Ukrainian Arrivals through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a permanent resettlement pathway to the United States managed by the Department of State. The USRAP accepts referrals from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), U.S. Embassies, and certified NGOs, for individuals across refugee populations determined to be the most vulnerable and in need of the protection provided by third-country resettlement. Refugee processing through the USRAP is a multi-step process which includes pre-screening, an interview with a DHS/USCIS officer, security screening and vetting, a medical exam, assignment to a resettlement agency, completion of case documentation, and arrangements for travel to the United States.
The Lautenberg Program
Resettlement from Ukraine to the United States over the last three decades has primarily been accomplished through the Lautenberg Program, which allows members of certain religious minority groups from the Former Soviet Union to reunite with family members in the United States through the USRAP. U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) can sponsor a family member through the Lautenberg Program. A qualifying relationship for the program is defined as spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren.
More than 14,000 Ukrainian nationals have been resettled in the United States under the USRAP Lautenberg Program since FY 2018.
Lautenberg Program operations were based out of our Resettlement Support Center (RSC) in Kyiv, Ukraine until the conflict necessitated staff relocate to our RSC sub-offices in Chisinau, Moldova and Warsaw, Poland. We continue to process Lautenberg Program applicants who are located throughout Eurasia from these platforms. We conduct case processing activities with applicants wherever they are located throughout Eurasia from these hubs.
Refugee resettlement is a permanent durable solution for individuals with humanitarian protection needs. Recognizing that many Ukrainian citizens want to stay close to home, and to return home when it is safe to do so, permanent refugee resettlement to the United States through the USRAP may not be the best option for all those seeking protection. Individuals who are interested in coming to the United States temporarily should review the information about Uniting for Ukraine below.
Humanitarian Parole through Uniting for Ukraine
Uniting for Ukraine provides a parole pathway for Ukrainian citizens forced to flee their homes as a result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Individuals granted parole through Uniting for Ukraine will be able to travel to and stay in the United States for up to two years.
Uniting for Ukraine opened for registration on April 25, 2022 and is managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We refer you to DHS and the website for more information on the requirements and benefits of this program.
Due to expanded flexibilities authorized by USCIS, consular sections worldwide may accept immigrant visa petitions filed locally for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens when the U.S. citizen is present in the consular district and affected by the large-scale disruptive events in Ukraine. Also, U.S. diplomatic and consular posts with large numbers of Ukrainian citizens present in the country, are increasing, to the extent possible, the number of nonimmigrant visa appointments and ensuring there is an expedited visa appointment program for individuals with humanitarian, medical, or other extraordinary circumstances to get priority access.
Current instructions on appointment scheduling along with details on availability and processing are available on the website of each embassy and consulate, a full list of which is available on the U.S. Embassy online search website.
Information on local filing can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.