The Department of State (DOS), which heads all U.S. embassies worldwide, recently shared the information below for Ukrainian national regarding various U.S. visa procedures:
- Nonimmigrant visa for temporary stays in the U.S. Other than sponsored work visas, most nonimmigrant visas require proof that an applicant will return to their home country. They are not “the appropriate tool to begin an immigrant, refugee, or resettlement process.” Visitor visa, student visa, and exchange visitor applicants must prove they intend to leave the U.S. as required.
- Immigrant visas for those who intend to live and/or work permanently in the U.S. In most cases, an approved petition by a U.S .employer or relative is required. If the applicant has an approved I-130 relative petition, the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany is now the designated immigrant visa processing location for all applicants, except adoption related cases. If an applicant has not yet received an appointment date, they can request expedited case processing from the National Visa Center (NVC).
- COVID-19 entry requirements. Certain persons from Ukraine may travel to the US without pre-departure COVID-19 testing until April 1.
- Humanitarian Parole. If approved, allows an individual to be in the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. This option is temporary and does replace the visa process nor does it lead to permanent status in the U.S. Any one in the U.S. can apply for humanitarian parole on behalf of a foreign nation. Applications for humanitarian parole or processed by the USCIS.
- Refugee. Nearly all refugee cases are handled by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). There is no process to apply for refugee status in the U.S. Rather, applicants should contact the UNHCR or other local refugee agency in their country of current residence. USAID also has information for Ukrainian refugees as well as other refugees.
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033 or complete our contact form.