Can Ukrainians flee to the US?
President Biden has recently passed a new initiative for Ukrainians to help them escape to the US. This is to help Ukrainians who have a US sponsor who is willing to act as a guarantor for the Ukrainian refugee.
In this article we will discuss some frequently asked questions about this new process:
Who can act as a sponsor for a Ukrainian?
The sponsor of the Ukrainian needs to be someone who is currently in the US in lawful status. This includes US citizens, Green Card holders and work visa holders. The sponsor needs to show they have financial means to look after the Ukrainians who they are sponsoring. They will need to support the Ukrainian with settling into the US such as with finding housing, helping them obtain medication and medical care.
Does the sponsor need to be a relative?
Although the sponsor doesn’t need to be a relative, we anticipate that a lot of the approved applications will be from relatives. The sponsor will be checked to make sure they are not bringing the Ukrainian for illegal reasons and will treat the Ukrainian well. Organizations cannot be sponsors however multiple individuals can act as sponsors for one person.
What documents does the sponsor need to show?
The sponsor needs to prove their income and assets with documents. They will also need to show their most recent US federal tax returns. After filing the initial application, USCIS may request further documents.
How long will the parole application take?
Unfortunately, at this time, there isn’t any official processing times. We will see in the coming weeks how long processes are taking. USCIS may also issue processing times at a later stage.
Can I file my parole application already?
Yes, this new process is open for application. You will need to make the application to USCIS and wait for their response. They may request for you to attend an interview at the end of the process.
Can I work in the US under my parole?
You can apply for an I-765 application when you arrive into the US for a work permit. At the end of the process, you will be issued an EAD card and you will be allowed to work as long as that is valid. The current processing times for a work permit are between 1.5 – 14 months. This means you could be in the US for a year without being allowed to work. The processing times get updated regularly and can be found here (https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/).
I am a Ukrainian citizen – do I qualify?
In order to be eligible, you need to have been a resident of Ukraine through February 11, 2022. You do not need to be in Ukraine now. You are eligible if you are located anywhere in the world for example if you escaped to Israel.
You will need to show your unexpired Ukrainian passport to apply and show that you left due to the Russian invasion.
What documents does the Ukrainian citizen need to show?
You will need to show valid unexpired for all applicants. You will also need to show vaccination and public health records. This includes proving vaccination for COVID-19.
Does this process have any government fee?
No, this process doesn’t have any government fee. You will need to pay for your own flights to the US. Once your application is approved, you will need to enter the US within 90 days.
Decker, Pex, Levi, Rosenberg & Co. can handle this process for you. We will complete the forms, advise what required documents are needed, review your documents and prepare you for an interview. We will also prepare you for your border check and file your employment authorization application when you move to the US. We have lawyers who speak a number of languages including Russian.