Uniting for Ukraine (U4U)


On April 25, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced Uniting for Ukraine – a new program for allowing Ukrainians fleeing from the war to enter the United States on humanitarian parole. 

Humanitarian parole is permission to enter the United States for humanitarian reasons, such as war. Humanitarian parole allows you to stay legally in the U.S. for the designated time period. With this status, you can are authorized to work, and your children can attend school.

Uniting for Ukraine sets up a process for Ukrainian nationals who have been displaced by Russia’s aggression to apply for lawful entry into the United States. 

First, a U.S.-based supporter must apply to the U.S. government pledging support for a Ukrainian national or family the supporter wants to invite to the U.S. Then, if the supporter’s application is sufficient, the Ukrainian beneficiaries may be allowed to arrive in the United States on humanitarian parole for a period of up to two years.

Who is Eligible for Uniting for Ukraine

To be eligible for entry into the U.S., a person must:

  • Be a citizen of Ukraine and possess a valid Ukrainian passport (or be a child included in the parent’s passport);
    • A Ukrainian citizen may bring along a spouse or common-law partner and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are not Ukrainian citizens;
  • Have resided in Ukraine immediately prior to the Russian invasion, through Feb. 11, 2022, and have been displaced as a result of the invasion;
  • Have a supporter who filed a Form I-134A on their behalf that has been vetted and approved by the immigration service;
  • Clear biographic security checks.
Сhildren under the age of 18 must be traveling to the United States in the care and custody of their parent or legal guardian who is a citizen of Ukraine. Unaccompanied minors will not be admitted.

Who Can Be a Supporter

Any individual who has a lawful status in the United States, who has passed security and background vetting and who demonstrated sufficient financial resources to receive and support the Ukrainian beneficiaries throughout the duration of their stay in the U.S. may become a supporter. This can be a U.S. citizen, a green card holder, an asylee, a TPS holder, a person on humanitarian parole (including arrivals under Uniting for Ukraine) or a person on a long-term visa.

Supporting a Ukrainian beneficiary is a serious responsibility. The supporter pledges to the U.S. government that he or she is prepared to:

  • Receive the Ukrainian beneficiary upon their arrival in the U.S. and transport them to initial housing;
  • Ensure that the beneficiary has safe and appropriate housing for the duration of their parole and initial basic necessities;
  • As appropriate, help the beneficiary complete necessary paperwork for employment authorization, for a Social Security card, and other services;
  • Ensure that the beneficiary’s health care and medical needs are met for the duration of the parole; and
  • As appropriate, assist the beneficiary with accessing education, learning English, securing employment and enrolling children in school.

Where to Find a Supporter

Most Ukrainians applying for Uniting for Ukraine intend to stay with their relatives or close friends in the U.S. who act as supporters and sign form I-134A. Inquire within distant family, friends, family friends or other people you may know in the United Sates. Personal connections are always the best and most reliable way to find a supporter.

If you do not have anyone in the U.S. who can be your supporter, you can search for a good Samaritan willing to be a supporter on the resources listed below. 

How to Increase Your Chances of Finding a Supporter

If you have to resort to social media to find a supporter, follow these tips to increase your chances:

Americans sympathizing with Ukraine are generally more reliable supporters than Ukrainians or Russians who live in America. Americans are less likely to be scammers. Focus on resources frequented by Americans (English-speaking Facebook groups, message boards, groups relating to your hobby or interest, etc.).

Make your Facebook profile public. Potential supporters will want to see Facebook history proving that you are a Ukrainian who lived in Ukraine before the war.

Write in English. Although Facebook auto-translates entries in Ukrainian or Russian into English, the translation is often subpar and creates an impression of a language barrier between you and the potential supporter. If your English is bad, find someone who can proofread the entry for you or use a professional translation service.

Include one or more photos! People scroll past social media posts that do not have pictures. Include photos reflecting your current dire situation, rather than photos of your vacation from before the war.

