Uniting for Ukraine Humanitarian Parole Program Announced
On April 21, 2022, President Biden announced the details of a new humanitarian parole program, entitled Uniting for Ukraine, targeted at Ukranian citizens who have been displaced by Russia’s attack on their country. This new humanitarian parole program follows President Biden’s previous commitment to allow up to 100,000 Ukrainians into the U.S. During the president’s speech he explained that “This new humanitarian parole program will complement the existing legal pathways available to Ukrainians, including immigrant visas and refugee processing.”
In order to be eligible for the new program, Ukrainian citizens must have resided in Ukraine on February 11, 2022, have a U.S.-based sponsor, complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, which include the COVID-19 vaccine, and pass background and security checks. Once approved, Ukrainians will be allowed to travel to the U.S. and be paroled into the U.S. for a period of up to two years. Once they have arrived, parolees under this program will be eligible to seek work authorization.
It is important to note that being paroled into the U.S. is not considered a formal legal admission into the U.S., but rather it derives from the ability of the U.S. government to grant certain individuals entry into the U.S. temporarily for urgent humanitarian purposes.
The new Uniting for Ukraine program begins on April 25, 2022, when U.S.-based individuals and organizational sponsors will be able to begin filing online applications with the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of eligible Ukrainians. Sponsors will be required to demonstrate the ability to provide financial support for the parolee and must undergo security background checks.
While the administration continues to dedicate resources to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and throughout Europe, specific time frames for the overall adjudication and final issuance of travel documents under this new program have yet to be announced. Given the ongoing backlogs across all aspects of U.S. immigration services at this time, it is possible that the timeframes from application filing to approval and travel authorization may be lengthy.
As always, Foster continues to follow developments impacting the availability of immigration benefits and will provide additional information as it becomes available via future Immigration Updates and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.