President Joe Biden speaks about the war in Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
CNN  — 

President Joe Biden said Ukrainians fleeing violence don’t need to try and enter the United States through the southern border because they now have access to a special visa system.

“We have made a direct means by which they can get from Europe, from Ukraine directly to the United States, without going to the southern border,” Biden said at the White House after a speech unveiling new aid to Ukraine.

Biden announced last week a new system allowing Ukrainian refugees to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds. They require a sponsor inside the US to be eligible.

The program, called “Uniting for Ukraine,” will provide a streamlined process for Ukrainian refugees seeking to come to the US.

The Ukrainian applicants will need to undergo rigorous security vetting and checks, including biographic and biometric screening, and complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, including receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, to be eligible. Ukrainians must have also been residents in Ukraine as of February 11.

Sponsors would need to pass security background checks of their own as well as declare financial support. There is not a limit on the number of individuals that a person or group can sponsor, but administration officials noted they’ll be evaluating their means and ability to support Ukrainians. The Department of Homeland Security will administer the program.

Individuals could begin submitting applications through an online portal on April 25.