Explain in your message:

  • What city in Ukraine you are from.
  • Where you are now.
  • Why you cannot stay in Ukraine or the country you are currently in.
    • Yes, there is war in Ukraine, but many Americans do not follow it closely and do not understand which regions of Ukraine are dangerous and which are not. They also think Europe and Canada provide more support to refugees and are better choices. You need to convince them that for you, the U.S. is the best option. If you are scared to stay home or struggle in the country you ended up in, don’t be shy to explain it.
  • Why you need to come to the U.S.
    • A family that you want to reunite with that cannot be your supporter. A job offer. Knowledge of English language. Unique medical treatment unavailable in other countries. A business idea that will take America to the next level. Whatever makes it critical for you to be in the U.S. as opposed to any other country – you need to explain it. If you do not have any compelling reason to move to the U.S., think twice whether you need to do it. Life in the U.S. is generally more expensive than in Europe or Canada, with lesser social support and fewer immigration options.
  • How you are going to support yourself in the U.S. and what help you need from your supporter.
    • U.S. is an expensive country with poor social support. Upon arrival, you are expected to find a job quickly, rent your own housing and buy a car (access to public transport is subpar in most cities). The budget to be self-sufficient upon arrival is $10,000-30,000, depending on the state you are moving to and your family size. If you have that amount in savings, your message needs to convey that you have means to support yourself and do not expect financial help from your supporter. If your family is supporting you, mention that. If you have no means to support yourself and need the help of your supporter, state that outright. Many Americans are willing to provide room and board to beneficiaries, but it is important to set the right expectations.
  • Your roadmap to self-sufficiency.
    • You also need to outline a roadmap to how you are going to become self-sufficient, so that your supporter does not feel like they will have to support you forever. Do you plan to start a business in the U.S.? A profession you will engage in? A license you will obtain? Explain it, and more importantly, plan it out. The most compelling message is one that creates and impression that the help you are seeking from your supporter (whether it is form I-134A only, or help with housing and resettlement) is the only missing step that separates you from getting your life back on track.

Once you’ve composed your message, re-read it as if it were written by a stranger from another country. Does it make you want to help that person? Does it provide enough information to understand their situation and trust them? If not, re-write it.

Mind your safety! Before giving away your passport details and accepting any offers of housing and/or a job, make sure the supporter is trustworthy, and the offer is legitimate.

It does not cost any money for the supporter to file the form. If the supporter asks you for money in exchange for filing I-134A, this is likely a scam!

Do not accept offers to smuggle a non-Ukrainian person into the U.S. pretending to be your spouse or common-law partner. You both will end be detained at the border and put in removal with a subsequent ban on entry.
Keep in mind that a supporter is not obligated to provide you with housing or help you financially even if they promised to do so! Prepare to be responsible for your own living arrangements and finances. Have a Plan B if your relationship with your supporter falls apart – this happens often!

Watch this video to prepare for your travel to the U.S (in Ukrainian):

The Application Process

The Supporter’s Application (Form I-134A)

To start an application, the supporter must fill out online a separate Form I-134A, Declaration of Financial Support, for each beneficiary they are applying for (including each child). The supporter will then be vetted by the U.S. government to ensure that he or she is able to support the Ukrainian beneficiary. The program contemplates that a group of people or an organization may back an I-134A application; however, a natural person must sign the form. 

On the form, the supporter must indicate not only their own, but also the beneficiary’s information, including the beneficiary’s name, email (one per family is sufficient), current address, passport information, income and assets. However, documents proving this information need not be attached, therefore it is unnecessary for the beneficiary to provide copies of their passports or financial records to the supporter.

If you are the beneficiary, make sure the passport information and email address you provide to your supporter are correct! Provide this information in an email and ask your supporter to copy and paste it into form I-134A to avoid typos. If your passport number or email address contain typos, you will not be able to complete the application process, and your supporter may have to start it all over again.

Form I-134A must be supported by evidence of the supporter’s financial sufficiency, including the latest tax return or other proof of income, a letter proving employment, bank statements showing assets, proof of other types of liquid assets, and information about existing dependents and their income contribution.

Webinar in English about how the supporter should fill out form I-134A
When applying for a family that includes non-Ukrainian citizens, the supporter must first fill out form I-134A for an adult who is a Ukrainian citizen. Then, fill out the form for that person’s spouse and/or children who are not Ukrainian citizens and state in their respective applications that they are immediate family members of a Ukrainian citizen, indicating that person’s IOE application receipt number.

It may take USCIS up to three months to review form I-134A and issue a decision. If USCIS is satisfied with the supporter’s I-134A application, it will send a CONFIRM Notice to the Ukrainian beneficiary by email. If the supporter’s application is found insufficient, the beneficiary will receive a NON CONFIRM Notice.

The Beneficiary’s Attestations

If the supporter’s application is confirmed, USCIS will email to the beneficiary instructions on creating an online account at the USCIS website. It is enough to create one online account for the head of the family and add his or her spouse and children in a “travel group” in that person’s account.

