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Uniting for Ukraine: A Comprehensive Guide

Uniting for Ukraine: A Comprehensive Guide

In response to the devastating invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the United States has introduced a pivotal program called "Uniting for Ukraine." This initiative is a significant effort to provide a temporary safe haven for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members seeking refuge. This blog will offer a detailed overview of the program, its eligibility requirements, the process involved, and important considerations for both supporters and beneficiaries.

The Genesis of Uniting for Ukraine

Announced on April 21, 2022, Uniting for Ukraine reflects President Biden’s commitment to support Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s invasion. This program provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come and stay temporarily under a two-year period of parole. This initiative requires that Ukrainians have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide financial support for the duration of their stay.

Eligibility Criteria

Supporter Requirements

A supporter must hold lawful status in the United States or be a parolee, beneficiary of deferred action, or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The supporter must pass security and background checks and demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support the beneficiaries. Eligible supporters can include:

  • U.S. citizens and nationals

  • Lawful permanent residents, temporary residents, and conditional permanent residents

  • Nonimmigrants in lawful status

  • Asylees, refugees, and parolees

  • TPS holders and beneficiaries of deferred action, including DACA recipients

Beneficiary Requirements

The primary beneficiaries are Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States. To qualify, they must:

  • Have resided in Ukraine immediately before the Russian invasion and been displaced by it

  • Possess a valid Ukrainian passport or be an immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen with a valid passport

  • Have a U.S.-based supporter who has filed Form I-134A on their behalf, which has been vetted and confirmed as sufficient by USCIS

  • Clear biographic and biometric security checks

The Process: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Filing Form I-134A

The U.S.-based supporter must file Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS. This form initiates the process and requires detailed information about the beneficiary and the supporter's ability to provide financial assistance.

Step 2: USCIS Review

USCIS reviews the form and the supporting evidence to ensure the supporter can financially support the Ukrainian beneficiary. This includes conducting background checks on the supporter.

Step 3: Notification to Beneficiary

If the form is deemed sufficient, USCIS will send an email to the Ukrainian beneficiary with instructions on setting up a myUSCIS account and the next steps, including confirming their biographic information and meeting vaccine requirements.

Step 4: Travel Authorization

Once all requirements are met, the Ukrainian beneficiary will receive authorization to travel to the United States. This authorization is valid for 90 days, and the beneficiary must arrange and fund their travel.

Post-Arrival Considerations

Employment Authorization

Beneficiaries paroled into the United States under Uniting for Ukraine are automatically authorized to work. They can use their Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as proof of work authorization. To continue working, beneficiaries must provide either their unexpired Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or an unrestricted Social Security card with a List B identity document from the Form I-9 lists.

Social Security Number and Card

Beneficiaries are encouraged to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) using Form I-765. If they request an SSN in the application, USCIS will transmit the data to the SSA, which will then assign an SSN and mail the Social Security card directly to the address provided.

Address Updates

Beneficiaries staying in the United States for more than 30 days must report their physical address using the USCIS Online Change of Address system within 10 days of moving.

Specific Cases and Special Provisions

Children Under Age 18

Children under 18 must travel with a parent or legal guardian to be considered under Uniting for Ukraine. If they travel alone, they must go through the standard Form I-131 parole process. Additional documentation and written permissions are required to ensure the child's relationship with the accompanying adult.

Re-Parole Process

Starting February 27, 2024, Ukrainians who were paroled into the United States on or after February 11, 2022, may request re-parole. This process is for those who need continued urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit to extend their stay.

Protecting Against Exploitation and Scams

Beneficiaries and supporters should be aware of potential scams and exploitation. Only authorized individuals such as attorneys or accredited representatives can provide legal advice. Common scams include impersonation by government officials, misleading offers of support, scam websites, and unauthorized legal practitioners.


Uniting for Ukraine is a critical program designed to support those displaced by the conflict in Ukraine. By providing a clear pathway and necessary support mechanisms, the United States aims to offer a temporary safe haven to those in need. Eligible supporters and beneficiaries should follow the outlined steps to ensure a smooth application process and avoid potential pitfalls. For further information and updates, individuals can refer to the official USCIS and DHS websites.


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