For many Ukrainians, the conflict with Russia is a reminder of the risks of living in a war-torn region. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a program called Uniting For Ukraine, allowing Ukrainians and their immediate family members to get temporary U.S. citizenship in places like California.
To qualify, Ukrainians must meet the following criteria:
- They must have been living in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022.
- They must complete required vaccinations and meet other public health criteria.
- They must have a sponsor within the United States who can provide financial assistance during their stay. This involves completing Form I-134.
- They must commit to remaining in the United States for the entire parole period.
- They are required to follow the application procedure outlined by the program, including submitting specific forms and documentation.
- They 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.
Maison Immigration in Bakersfield recently covered the particulars of the Uniting For Ukraine program on their website.
What are the Requirements For Sponsors in California?
Sponsoring Ukrainian beneficiaries through the Uniting For Ukraine program involves certain requirements and responsibilities. Here’s an overview of the sponsorship process in California:
- Eligibility – Generally, U.S. citizens or lawful residents can sponsor Ukrainian beneficiaries in California.
- Types of sponsorship – Sponsors can choose to support beneficiaries privately, offering both financial and emotional assistance. Alternatively, you can collaborate with established community or organizational groups for sponsorship.
- Training and background checks – Before becoming a sponsor, you may undergo training and background checks to understand cultural differences, responsibilities, and practical ways to assist beneficiaries.
- Financial support – Sponsors often cover initial costs like housing and food, which can vary depending on the type of sponsorship and organization.
- Assistance with settlement – Sponsors play a crucial role in helping beneficiaries with tasks such as finding housing, enrolling children in schools, accessing healthcare, and offering language assistance.
- Emotional support – Sponsors provide emotional support by being friends, guides, and helping beneficiaries adapt to new customs and surroundings.
- Reporting – Sponsors typically update the organization on the progress and well-being of beneficiaries to ensure they receive necessary support.
- Long-term commitment – Sponsorship is not a short-term commitment. Sponsors continue to assist beneficiaries over time, helping them become self-sufficient and integrated into their new community.
Under the Uniting For Ukraine Program, Ukrainian beneficiaries are typically sponsored by individuals, groups, or organizations who are U.S. citizens or lawful residents. These sponsors play a crucial role in providing support and assistance to Ukrainian beneficiaries and their families as they resettle in the United States. Sponsors can include:
- Community groups – Community-based organizations, religious institutions, or local community groups often come together to sponsor and assist Ukrainian beneficiaries collectively.
- Non-profit organizations – Established non-profit organizations dedicated to refugee resettlement and humanitarian efforts may also participate in the program by sponsoring and supporting Ukrainian beneficiaries.
- Family members – In some cases, family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful residents can sponsor their Ukrainian relatives.