The beneficiary then must verify their biographic information and fill out an attestation that they have completed vaccine requirements or are eligible for an exception to vaccine requirements for measles, polio, and the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Proof of vaccination is unnecessary. If the beneficiary is unable to complete polio and COVID-19 vaccinations before arrival, these vaccines can be completed after the arrival in the United States. 

Children under 18 years old, as well as non-Ukrainian spouses and children MUST be added to the travel group of an adult Ukrainian citizen, who must then complete their vaccine attestations for them. They will not be able to complete their own attestations!

If there are non-Ukrainian family members in the travel group, attach a letter of explanation along with a proof of family relation and proof that the family lived in Ukraine before the war. Mixed-passport families often receive denials under Uniting for Ukraine, so make your case as compelling as possible!

After the attestations for the travel group have been submitted, the travel authorization decision for each member of the travel group will be posted in the Notices section of the USCIS case. It may take USICS up to several weeks to post the decisions. Non-Ukrainian family members typically wait longer.

Once your family has received all travel authorizations, print them – you will need them to board the flight and pass the U.S. passport control.

Upon Arrival in the United States

TB Test

Within 90 days of arrival, each beneficiary over 2 years old must undergo a tuberculosis blood test called QuantiFERON TB or IGRA.

  • You can obtain a TB test at your primary care office, a refugee clinic, a state health department clinic, or a diagnostic laboratory (such as Quest or LabCorp). If you need a doctor’s referral, you can obtain it from your primary care physician under your Medicaid or RMA insurance.
  • The test may be covered by your insurance. If you do not have health insurance, a test will cost between $80 and $200. Lower-cost tests may be available at community clinics near you.
  • Keep the test results for your records. You must submit an attestation that you have completed the test to USCIS and indicate your result.
  • If your result comes back positive, you will be required to submit to an x-ray and possibly undergo a prophylactic treatment.


Within 90 days of arrival, each beneficiary over 6 weeks old must obtain the missing polio vaccine and each beneficiary over 6 months old must obtain the missing COVID-19 vaccine if they were not vaccinated prior to arrival.

  • Vaccinations are covered by Medicaid or RMA health insurance which you can obtain upon arrival. Once you get your insurance card number, see your primary care physician and get a referral for a vaccine.
  • If you do not have health insurance, vaccinations are available at refugee clinics, state health department clinics and community clinics. See the Medical and Psychological Aid section to find a clinic near you.
  • Vaccinations can also be obtained at a local retail pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, etc.).
    • Covid-19 vaccinations are free regardless of whether you have insurance

Obtaining U.S. Documents

Upon arrival, you will need to promptly apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a state ID or driver’s license. You will also need to open a bank account. See Documents section for more information on how to do that.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Supporters
For Beneficiaries

Will the Uniting for Ukraine program end any time soon?

The U.S. government has not announced when the program will end or how many arrivals will be accepted under the program. It is expected that the program will end with the end of the war in Ukraine.

Can Ukrainians apply for Uniting for Ukraine if they are already in the U.S.?

Uniting for Ukraine program is only for people outside of the United States who want to come to the U.S. If you are already inside the U.S., you may be eligible for other immigration options. Consult an immigration attorney.

What to do if an application I-134A was denied?

The most likely reason for denial is the insufficient income of the supporter. The same supporter or a different supporter can apply again for the same beneficiary by filing a new form I-134A. The supporter and the beneficiary may need to jointly show additional resources to demonstrate enough financial support for the beneficiary. Occasionally, a supporter application may be denied because the supporter does not have an eligible immigration status.

What immigration status makes a person eligible to be a supporter?

To be eligible to support a beneficiary, you must be a U.S, citizen or have an approved status, such as U.S. permanent president, asylee, refugee, TPS holder, or humanitarian parolee. If you are awaiting a status (e.g. pending asylum or pending TPS), you cannot be a supporter.

What liability does a supporter have?

The supporter is not undertaking any legally-binding obligations by signing form I-134A, and thus cannot be sued for any expenses the beneficiary may incur while in the U.S. The purpose of form I-134A is to help make sure the beneficiary has a person to rely on in the U.S. for guidance as well as financial and housing support – to the extent the supporter agrees to provide it. By signing form I-134A, the supporter promises to “receive, maintain and support” the beneficiary to ensure that the beneficiary has financial resources to meet their basic necessities. Such “support” can (but does not have to) include direct financial support, as well as helping the beneficiary find employment or apply for welfare benefits the beneficiary is eligible for.

