Uniting for Ukraine
On April 21, 2022, the United States announced a key step toward fulfilling President Biden’s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion. Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily in a two-year period of parole. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States.
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 USCIS. The U.S. government will then vet the supporter to ensure that they are able to financially support the individual whom they agree to support.
Eligibility for Uniting for Ukraine
|Supporter||An individual who holds lawful status in the United States or is a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who has passed security and background vetting and demonstrated sufficient financial resources to receive, maintain, and supports the individuals whom they commit to support for the duration of their stay in the United States.
Examples of individuals who meet the supporter requirement include:
|Beneficiary||The Ukrainian citizen (or their non-Ukrainian immediate family member) who is outside the United States and who may be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine.
Immediate family members in this process include:
Who May be Considered for Parole under Uniting for Ukraine
To be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine, the beneficiary must have a supporter who files a Form I-134 on their behalf.
Beneficiaries are eligible for the process if they:
- Resided in Ukraine immediately before the Russian invasion (through Feb. 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);
- If not a Ukrainian citizen, they must be an immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen beneficiary of Uniting for Ukraine with a valid passport;
- Have a supporter who filed a Form I-134 on their behalf that USCIS has vetted and confirmed as sufficient; and
- Clear biographic and biometric 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.
The supporter must complete and file Form I-134 with USCIS and be vetted by the U.S. government to protect against exploitation and abuse, and ensure that they are able to financially support the Ukrainians they are agreeing to support.
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, Ukrainian citizens present in the United States may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). For more information, please see our Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine page.
Children traveling without their parent or legal guardian are not eligible for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. Upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry, a child who is not traveling with 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. For more information, please visit the HHS Unaccompanied Children webpage.
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. In the Form I-131 parole process, children who wish to travel without a parent or legal guardian will need written permission from all adults with legal custody of the child (that is, their parents or legal guardian(s)) to travel to the United States. Evidence to accompany the Form I-131 will need to include the duration of the stay in the United States and evidence of relationship between the child and the parent or legal guardian in the United States. If the legal guardian is providing the written permission, the requestor must include proof of legal guardianship issued by a government authority. In addition, the application should include a statement about the relationship of the child to the person filing the Form I-131, and if they intend to provide care and custody of the child in the United States or reunite the child with a parent or legal guardian in the United States. For more information, please see our Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole page, which has information about the requirements for requesting parole for children.
You may request a fee waiver when submitting a Form I-131 for a Ukrainian child as described in the above paragraph. For more information on how to request a fee waiver, please see the Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver webpage.
Can the standard parole process be used to seek travel authorization for a Ukrainian child whose adoption is not yet complete?
This process may not be used by prospective adoptive parents to circumvent any adoption processes. For information about adoption from Ukraine, visit the DOS Ukraine Adoption Information Page.
Individuals who file Form I-134 on behalf of a beneficiary under Uniting for Ukraine must be in lawful status in the United States or a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and willing and able to receive, maintain, and support the beneficiary listed in Form I-134. Examples of the types of support for beneficiaries that supporters should keep in mind when considering their ability to meet this commitment include:
- Receiving the beneficiary upon arrival in the United States 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.
Multiple supporters may join together to have the financial ability to support 1 or more Ukrainian beneficiaries. In this case, a primary supporter should file a Form I-134 and include in the filing supplementary evidence demonstrating the identity of, and resources to be provided by, the additional supporters and attach a statement explaining the intent to share responsibility. These supporters’ ability to support Ukrainian beneficiaries will be assessed collectively.
The Form I-134 requires an individual to sign the form; organizations may not serve as the named supporter on a Form I-134. However, if an organization or other entity is providing financial or other services to the named individual for the purpose of facilitating support, this information should be provided as part of the evidence submitted with the Form I-134 and will be taken into account in determining the supporter’s ability to support the named beneficiary.
There is no fee to file a Form I-134.
USCIS supports America’s immigration process in many ways, including overseeing the approval process for citizen financial support of new arrivals to our country. DOS has collaborated with Welcome.us to provide the American people and private sector with information on welcoming and supporting newcomer populations. The Welcome.us Ukraine webpage includes information for those interested in learning more about supporting someone from Ukraine.
