Protecting vulnerable people and their families lays at the heart of immigration law. Perhaps nowhere is this more so in the case of refugees. The process of immigration can be intimidating and legally complex for anyone. But dangerous situations necessitating refugee solutions can be particularly stressful. Here are some of the main available options for a Ukrainian refugee seeking immigration to the U.S.
- U.S. Refugee Admissions Program The Biden Administration has authorized up to 100,000 Ukrainians to enter the United States. Time is of the essence for anyone trying to obtain one of these spots.
- Petition for Alien Relatives There may be additional legal avenues for Ukrainians who already have family members in the United States. Be sure to inform your attorney of any family members and their immigration status when evaluating your case and possible additional visas you may qualify for.
- B-2 Visitor Visa If you are a Ukrainian who has relocated to another country, you may still petition to come to the U.S. for visiting purposes.
- Employment Authorization Documents If you are a Ukrainian with employment or potential employment in the U.S., this can greatly promote your immigration prospects.
- Temporary Protected Status Ukrainians who are already in the United States may file for Temporary Protected Status, which was extended for 18 months beginning on March 3, 2022, by the Department of Homeland Defense (DHS).
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) The majority of Ukrainian refugees are women and children. While not available to everyone, individuals facing qualifying threats or abuse may have additional statutory protections and avenues for immigration.
- Technically Not Refugees One limitation that would-be Ukrainian immigrants should be aware of is that certain avenues are not available because refugees generally must be fleeing from the oppression of their own government. As Russia, a foreign country is the instigator of the massive Ukrainian movement – the largest in Europe since World War Two – there are certain avenues not available to traditional refugees.
- However, there is hope. An Asylum application can be submitted by individuals, including Ukrainians, who have individual fears of persecution – this can be based on membership in a protected or otherwise vulnerable class.
Many people around the world now find themselves in such stressful situations. Fortunately, there are many available options for Ukrainians to immigrate to the United States. If you are a Ukrainian refugee, we would love to speak with you regarding your specific case.