Sponsorship of Citizens From Ukraine

How To Sponsor Refugees From Ukraine in California

For many Ukrainian citizens, the ongoing conflict with Russia is a stark reminder of the dangers of living in a region affected by warfare and political turmoil. In response, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed a humanitarian assistance program called Uniting For Ukraine that includes measures to allow Ukrainians and their immediate family members residing outside the United States to obtain temporary U.S. citizenship.

One of the most popular destinations for those fleeing Ukraine is California. With its diverse population and culture, California provides ample opportunities for Ukrainians and their families to get a fresh start and begin rebuilding their lives. At the same time, this program has various requirements for Ukrainians and those wishing to sponsor them.

Get Experienced Guidance From Maison Law Immigration

At Maison Law Immigration, we understand how challenging it can be to leave your homeland in search of a safer place for you and your family. We also know that making the decision to sponsor those Ukrainian citizens can be equally challenging.

With our experience and knowledge of the Uniting For Ukraine program requirements, we can make the process much easier for you. We can help you with the application and guide you through the entire process from start to finish. To get started, contact us today for a consultation.

What is the Uniting For Ukraine Program?

Announced by President Joe Biden on April 21, 2022, the DHS’ Uniting For Ukraine program is a series of initiatives that allow Ukrainian citizens and their families to obtain temporary citizenship in the United States.

While this program is in place, it has a number of requirements that applicants have to meet. These requirements include:

  • Ukrainian citizenship – Applicants must be citizens of Ukraine, and must have lived in Ukraine prior to February 11, 2022, and were displaced because of the invasion.
  • Residing outside the U.S. – Applicants and their immediate family members should be living outside the United States.
  • Parole pathway – The program operates through a parole pathway, granting temporary U.S. citizenship for a designated period, typically around two years.
  • Financial supporter – Applicants need a supporter within the United States who can provide financial assistance for the duration of their stay. This requires the completion of a Form I-134.
  • Commitment to stay – Applicants must commit to staying in the United States for the duration of the parole period.
  • Application process – Applicants are required to follow the application process outlined by the program, which may involve submitting specific forms and documentation.
  • USCIS and DHS guidelines – Applicants must adhere to the guidelines provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Uniting for Ukraine program.

It’s important to note that program requirements may evolve or change over time, so it’s recommended to refer to the official USCIS and DHS resources for the most up-to-date information on the Uniting for Ukraine program requirements.

Understanding the Uniting For Ukraine Application Process

Once the Ukrainian citizen meets the eligibility requirements for the Uniting For Ukraine program, the next step toward them being granted parolee status is to complete the application process. Not surprisingly, these requirements can be challenging in their own rights, as the program is highly competitive, and some of those that wish to enter the U.S. are struggling with displacement. Still, it’s important to understand what the application process for the program entails:

  • Financial Support – The applicant needs someone in the United States to provide financial support. This person, called the “supporter,” should submit their completed Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support online on behalf of the applicant. This step is crucial for the application process.
  • Declaration Approval – Once the USCIS approves the Declaration of Financial Support, the applicant has to set up a myUSCIS account. They should then provide all the necessary biographical information and confirm that they have received vaccinations for measles, polio, and COVID-19. If the applicant hasn’t been vaccinated, they need to get the first dose of the required vaccine before traveling.
  • Parole Approval – If the USCIS approves the application for parole through the program, the applicant has 90 days to arrange their own air travel to the United States.
  • Arrival and Inspection – Upon arrival in the United States, the applicant will undergo inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They will also be considered for humanitarian parole, which can last for up to two years. Within the first 90 days of their arrival, the applicant needs to undergo a medical screening for tuberculosis.
  • Parole Status – If the applicant is granted humanitarian parole, they are automatically allowed to work in the United States while under parole status. This provides them with an opportunity to contribute through employment.

How Can You Sponsor Beneficiaries From Ukraine in California?

Potential beneficiaries aren’t the only ones that have requirements to meet with the Uniting For Ukraine program. There are also requirements for those that wish to sponsor these beneficiaries. Generally speaking, if you are a U.S. citizen or are otherwise lawfully present in the U.S., you can sponsor a Ukrainian beneficiary.

However, sponsoring beneficiaries from Ukraine in California involves a commitment to provide support and assistance to beneficiaries during their resettlement process. Here’s a general overview of how you can go about sponsoring beneficiaries in California:

  • There are different ways to help. Most decide to sponsor privately, where you and others provide both financial and emotional support to the Ukrainians. Another option allows you to team up with established groups for community or organizational sponsorship.
  • Before becoming a sponsor, you might need training and background checks. This helps you understand different cultures, your responsibilities, and practical ways to support beneficiaries.
  • You usually cover initial costs like housing and food for beneficiaries. The specifics change depending on the type of sponsorship and organization.
  • As a sponsor, you’re crucial in helping beneficiaries adjust. You might help find housing, enroll kids in schools, access healthcare, and offer language help.
  • Moving to a new country is tough, especially under the circumstances that most Ukrainians are escaping from. As a sponsor, you have to provide emotional support by being friends, guiding, and helping beneficiaries understand new customs.
  • You often need to update the organization on how the beneficiaries are doing. This makes sure they’re getting the help they need.
  • Sponsoring isn’t short-term. You’ll need to keep helping beneficiaries over time. Your involvement assists them in becoming self-sufficient and part of their new community.

Overall, the decision to sponsor a Ukrainian beneficiary and their family is not one to be taken lightly. While California offers a great landing spot for these beneficiaries, the sponsorship process requires a strong commitment from you or any other group that wants to help those that are in need.

Get Sponsorship Help in California From Maison Law Immigration

The Uniting For Ukraine program is crucial for Ukrainian beneficiaries displaced by the Russian invasion. It’s also vital for Californian citizens who wish to sponsor these Ukrainian beneficiaries. In order to better understand the program’s requirements, it’s important to have experienced legal support and guidance from Maison Law Immigration. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help you through the sponsorship process and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up a consultation to get started.