The White House has recently announced a new program to allow companies, non-profit organizations, and even individuals to sponsor Ukrainian nationals for entry into the United States. In addition to Temporary Protected Status and an expected increase in H-2B visas which are expected to include a number of Ukrainians, the Uniting for Ukrainian program will offer employers several options to employ Ukrainian workers.
Under the newly announced Uniting for Ukraine program, the Department of Homeland Security is permitting sponsorship of Ukrainian nationals in addition to existing visa and refugee options. This will allow a streamlined alternative to existing options and is intended to remove the need to enter the U.S. through the Mexican border.
The DHS will accept applications to sponsor Ukrainian citizens from any U.S.-based individual or organization, and acceptance will be contingent upon a background check to prevent trafficking, abuse, or exploitation. Learn More
Submission of proof that the applicant can provide financial support for the sponsored Ukrainian is also necessary.
Those eligible to be sponsored will include those who have resided in Ukraine as of February 11th, 2022. They also must meet certain public health requirements, undergo biometric screening, and a security vetting process. Once approved through the process, Ukrainians will be allowed to travel into the U.S and be considered for parole for an up to two-year period. If paroled, the Ukrainian will be eligible to receive work authorization.
Due to the ability to receive work authorization through the program without any pre-existing links to the individual being sponsored, the program can be an excellent option for organizations looking to expand their talent base during the current talent shortage.
For Ukrainians already in the U.S, the new program will not apply. However, the DHS has announced that Ukraine is designated for TPS status, which will allow many Ukrainians who are already present in the country to remain regardless of their visa status and even benefit from a work permit. Finally, with the expedited addition of 35,000 H-2B visas, a number of which are expected to go to Ukrainian citizens, employers will have the opportunity to help Ukrainians that need work to support their families during this difficult time.
For those employers who do hire Ukrainians, you will need to complete Form I-9. This can be complicated, and it is easy to make mistakes, which could result in fines or other penalties. The best way to avoid these problems is by using an electronic I-9 management tool. This tool can guide you through the process of completing Form I-9 and securely store the form. The I-9 management tool also makes it easy to access the I-9s when needed.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.