommodation office.
In the USA, financial support is provided for refugees. However, the size and duration of payments is calculated individually and will depend on your age, family composition and place of residence.
The state program provides for the following types of financial support:
• financial assistance to refugees;
• temporary assistance for low-income families;
• assistance for the elderly and people with disabilities.
An application for financial assistance must be submitted to the local department of health and social security.
Assistance with food
Additional program, SNAP - support of low-income people in the USA with food. The applicant will receive a card that can be used to pay for products in stores. The Department of Health and Social Security will send you money on this card every month, the amount of payments will depend on the region of residence and the composition of the family. The average amount is $250 per person per month. The application for food assistance is submitted together with the registration of financial support.
Ukrainians who came to the US under the United for Ukraine program have the right to obtain medical 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 area where you live.
Also, we draw your attention to the fact that any person, regardless of insurance, has the right to seek help from a state hospital, but this is not free, for example, a regular doctor's appointment can cost you $150. Therefore, we advise you to purchase an insurance policy before your trip, because it is a guarantee of your safety and a peaceful stay outside of Ukraine. In order not to have trouble abroad and to be calm for yourself and your loved ones, Visit Ukraine recommends taking out medical insurance in advance.
We talked about financial support and health insurance in more detail earlier.
How to find housing?
According to the terms of the United for Ukraine program, when moving for the first time, you must be provided with housing by a sponsor, but you must be ready to rent housing on your own after a while.
In order to find housing in the USA, you need to prove that you can pay long-term rent and please the owner of the apartment. In the USA, the rights of tenants are protected, so evicting a person from an apartment is a long and expensive process. With this in mind, landlords are quite meticulous in choosing new residents for their housing. Sometimes you may even be asked to pay the rent for 6 months in advance.
It is better to search for accommodation online, the most popular sites are: Airbnb, Craigslist and ForRent.
Prices for apartments are different, in a small city the cost of monthly rent for a one-room apartment will be about $900, but in San Francisco it will reach about $3,500. The cost of utilities also varies from $100 to $350.
Where to look for work?
The main advantage of moving under the aid program for Ukrainians is the possibility of obtaining a work permit. It should be noted that it is not automatically granted together with the right of entry, the permit must be issued separately. It is not difficult to fill out the application, but the cost of issuing the document is $410 and the waiting period is from 6 to 10 months. Detailed instructions for obtaining a permit are available on the website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
You can get help in finding a job at the Office of Refugee Accommodation or through a local employment center.
Assistance to families with children
Families with children have the right to apply for financial assistance to pay for childcare while parents are at work.
Also, the Head Start program provides support for mothers, babies and early child development - preparation for school, visits from a social worker and food support.
There are two types of schools in the US: public and private. All children, regardless of social status, have the right to attend public school. However, due to the large number of applications, some schools may experience 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 at a private institution.
All the necessary information about moving to the USA is collected on the website.
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Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
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