More than 4,000 applications have been filed to sponsor Ukrainians seeking to come to the United States within 48 hours of the Biden administration launching its streamlined process for those fleeing war-torn Ukraine, a spokesperson for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services told CNN.
On Monday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security launched an online portal as part of its “Uniting for Ukraine” process. The humanitarian parole program requires Ukrainians seeking entry to the US to be sponsored by a US citizen or individual, which would include resettlement organizations and non-profit organizations.
“Since the portal went live, USCIS has received more than 4,000 requests (Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support) from applicants agreeing to support Ukrainian citizens or their immediate family members as part of the Uniting for Ukraine process,” Matthew Bourke, a USCIS spokesman, told CNN.
Ukrainian applicants will 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 Feb. 11.
Sponsors 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 is administering the program. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas encouraged Ukrainians to use the streamlined process instead of journeying to the US-Mexico border.