If you, as a supporter, are not comfortable with providing certain forms of support, do not pledge to provide them. State what you are willing to do.

Note: As of May 21, 2022, Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (AUSAA) makes Ukrainians admitted under the Uniting for Ukraine program eligible for refugee resettlement benefits, including cash assistance, food stamps and health insurance. See https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/orr/PL-22-13-Ukrainian-Humanitarian-Parolees-Eligible-for-ORR-Benefits-and-Services.pdf and https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/fact-sheet/benefits-ukrainian-humanitarian-parolees.

What is the likelihood of enforcement of my financial aid attestation?

Form I-134A is not legally binding. It is used by the government to make sure the Ukrainian arrival has a person to rely on for advice and support in the United States.

Supporters should not commit to anything that makes them uncomfortable.

Is the supporter responsible for healthcare costs and premiums of the beneficiary?

No. Depending on income, beneficiaries under Uniting for Ukraine may be eligible for government-funded Medicaid or RMA health insurance. The supporter’s income does not count towards the beneficiary’s eligibility for this insurance or other benefits. If the beneficiary’s income makes them ineligible for Medicaid/RMA, the beneficiary may purchase a private health plan on the health insurance marketplace.

What is the minimum income a supporter needs to show?

USCIS uses the Federal poverty guidelines to determine if a supporter can financially support the number of beneficiaries they are applying for. USCIS takes into account both the supporter’s household size and the household size of the beneficiaries. Example: a family of four (parents and two kids) that files form I-134A for two beneficiaries (a mother and a child) would need to show income of $40,280 sufficient for 6 persons.

How do I demonstrate my income? What if I’m self-employed?

Income is judged by your federal income tax return. If you filed a 1040 or a 1040A, use your total income reflected on the form as guidance. The easiest way to find this number is to use line 9 on your completed 1040 tax return. If you filed a 1040EZ, list your adjusted gross income under income. Attach your tax return to form I-134A.

Do I need to list all my financial assets?

If you meet the income requirements, you likely do not need to list assets. If you do not meet income requirements, do list all of your financial assets as USCIS will take these into account when determining your eligibility to be a supporter.

Can my friend / spouse / church etc. and I sponsor someone together?

Yes. Multiple supporters may join together to support one or more Ukrainian beneficiaries. In this case, the primary supporter (a natural person) must sign form I-134A. The co-supporter should prepare a letter explaining what responsibility they are undertaking and attach the letter with evidence of co-supporter’s resources to the same form I-134A. The letter needs to state the identity of the co-supporter, their relationship to the main supporter, their intent to share responsibility, and resources the co-supporter is willing to dedicate to the beneficiary’s support.

Do I need to fill out a separate I-134A for each beneficiary?

Yes, if you are applying for more than one beneficiary, you need to submit a separate form I-134A for each person, even a child.

Am I eligible for Uniting for Ukraine if I wasn’t in Ukraine right before the war?

Only people who resided in Ukraine right before the war are eligible. If you traveled temporarily, for work or pleasure, but your home was in Ukraine, you are eligible. But if you lived in another country before the war, and not simply visited it as a tourist or on business, you may not be admitted at the U.S. border. The Customs and Border patrol officer will examine your passport and may interview you about your prior residence. There are many known cases where people were denied entry for this reason and had to fly back.

I am Ukrainian but my spouse/common-law partner is not. Do we both qualify for Uniting for Ukraine?

Yes. But your spouse or partner will only be able to receive Travel Authorization if they are added to your travel group and you submit vaccination attestations for both of you at the same time. Do not submit your vaccination attestations until you both received supporter approvals and are added in the same travel group!

Provide evidence of a bona fide relationship, such as photos together, joint leases, joint bank accounts, birth certificates of common children, and proof that you resided in Ukraine before the war. Upload this evidence in the travel group and be prepared to show it at the border.

I am Ukrainian but my children are not. Can they come with me under Uniting for Ukraine?

Yes, if they are under 21 years old. Their supporter should indicate their relationship to you in the application forms, an you must add them to your travel group for vaccination attestations. Have the children’s translated birth certificates ready to prove the relation.

My children’s information is glued in my passport. Will they be admitted under Uniting for Ukraine?

Yes. If your children do not have passports of their own and are listed in your passport instead, they can still travel to the United States. Your supporter should indicate your passport number for each such child in their I-134A applications.

If a child travels with one parent, is written permission of the second parent required?


