How Americans can sponsor Ukrainian refugees

The Biden administration on Monday established a program that allows Americans to sponsor Ukrainian refugees and have them temporarily stay in the United States under a system known as humanitarian probation.

The program, called Uniting for Ukraine, is part of a larger initiative to temporarily resettle as many as 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, but migrants cannot apply directly themselves. Instead, a U.S. sponsor must apply on their behalf, and then migrants can complete the process after their sponsor is approved.

How the program works:

Most people who are legally residing in the United States – including green card holders and other immigrants – can apply to sponsor Ukrainian migrants as long as they can prove that they can support them financially. This could include providing food and board or direct payment to the refugees for necessary expenses.

Sponsors must designate specific refugees to help. Welcome.US, a humanitarian group for the resettlement of refugees, has set up a mailing list for people interested in becoming a sponsor.

Here is a step-by-step process for how sponsors can apply:

  • Go to the web portal for the program at dhs.gov/ukraine.

  • Submit an I-134 form. This document helps prove that the sponsor can support the Ukrainians financially while they are in the United States. Sponsors must document their own income and wealth as well as the income and wealth of the migrants and families being sponsored.

  • The sponsor will then undergo a government control process “to protect against the exploitation and abuse” of the migrants, according to the instructions on the web portal. Officials reviewing the application may also ask the sponsor for additional supporting evidence or an interview prior to approval.

  • If approved, the sponsor will be notified in writing.

Ukrainian citizens and their children and spouses or ordinary partners may qualify for humanitarian probation under the program. They do not have to be in Ukraine now, but must have fled after February 11.

Once their sponsor is approved, Ukrainians and families listed in the application will be notified of the next steps in the process.

These include:

  • Verification of personal information – such as names, dates of birth, telephone numbers and addresses – as well as family relationships using a myUSCIS account.

  • Evidence of vaccination against measles, polio and coronavirus.

  • Passed security check.

  • Underwent a medical screening for tuberculosis within 14 days of arrival in the United States.

After completing the necessary steps, migrants will be notified of the final approval and permission to travel to the United States through myUSCIS. Migrants must then travel into the United States within 90 days and are responsible for arranging their trip once approved.

Ukrainian migrants approved for the program can stay for up to two years. They may also apply for permission to work in the United States upon arrival.

The administration said the program was intended to be faster than the usual immigration process, but could not say how long it might take.

Ukrainians already in the United States can not apply for humanitarian probation. However, they can apply for temporary protected status, which allows them to stay and work for up to 18 months as long as they have been in the United States since April 11 or earlier.

The Biden administration on Monday closed the border for Ukrainian migrants. Anyone still in Mexico can apply for humanitarian probation with a sponsor, but must wait for approval before entering the United States.

There is no fee for Ukrainians to apply for humanitarian probation through this program. Applying for humanitarian probation through the standard form costs $ 575 per person. person. Ukrainians who have already paid this fee through another pending application can get it refunded.

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