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April 29, 2022
Uniting for Ukraine: all the important information in one post

The new program United for Ukraine (“U4U”) was created by DHS for 100,000 Ukrainian refugees goes live online at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine    

It will be a completely ELECTRONIC program.

U4U was created for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside of the US, and are coming to stay temporarily for a 2-year period of humanitarian parole.  These families must have US sponsors who agree to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in USA.

U4U will be a 2-year Humanitarian Parole status.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO THE PROGRAM?

📣 Step 1. The Sponsor is called the “Supporter” and must create a “myUSCIS” account online here. 

📣 Step 2.  The Sponsor must file Form I-134 Financial Declaration Affidavit of Support online.

A. Who can be the Sponsor?

📌 The primary sponsor must be an individual in lawful status in US. Examples of lawful status for the Supporter are: Green Card holder, US Citizen, conditional Green Card holder, nonimmigrants in lawful status without violations (work visa holders, students), asylees, parole holders, TPS holders, DACA, and DED holders.

📌 The Supporter must income or assets that in sum equal 125% or more of the US Poverty guidelines for supporting the beneficiaries coming to Ukraine. The sponsor’s whole household size is added to the beneficiary’s family size and the income of the sponsor has to be able to support all these people.

   ➡ The poverty guidelines are here

📌 Supporters must be wiling and able to receive, maintain and support the Ukrainian Beneficiaries in the US, and the type of support includes:

✔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 the parole and initial basic necessities;

✔As appropriate, assisting the beneficiary in completing necessary paperwork such as that related to employment authorization, 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 one 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 intention for shared 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.

📌 Supporters will be vetted, their backgrounds checked, and only then confirmed and approved.  The US government is checking to make sure to protect Ukrainian refugees against exploitation, abuse and human trafficking.

📌 USCIS may request additional evidence about the financial parts of the I-134 by email, so it is important for the Supporter to check their myUSCIS account and email.

 ➡  There is no fee to file a Form I-134

B. Who can be a Beneficiary eligible for U4U Parole?

Beneficiaries are eligible for U4U if they:

📌 Resided in Ukraine as of Feb. 11, 2022 and were displaced as a result of the invasion; and

📌  Are a Ukrainian citizens outside of US with a valid Ukrainian passport,

✔If not a Ukrainian citizen, are an immediate family member of Ukrainian Citizen with a valid passport.

✔Immediate Family Member means spouse or child under 21 of the Ukrainian Citizen.  Spouse can be a legal spouse or common law spouse.

📌  Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal document with proper documentation.

📌 Have a Supporter who filed I-134 Affidavit of Support and the supporter has been vetted and confirmed as SUFFICIENT by USCIS; and

📌 Clear biometric and biographic security checks (no arrests, no terrorism issues).

C. Who is NOT eligible for U4U Parole?

📌 Ukrainian citizens who already inside the USA are not eligible for U4U. Then you may be eligible for TPS or Asylum.

📌 Children travelling without a parent or legal guardian. These kids will go into custody of the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS)  at the US ports of entry. Those kids who have a parent or guardian inside the US may come to unite with that parent/guardian and may seek I-131 Humanitarian Parole.

📣 Step 3. If the US Government checks the I-134 Affidavit of Support and finds it sufficient, they will email the beneficiary that they are approved and provide instructions on how to open a “myUSCIS” account for the beneficiary and receive next steps and instructions through that account.

A. If the Form I-134 is Sufficient

If USCIS confirms 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.

📌 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-19vaccine or a WHO-Emergency use listed (EUL) COVID-19 vaccine.

B. If the Form I-134 is Insufficient

If USCIS finds the Supporter’s Form I-134 insufficient, they will deny and that decision is final. The Ukrainian beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS notifying them that the Form I-134 filed on their behalf was determined to be insufficient. The Ukrainian beneficiary will not be considered 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.

📣 Step 4.  Authorization to travel to the United States – Valid only 90 days.

A. Once the Ukrainian beneficiary has confirmed their biographic information and attested to completing all other requirements, their case will be further processed.

B. Next, Ukrainians will receive an email instructing them to check their myUSCIS account for the result of their authorization to travel.    

C. When the beneficiaries received their official authorizations to travel – that’s their PAROLE and they will be responsible to arrange and fund their own travel with the Supporter. This authorization is valid for a period of 90 days.

📣 Step 5.  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.

If you have a pending I-131 Application for Humanitarian Parole with USCIS on behalf of a Ukrainian person outside of the US, USCIS will email you send a notice explaining that you are eligible to reapply through Uniting for Ukraine. Then, you may either withdraw your pending Humanitarian Parole Form I-131 or leave your Form I-131 pending with USCIS.

Whether you withdraw your Humanitarian Parole 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.

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 outside the US to 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.

THINGS FOR SPONSORS TO KNOW

  ✔Anyone in lawful status in US (nonimmigrant, Green Card holder, US Citizen, asylum holder, TPS Holder, parolee, DACA or DED holder and even F-1 students can be a Sponsor/Supporter for U4U.

✔  If you don’t have enough income and assets, you can get another individual or even a company or an organization involved and use their income.

✔ Be prepared to do Biometrics if you are a Supporter or answer Requests for Evidence.

✔Monitor your myUSCIS account for communications from USCIS.

THINGS FOR BENEFICIARIES TO KNOW:

The Ukrainians coming in here with U4U are getting a 2-year Humanitarian Parole status.

✔This does not lead to a Green Card.

✔If they are considering Asylum, they must file within 1 year of entering under U4U for Asylum.

✔You will have a Work Authorization and a Social Security number.

✔You can work and attend school legally while in status.

✔Living and working in US with U4U may cause you to lose your B1/B2 tourist visa ability to enter in the future into US as a visitor or to receive future B1/B2 visas.

✔You may be able to switch from U4U to a Nonimmigrant visa, but it may depend on where you live in US.

✔You will be able to get a green card if you are married to US Citizen or GC holder or if your child over 21 is a Citizen and files for you.

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