How to Sponsor a Family from Ukraine
The Uniting for Ukraine program allows Ukrainians to remain in the United States with the help of a sponsor. They will be here under humanitarian parole, which allows them to enter the United States and remain. They can also apply for an Employment Authorization document.
Humanitarian parole offers no direct path to a green card, though there is always a chance that it will be possible to adjust or change status to another lawful immigration status that does offer such a path.
But how does one become a sponsor?
If you don’t know any Ukrainians to offer sponsorship to, you can connect with them through a number of programs, including:
Sponsors may be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and other “lawfully present individuals.” You do not need to be a family member. You will need to undergo a background cheek and complete a form I-134, a Declaration of Financial Support.
You will be responsible providing financial support for anyone you sponsor. This includes helping them obtain housing. You may also need to give them money directly to obtain necessities, or provide them with food, clothing, and medical insurance directly.
A sponsor should also be prepared to help their beneficiary apply for documents such as Social Security cards, state IDs, driver’s licenses, bank accounts, and for public benefits that are available to them through state and local services. The newcomers may also need help enrolling children in schools, or enrolling the entire family into ESL classes.
You can find a list of services which are available to refugees in Pennsylvania on this site.
Those who are admitted to the program will have authorization to work in the United States. If you are sponsoring a family or individual, you may also want to help them obtain employment.
Welcome.US provides an entire checklist of steps to take in order to help refugees obtain a great start here in the United States.
If you don’t have the funds or ability to be a sponsor on your own, you may be able to join a volunteer group or sponsorship circle that pools resources in order to help refugees.
If you are planning on sponsoring a Ukrainian family, then working closely with an immigration lawyer who can help you manage both your applications and theirs can help smooth the process for both parties.
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