Can a child travel with a relative who is not their parent?

No. The child under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A legal guardian is a person appointed by the court when the parents are deceased or have given up their parental rights. A relative with a proxy form is not a legal guardian.

Can I bring my pet to the United States?

Yes, but you may need additional paperwork prepared in advance for your pet. For more information, see Traveling with Pets.

Do I need to provide copies of my passport and financial documents to the supporter?

No. The supporter needs your information such as your name, your date of birth, your passport number and expiration date, and information about your finances, but you can provide this information in a text or email without attaching copies of the documents. Do not provide photos of your documents to a supporter who is not your close friend or relative! Beware of identity theft!

How long is the wait-time for approval of form I-134A?

It varies from a few days to several weeks. If you’ve been waiting for a very long time, you can try applying again with the same or a different supporter.

I received a Travel Authorization valid for 90 days, but I need more time to prepare for travel. Can my Travel Authorization be extended?

Travel Authorization can be extended once for additional 90 days.

Your supporter must submit an extension request within the 30 days before or after your Travel Authorization’s expiration date by sending a message to USCIS through their USCIS online account (My Account > Inbox > New Message, select “A case already filed online” and enter receipt number for form I-134A). In the message, the supporter must state their continued interest in supporting you and request an extension of your travel authorization. You will receive a notification from USCIS when the decision is made.

What proof of vaccinations do I need under Uniting for Ukraine?

Under the Uniting for Ukraine program, you are not required to have any proof of vaccinations. You need to submit only an attestation that you have received the necessary vaccines. However, it’s a good idea to have your vaccination records intact for several reasons:

  • An airline may ask for your proof of the COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Your children will be required to provide vaccination records at school;
  • If you ever become eligible for a green card, you will need to submit a vaccination record to USCIS.

If you or your children do not have their vaccination records, you will be able to receive the vaccines in the U.S. or restore your vaccination history by blood antibody tests.

Can I take my medicine with me to the United States?

Yes. Medicine for personal use is allowed and should not cause any problem. If you take any essential medication, bring several months’ supply with you as it may take time to apply for health insurance and get a new prescription in the U.S.

Can I fly to a different state than that where my supporter lives?

Yes. You are not required to live in the same state as your supporter. Be prepared to provide your address of stay at the border – if you do not have permanent housing secured, this can be a motel or Airbnb.

What documents will I be asked to present at the border?

You will have to show your passport, Travel Authorization and provide the address of your stay in the U.S. It is a good idea to also have the address and phone number of your supporter handy.

Are there religious or viewpoint exemptions for vaccination and TB testing requirements?​

No. Follow all requirements of Uniting for Ukraine. If you fail to meet vaccination and testing requirements, you may have issues in the future when seeking employment, pursuing education, or applying for a change of status.

What assistance can I count on in the United States?

Ukrainians arriving under Uniting for Ukraine are entitled to limited welfare assistance, such as free health insurance, food money and some cash assistance for basic necessities. See Welfare Aid for more info. You will also be permitted to work and are encouraged to get employed as soon as possible.

Be mindful that housing assistance could be very limited (see Housing for more info), and the cash assistance you may receive will not be enough to rent an apartment or even a room. You need to have sufficient savings to rent short-term housing for your family for the first few months until you find a stable job. If your relatives, friends or supporter offer you housing, have a plan B if the relationship sours and they ask you to move out!

Am I eligible for a green card after arriving under Uniting for Ukraine?

Generally, no. Uniting for Ukraine is meant to be a temporary program to allow people to escape the war. However, some people may be eligible for an adjustment of status based on personal circumstances such as:

  • an application for asylum based on personal persecution in Ukraine;
  • marriage to a U.S. citizen or green card holder; or
  • re-uniting with close relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

To find out if any of these options are available to you, speak with an immigration attorney.

Can I apply for asylum after arriving under Uniting for Ukraine?

Yes. However, the United States grants asylum only to those applicants who are personally persecuted by the government in their country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, or experienced torture. Fleeing war is generally not a reason for asylum.

What if I need to depart the United States temporarily or permanently?

Generally, admission under Uniting for Ukraine is a one-time admission. You may leave the United States at any time, but you will not be allowed back under your original Travel Authorization, and you will likely be denied a new one.

If you have emergency reasons for temporary travel, such as illness or death of a close relative, you must first obtain a permission to return from USCIS called advance parole. You will need to provide evidence of the emergency such as proof of your relationship to the person and any medical or coroner records.