How individuals can sponsor a Ukrainian refugee family through North America for Ukraine
North America for Ukraine is bridging the gap for resettlement support in the United States & Canada. NA4U is working to provide assistance with the immigration process, host matching, employment opportunities and general resources. It is their goal to support Ukrainians through the entire process of resettlement. The Uniting for Ukraine program is simply an expedited Humanitarian Parole. For more information please follow their Facebook group.
If you’re interested in sponsoring a Ukrainian individual or family, please start here with this form to be matched with Ukrainians that fit your criteria:
Important Information Before Making a Decision
Employment Status: The Uniting for Ukraine program will not provide immediate access to those who need/want to work. Ukrainians will need to apply for a work permit in a separate process. This length is unknown. Individuals paroled into the US pursuant to this process may request authorization to work by filing form I-765, application for employment authorization, with US Citizenship & Immigration services. https://www.uscis.gov/i-765
Requirements for Ukrainians: Individuals who seek authorization to travel to the United States via the United for Ukraine program will need to confirm prior vaccination against: Measles, Polio, and COVID19. If not previously vaccinated individuals will need to receive the first dose of required vaccines prior to traveling to the United States. Ukrainian citizens will need to meet other travel requirements as outlined by the CDC, including pre-departure testing for COVID19.
If you are still interested in needing help finding a Sponsor or assistance with resettlement support please continue to fill out the form HERE. In the very first section where it asks for your “First and Last Name” be sure to write “WNSTL” so they know that you are apart of our group in St. Louis and can help pair people and resources together in our area.
After you fill out the form, here is what you can expect as the next steps:
1) You will identify one or more persons to sponsor with assistance from North America for Ukraine. They will start by describing the family’s needs to you and sending photos. Upon your approval of an initial meeting, they will connect you to start communication via messaging. North America for Ukraine completes the background checks and provides the support through the matching process. After the chatting, NA4U will do a video call with both parties present to check ID, check living conditions, and have both parties get to know each other. NA4U has translators available during these calls.
2) Once both you and your sponsoring family agree on the match, complete the I-134 form and submit it to USCIS. You will be asked to provide financial information, bank statements, and tax returns. You will be asked how you can provide housing and groceries for the newly arriving family because they will not receive work authorization for up to six months. (It is always a good idea to work with a group to create a plan for housing, grocery gift cards, and one-on-one support to fill out the required paperwork when they arrive.)
3) Await government approval. Getting approved with the sponsor side 2-5 days. You have to login to see if your application has been approved. You will not receive an email notification.
4) Beneficiary (the Ukrainian family you are sponsoring) completes their part of paperwork online.
5) Await travel authorization.
6) Make travel arrangements with your sponsored family (no funds available and this is an agreement between the sponsor and the refugee family. If you do purchase plane tickets, it is advised to never send money and book the travel arrangements yourself).
7) Pick up your sponsored family from the airport on their arrival date.
The process described above can take anywhere from 15-60 days. Yes, that is correct!
What to Expect Once Your Family Arrives:
- You will need to apply for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, TANF, Work Authorization, and Social Security Number as soon as possible.
- Work Authorization can take 4-6 months for approval.
- Each member of your sponsored family will need to take a required physical once they arrive.
- Schedule an appointment at (AFFINIA OR COUNTY HEALTH DEPT) to receive TB Blood test that must be submitted to the federal government via their portal.
Things You WIll Need to Do:
- Provide education on thermostats, microwaves, other devices. They are different in Ukraine.
- Re-education about finances. $1,000 is not enough to live off of to get an apartment. Then there is food, ac, electric, gas, water, trash, etc. Many people may not realize just how expensive it is to live on your own in St. Louis.