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Biden announces immigration process for Ukrainians fleeing Russia

On April 21, the Biden administration announced Unite for Ukraine, a new streamlined process to provide up to 100,000 Ukrainian citizens with a way to temporarily travel to the United States for urgent humanitarian purposes.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said, “We are proud to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian aggression to the United States. The people of Ukraine continue to suffer immense tragedy and loss as a result of Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on their country. ”

As part of the new streamlined process, Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced can apply for humanitarian parole to come to the United States. To be eligible, Ukrainians must have resided in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022, have a U.S. sponsor, complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, and pass rigorous biometric and biographical screening, as well as security checks. Ukrainians approved through this process will then be allowed to travel to the United States and will be considered for parole, on a case-by-case basis, for up to two years. Once released on parole through this process, Ukrainians will also be able to apply for a work permit. As of April 25, 2022, individuals and entities based in the United States can apply to sponsor citizens of Ukraine on the DHS website.

The first step in the Uniting for Ukraine process is for the US-based supporter to file a Form I-134, Statement of Financial Support, with USCIS. The US government will then review the supporter to ensure they are able to support the individual financially. There are Nope the requirement that the sponsor be related to the applicant. Any U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or non-governmental organization may apply to be a sponsor as long as they have sufficient income or financial resources to support Ukrainians and their immediate family members through Unite for Ukraine.

The sponsor must provide proof of sufficient income and resources, as applicable and listed below:

  • A signed statement from an officer of the bank or other financial institution stating the date the account was opened, the total amount deposited for the past year, and the current balance of that account

  • A signed statement from an employer on letterhead indicating the date and nature of employment, salary paid, and whether it is a temporary or permanent position

  • A copy of the sponsor’s most recently filed federal income tax return or business rating concern report (if self-employed)

  • A list containing the serial numbers and denominations of the bonds and the names of the owners (if applicable)

In addition, the US State Department announced an increase in refugee resettlement processing and expanded access to visa processing at consular posts overseas.

The timing and implementation of this new streamlined process to bring up to 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States remains uncertain.

©2022 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 118

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