How to Be Considered for Parole Under Uniting for Ukraine
Ukrainian beneficiaries cannot directly apply for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. A supporter must first complete and file Form I-134 with us on behalf of a Ukrainian beneficiary and include information about them and contact details, such as email address. If we deem the Form I-134 sufficient, we will send the Ukrainian beneficiary information about the next step in the process to be considered for authorization to travel to the United States and parole consideration by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
As of April 25, 2022, the primary process for Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion and seeking parole into the United States is through Uniting for Ukraine. This process enables approved Ukrainians to travel to the United States, be considered for parole for a period of up to 2 years, and be eligible to apply for employment authorization while in the United States. The United States strongly encourages Ukrainians in Europe who seek to travel to the United States to complete the request from Europe. Ukrainians who present at U.S. land ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine may be denied entry and referred to apply through this process.
Ukrainians who have a pending request for parole filed with USCIS on Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, but wish to be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine instead must have their supporter submit a Form I-134 following these instructions to be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. USCIS will provide petitioners who currently have a pending Form I-131 for a Ukrainian beneficiary with a notice explaining the process to be considered for parole under Uniting for Ukraine and the actions they must take if they would like to withdraw their Form I-131 in light of the new Uniting for Ukraine process.
What to Expect After the Form I-134 Is Filed
After the supporter files the Form I-134 with USCIS, we will review the form and supporting evidence to ensure that the supporter has sufficient financial resources to support the Ukrainian beneficiary for the duration of the parole period and conduct background checks on the supporter. We will determine whether the Form I-134 is sufficient, and we may request additional evidence to make our determination. If approved, Ukrainian beneficiaries will receive an email from USCIS with instructions on how to set up an account with myUSCIS and other next steps. Individuals should check their email, including spam and junk folders, for important messages from USCIS.
If the Form I-134 is Sufficient
If we confirm the Form I-134 is sufficient, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS with instructions on how to set up an account with myUSCIS and other next steps. The Ukrainian beneficiary will be required to confirm their biographic information on myUSCIS and attest to completion of all requirements including:
- An attestation to certify understanding of the family relationship requirements for children under 18 for Uniting for Ukraine;and
- An attestation that you have completed vaccine requirements or are eligible for an exception to vaccine requirements for measles, polio, and the first dose of an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a WHO-Emergency use listed (EUL) COVID-19 vaccine.
Upon arrival to the United States, the beneficiary will need to attest to receiving a medical screening for tuberculosis, including an Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRA) test, within 14 days.
Find more information on vaccine requirements on the preview of the vaccine attestation page.
If the Form I-134 is Insufficient
If we are unable to confirm the Form I-134 is sufficient, that decision is final. The Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS notifying them that we determined the Form I-134 filed on their behalf was insufficient. We will not consider the Ukrainian beneficiary for parole under Uniting for Ukraine based on the insufficient Form I-134. However, the supporter may file a new Form I-134 on behalf of the same or another Ukrainian beneficiary, or a different supporter may file a Form I-134 on behalf of the beneficiary
Authorization to travel to the United States
Once the Ukrainian beneficiary has confirmed their biographic information and attested to completing all other requirements, their case will be further processed. Ukrainians will receive an email instructing them to check their myUSCIS account for the result of their authorization to travel. If the individual has been authorized to travel to the United States to seek parole under Uniting for Ukraine, they will be responsible for arranging and funding their own travel. This authorization is valid for 90 days.
Information on Uniting for Ukraine if You Have a Pending Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
If you already applied for humanitarian parole on behalf of a beneficiary who is a Ukrainian citizen, and your Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is pending with USCIS, we will send a notice explaining that you are eligible to reapply through Uniting for Ukraine.
Benefits of applying through Uniting for Ukraine
- There is no fee to apply for parole through Uniting for Ukraine. If you previously paid the processing fee for your Form I-131, although fees paid to USCIS are generally non-refundable, we will refund fees paid in this circumstance.
- Uniting for Ukraine may help beneficiaries receive temporary safe haven in the United States more quickly. Due to a surge of requests, our processing times for Form I-131 humanitarian parole are significantly longer than usual.
