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  • Writer's pictureTanya Powers

Parole for Ukrainians

Parole for Ukrainians

On April 21, 2022, the United States announced Uniting for Ukraine. Uniting for Ukraine provides a way for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the U.S. and stay temporarily in a two-year period of parole. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the U.S. who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the U.S.

The first step in the Uniting for Ukraine process is for the U.S.-based supporter to file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Who May be Considered for Parole under Uniting for Ukraine

Beneficiaries are eligible for the Uniting for Ukraine if they:

  • Resided in Ukraine immediately prior to the Russian Invasion (until February 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), or are a non-Ukrainian immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen who is applying through Uniting for Ukraine;

  • Have a U.S.-based supporter who filed a Form I-134 Declaration of Financial Support, on their behalf that has been confirmed as sufficient by USCISl

  • Complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, and;

  • Clear biometric and biographical screening and vetting 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.

Who Is Not Eligible for Parole Under Uniting for Ukraine

Ukrainian citizens who are present in the United States will not be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. However, these individuals may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Children traveling without their parent or legal guardian are not eligible for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. A child arriving at a U.S. port of entry without their parent or legal guardian may be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as required by law under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), to protect the child from human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. Since they are ineligible to pursue Uniting for Ukraine, children who are not traveling with a parent or legal guardian but are coming to the United States to meet a parent or legal guardian may instead seek parole through the standard Form I-131 parole process.

Who Can be a Supporter for a Beneficiary Under Uniting for Ukraine

Supporters who file Form I-134 on behalf of a beneficiary under Uniting for Ukraine must be in lawful status in the U.S. or a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) plus be willing and able to receive, maintain, and support the beneficiary listed in Form I-134. USCIS urges individuals who may wish to be supporters to consider the following examples of the types of support when considering their ability to meet this commitment:

  • Receiving the beneficiary upon arrival in the U.S. and transporting them to initial housing;

  • Ensuring that the beneficiary has safe and appropriate housing for the duration of their parole and initial basic necessities;

  • As appropriate, helping the beneficiary complete necessary paperwork such as for employment authorization, for a Social Security card, and for services for which they may be eligible;

  • Ensuring that the beneficiary’s health care and medical needs are met for the duration of the parole; and

  • As appropriate, assisting the beneficiary with accessing education, learning English, securing employment and enrolling children in school.

Supporters must include the name of the beneficiary on Form I-134. Supporters may not file a Form I-134 on behalf of an unnamed beneficiary. A supporter may agree to support more than one beneficiary, such as for different members of a family group, but must file a separate Form I-134 for each beneficiary. At least one Form I-134 must be filed for each beneficiary. Multiple supporters may join together to support a beneficiary.

The Form I-134 requires an individual to sign the form; organizations may not serve as the named supporter; however, if an organization or other entity is providing financial or other services to the beneficiary, this information should be provided as part of the evidence submitted with the Form I-134.

What are the Steps After Financial Support

Once a Form I-134 is approved, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS regarding how to create a myUSCIS account and instructions on next steps. The beneficiary will be required to confirm their biographic information and attest to completing all eligibility requirements. As part of confirming eligibility requirements, beneficiaries will need to confirm prior vaccination against measles, polio, and COVID-19. If not previously vaccinated, beneficiaries will need to receive a first does of required vaccines.

Next, beneficiaries will receive a notice to their myUSCIS account confirming whether they are authorized to travel to the United States to seek parole. If approved, this authorization is valid for 90 days and Ukrainians are responsible to acquire their own travel by air to the U.S. Ukrainians will need to meet other CDC travel requirements, including pre-departure testing for COVID-19.

If granted parole by virtue of this process, beneficiaries will generally be paroled into the U.S. for a period of up to two years and are eligible to apply for employment authorization.

Where Can More Information be Found

For more information, visit USICS, DHS, or the Welcome Ukraine websites.

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