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Biden Follows Through on Promise to Accept 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees into the U.S. and Announces New “Uniting for Ukraine” Program for Ukrainians Fleeing Russia’s Invasion to Begin on April 25, 2022

April 21, 2022
Anna Buskila

As the war in Ukraine is nearing the two-month mark, the Biden Administration announced plans today to launch a new streamlined program to expedite the arrival of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion.  About a month ago, President Biden pledged to accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, but there were no specific details until now.

Beginning on April 25, 2022, U.S.-based individuals and entities can apply to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to sponsor fleeing Ukrainian citizens through the Uniting for Ukraine process, which will go live that day on the DHS website. More details will be available on Monday, April 25, 2022, but the main points are:

  • The program provides temporary protection in the United States for up to two years.
  • Ukrainians cannot apply for the program. Instead, U.S.-based individuals and entities may apply online to the DHS to sponsor fleeing Ukrainian citizens. The sponsors will be required to pass background checks and declare that they will support sponsored individuals financially.
  • To be eligible, Ukrainians:
    • must have been residents in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022;
    • have a sponsor in the United States (does not have to be a relative);
    • complete vaccinations and other public health requirements; and
    • pass rigorous biometric and biographic screening and vetting security checks.
  • Ukrainians approved via this process will be authorized to travel to the United States and be considered for humanitarian parole, on a case-by-case basis, for a period of up to two years. Once paroled through this process, Ukrainians will be eligible for work authorization.
  • Beginning on April 25, 2022, Ukrainians who present themselves at a U.S. port of entry (e.g., at the Mexican or Canadian border) without a valid U.S. visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine will be denied entry and referred to apply through this program.

We are closely monitoring the updates and will provide more details once Uniting for Ukraine is live on April 25, 2022. We do not yet know the exact requirements, fees, or timeline for this process. Stay tuned and do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 427-6163 or schedule a consultation online.

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