How to apply through Uniting for Ukraine if you already have a Pending I-131, Application for Travel Document
If you already filed a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for humanitarian parole on behalf of a Ukrainian who is outside the United States, you may either withdraw your pending Form I-131 or leave your Form I-131 pending with USCIS. Whether you withdraw your Form I-131 will have no impact on your ability to file a Form I-134 on behalf of the same individual under Uniting for Ukraine.
- If you choose to withdraw your pending Form I-131, you will receive a fee refund.
- If you choose to leave your Form I-131 pending, we will retain the fee, and adjudicate it in the future.
If you wish to provide support to a Ukrainian beneficiary under the Uniting for Ukraine process, you must file a new Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, even if you already submitted a prior Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, with your pending Form I-131. On April 25, 2022, the Form I-134 was updated from the Affidavit of Support to the Declaration of Financial Support, which is being used for Uniting for Ukraine.
After the Beneficiary Is Paroled into the United States
Applying for Employment Authorization
After you (the beneficiary) are paroled into the United States, you are eligible to apply for discretionary employment authorization from USCIS. To apply for discretionary employment authorization, you must submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, using the (c)(11) category code with the required fee or apply for a fee waiver.
Obtaining a Social Security Number and Card
We encourage you to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and following the form instructions. If you request an SSN in Part 2 (Items 13a-17.b) of your Form I-765, and your application is approved, USCIS will electronically transmit that data to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SSA will assign you an SSN and issue you a Social Security card. SSA will mail your Social Security card directly to the address you provide on Form I-765. Social Security numbers generally are assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.
If you do not request an SSN on your Form I-765, you can apply for an SSN after you receive your EAD from USCIS using the instructions on SSA’s Social Security Number and Card webpage.
If you are residing in the United States longer than 30 days, you must report your physical address in the United States. You can change your address online and update your address on any pending applications and petitions at the same time using the USCIS Online Change of Address system. You must report a change of address within 10 days of moving within the United States or its territories.
The above method of changing your address will update the address on file with USCIS for all pending applications, petitions, or requests that you include receipt numbers for on the form.
It is important to include the receipt number for any pending cases with USCIS with your address change request, so we can update the address associated with those cases. We will mail secure documents to the address on file. You can find the receipt number on the receipt notice (Form I-797C, Notice of Action) that we issued after you filed your application or petition. We send receipt notices to the address listed on the application or petition.
Terminating Your Parole
If you have already been paroled into the United States, your parole will automatically be terminated if:
- You depart the United States without obtaining advance authorization to travel; or
- Your parole period expires.
DHS may also decide to terminate your parole for other reasons, such as violating any laws of the United States. Individuals with expired parole are expected to depart the country of their own accord. Individuals in the United States encountered after their parole has terminated may be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for immigration proceedings.
Resources for Victims of Abuse, Violence or Exploitation
There are many forms of abuse and exploitation, including domestic violence, forced marriage, and human trafficking. In the United States, there are laws that may help you avoid or escape an abusive situation.
- Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner, parent, or child. Domestic abuse can involve physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or psychological abuse or threats.
- Forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the consent of one or both people in the marriage. Consent means that you have given your full, free, and informed agreement to marry your intended spouse and to the timing of the marriage. Forced marriage may occur when family members or others use physical or emotional abuse, threats, or deception to force you to marry without your consent. For additional information on forced marriage, please visit the Forced Marriage webpage.
- Human Trafficking involves exploiting someone to compel a commercial sex act or forced labor. Generally, this exploitation must involve force, fraud, or coercion to be considered human trafficking. However, if someone under 18 years old is induced to perform a commercial sex act, that is considered human trafficking even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion.
If you have experienced or fear forced marriage, domestic violence, human trafficking, or other abuse, please contact the resources below to receive free help in your language:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233, 800-787-3224 (TTY), www.ndvh.org
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 800-843-5678, www.missingkids.com
- The National Center for Victims of Crime: 800-394-2255, 800-211-7996 (TTY), www.victimsofcrime.org
- National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888, Text: 233733
Protect Yourself from Immigration Scams
We do not want you to become the victim of an immigration scam. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is authorized to give legal advice. Only an attorney or accredited representative working for a Department of Justice recognized organization can give you legal advice. Visit the Avoid Scams page for information and resources.
Read full article: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine