President Biden‘s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion is a significant step in the right direction. Parole under Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside of the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily. Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support must be filed by a U.S.-based supporter with USCIS before an individual can be considered for parole. In this blog post, we will explore eligibility requirements for parole under uniting for Ukraine.
To be eligible for parole under Uniting for Ukraine, an individual must hold lawful status in the United States, be a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and have passed security and background vetting. The person must also show that they have the financial means to take in, care for, and support the people they agree to support for the course of their stay in the United States.
Citizens of Ukraine who are currently residing in the United States will not be given parole consideration under Uniting for Ukraine. However, Americans who are citizens of Ukraine may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Uniting for Ukraine does not grant parole to minors who go without their parents or legal guardians. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) stipulates that a child who is not traveling with their parent or legal guardian may be given into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry to safeguard them from human trafficking and other types of exploitation.
Those who do not meet the above criteria are not eligible for parole under Uniting for Ukraine. This includes individuals who have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor, have committed acts of domestic violence, have been involved in human trafficking, or have been determined to be a public safety risk.
Humanitarian parole offers temporary residence and resources while allowing recipients to look into alternative immigration options, even if it does not directly lead to long-term residency in the US. The purpose of this initiative is to stop the flow of Ukrainians who are crossing the Mexican border by providing a simplified, fast-track alternative for those with sponsors. The United States may no longer waive Title 42 for Ukrainian, while it appears that applying for uniting at the Mexican border may be possible, the procedure will be more challenging. Title 42 permits the removal of immigrants that arrive at the border without being allowed to request asylum.
While some Ukrainians have already arrived in the country, the Uniting initiative is to help the country achieve its stated objectives of welcoming more Ukrainian nationals and other people willing to emigrate. Some more legal options are Temporary Protected Status (TPS), immigrant and nonimmigrant visa options, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, “normal” humanitarian parole, and asylum.
If you are interested in parole under Uniting for Ukraine, we encourage you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific case and ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements.