The United States launches online portal with application to sponsor Ukrainians fleeing war

The US government on Monday began accepting applications from individuals and organizations seeking to help Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine to come to the US and launched an online portal for potential sponsors.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the private sponsorship initiative last week, which presented it as the key mechanism through which the United States will achieve President Bidens obligation to receive up to 100,000 Ukrainians displaced by the Russian military invasion of their homeland.

On Monday, DHS published a page on its website for U.S. citizens and groups that have identified Ukrainians abroad that they want to sponsor financially. The online portal contains a link to the application form that potential sponsors can submit to prove that they have the financial means to support Ukrainians seeking to enter the country.

Ukrainians hoping to come to the United States will not be able to apply directly for the sponsorship program called Uniting for Ukraine. The application process can only be started by potential sponsors in the United States

If potential sponsors pass background checks and DHS approves their sponsorship applications, the Ukrainians they have identified will be allowed to enter the United States as long as they meet certain requirements, including security screenings and vaccination against infectious diseases.

Ukrainians who are allowed to enter the United States under the sponsorship initiative will not be resettled through the refugee program, DHS said last week. Instead, they will receive humanitarian probation, which will allow them to live and work in the United States for at least two years. Parole will not make them eligible for permanent U.S. status.

More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian forces launched a military offensive against the country in late February, triggering the largest refugee migration since World War II, according to UN statistics.

US officials have said that the vast majority of Ukrainians displaced by the war will choose to stay in European countries closer to Ukraine, and that Ukrainians wishing to come to the United States are generally seeking a temporary safe haven, not permanent resettlement. .

This determination, administration officials told reporters last week, prompted the U.S. government to use the probation authority, which officials can use to temporarily admit immigrants who are not otherwise allowed to enter the United States, such as a visa.

Administration officials said the private sponsorship program was also partially set up to close one irregular route Thousands of Ukrainians have in recent months used to enter the United States along the border with Mexico after multi-flight flights from Eastern Europe.

In the past three months, U.S. border officials have treated 15,000 Ukrainians who did not have valid travel documents, according to a senior U.S. official. In March, a record 3,274 Ukrainians were treated along the southern border, the majority in a southern California port of entry, DHS shows numbers.

In early March, the U.S. border authorities instructed to consider allowing undocumented Ukrainians to enter the country under humanitarian exemptions from an emergency rule known as Title 42 which has blocked other migrants from seeking US asylum during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Biden administration announced last week that as of Monday, U.S. border authorities will no longer allow Ukrainians to enter the country if they lack valid travel documents. Instead, officials said, these Ukrainians will be instructed to participate in the Uniting for Ukraine sponsorship program.

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