USCIS Announces Re-Parole for Ukrainian Nationals in the U.S.

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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an important update regarding re-parole for Ukrainian nationals and their close relatives residing in the United States. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned New York City immigration lawyer from the Lightman Law Firm to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What Does the New USCIS Announcement Entail?

As of February 27, 2024, Ukrainians and their immediate family members in the U.S. are presented with the option to seek re-parole. This initiative aims to provide them with a temporary extension of their stay in the country, beyond the duration of their original parole. This measure is especially pertinent for those who arrived in the U.S. subsequent to February 11, 2022, amidst the intensification of the conflict in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.

This extension of parole is a response to the persistent severe situation in Ukraine, underscoring the ongoing necessity for humanitarian assistance. The USCIS will assess these applications for re-parole individually, with a focus on either urgent humanitarian requirements or the substantial public interest.

Who is Eligible for Re-Parole?

To qualify for the re-parole initiative, applicants must meet several specific requirements:

  • They must be a Ukrainian national or an immediate family member of one, who was paroled into the U.S. post-February 11, 2022.
  • They must currently reside in the U.S. under parole status.
  • Adherence to the terms of the original parole.
  • Successful completion of biographic and biometric vetting.
  • Proof of ongoing urgent humanitarian needs or significant public benefit justifying a new parole period.

For consideration, candidates must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with all required documentation and the appropriate fees or fee waiver requests.

How Can Applicants Apply for Re-Parole?

USCIS provides two pathways for re-parole application submissions: digitally and through postal mail. The agency recommends digital submissions to expedite the process and reduce typical paperwork errors like missing signatures or incomplete forms. Online applicants also enjoy the advantage of instant updates and access to their case files.

For applicants who need to request a fee waiver and therefore cannot apply online, mailing paper applications is an accepted alternative. It’s important for these applications to be clearly labeled with “Ukraine RE-PAROLE” to ensure they are processed correctly.

Employment Authorization: What Comes Next?

Following the approval of their re-parole, Ukrainian nationals may proceed to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting Form I-765. This is an important step for those wishing to secure lawful employment in the U.S. during their extended stay. It is crucial, however, to wait for re-parole approval before applying to avoid the risk of application denial and the forfeiture of application fees.