Be a Welcomer

Ready to sponsor? Need more information? Sign up now to get more information about sponsorship and be matched with a Ukrainian seeking refuge when the opportunity becomes available.


Uniting for Ukraine:
What You Need to Know

The U.S. government has now announced Uniting for Ukraine, an entry program for people fleeing Ukraine who are seeking refuge in the United States. Read below to learn more, and make sure to sign up to be notified as this information is updated.

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As a sponsor, what kinds of day-to-day support will I help provide to an arriving family?

Sponsors help by making sure the individual or family they are sponsoring has the resources they need to start a new life in the United States – including meeting newcomers at the airport and providing initial transport, finding housing, setting up their new home with furniture, acquiring household supplies, clothing, and groceries, and helping identify a healthcare provider, find employment, and enroll kids in school, including by connecting families to local public health agencies for age-appropriate vaccinations, if necessary.

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That sounds like a lot, do I need to do it by myself? And does it cost a lot of money?

Great question! Sponsors often work in groups with other neighbors, friends, colleagues, or members of a community or faith-based organization. There are lots of reasons to think about getting friends and family to help - it makes the work easier, can be deeply rewarding and helps the arriving family know more people in the community. Additionally, sponsorship carries with it some basic financial responsibilities, and while there is no specifically required amount, you and your group should plan to raise several thousand dollars to help the family you are supporting get settled.
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Where can I find support if I decide to sponsor?

Our national and local partners are preparing to support a nation of welcomers just like you. These organizations will offer information, encouragement and support to help you be a good sponsor so that you can offer the same to the family you sponsor.

Sponsoring Ukrainians is a new opportunity and many organizations are expanding their programs now to take on this new mission. We will share information about organizations in your community that are supporting sponsors as soon as that information is available.

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I am very interested, what do I need to know about the specific Unite for Ukraine program?

Great. Here are the basics :

Sponsors can be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or other lawfully present individuals. Sponsors may apply as individuals, as a group, or as a representative of a non-governmental agency (such as a non-profit, educational institution, or employer). You do not need to be related to a Ukrainian to apply to be a sponsor. Sponsors must be approved by the U.S. government, including the successful completion of security vetting and demonstration of financial resources available to support the newcomer.

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How much does it cost to sponsor a Ukrainian through Uniting for Ukraine?

There is no fee for filing the paperwork to support a Ukrainian. However, sponsorship carries with it some basic financial responsibilities. As part of the application process, you will sign a Declaration of Financial Support form in which you assure the U.S. government that the Ukranians you seek to sponsor will be financially supported while in the United States if needed. While there is no specific required amount, you and your group should plan to raise at least $3000 for each person sponsored to help the family you are supporting get settled in the first 90 days after their arrival in the United States.
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How do I apply to sponsor a Ukrainian through Uniting for Ukraine?

Here are the important links to the U.S. government documents to review and complete:

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It looks like I need to know or have the name of a Ukrainian that I want to sponsor before I can complete the forms. If I am not in contact with a Ukrainian seeking refuge, but would be willing to serve as a sponsor, where do I start?

In some cases, you can be matched with someone fleeing Ukraine who needs support through organizations serving those seeking refuge from Ukraine, including Ukrainian American and other service organizations here in the United States.

Make sure to sign up to receive more details as they become available, and we will connect you with organizations looking for potential sponsors. Signing up for updates from Welcome.US ensures that you receive information that can facilitate and support your sponsorship application and efforts, including tools that foster your ability to join forces with other members of your community to form sponsor groups.

There are many organizations and volunteers working to welcome newcomers and serve individuals supporting them with daily needs. These acts of welcome can range from tutoring on language skills, to supporting mothers and children, to serving as a guide to life in a new city or town. National and local partners are preparing to support a nation of welcomers to offer safety, sanctuary and new opportunities to those fleeing the war in Ukraine and coming to the United States. Sign up to receive more details as they become available, and we will connect you with organizations looking for support and volunteers.

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What happens after I apply to be a sponsor?

The U.S. government is solely responsible for approving sponsor applications. The process includes vital steps to ensure the safety and protection of Ukrainians and sponsor applicants, including background checks and review of your ability to provide initial financial support.

Some applications may move more quickly than others, depending on application-specific information. While your application is processing, we encourage you to connect with national and local organizations who are dedicating resources and expertise to help you in your journey. We also encourage you to learn about the benefits that may be available to individuals granted humanitarian parole in your state, such as health insurance plans through state or federal exchanges, and to review the obligations sponsors have under the Uniting for Ukraine program on the United States Citizenship and Immigration website, found here.

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What happens after someone fleeing the war in Ukraine applies to come to the United States through the Uniting for Ukraine program?

The federal government will review the application of all potential beneficiaries as part of the approval process and conduct necessary background and security checks. Once the application is approved, beneficiaries will receive travel authorization for travel to the United States. Beneficiaires will be responsible for arranging their own flights and other transportation. Sign up here to be connected to Welcome.US resources that may be able to help. Additional biometric screening will be conducted at the port of entry to the United States. As each application will be assessed individually, beneficiaries are encouraged to submit an email address or mobile number as part of the application to ensure timely submission of any additional information needed by the federal government to process the application.
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I am not sure if I can be a sponsor, but I want to help. What can I do?

Thank you so much for your interest - and there is so much you can do!

Welcoming, at any level, helps newcomers thrive here in the United States and ensures that they are able to unlock their full potential and contribute to our shared prosperity.

One of the most critical factors for newcomers’ success is feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion in their new community. So no act of welcome is too small.

There are many organizations and volunteers working to welcome newcomers and serve individuals supporting them with daily needs. These acts of welcome can range from tutoring on language skills, to supporting mothers and children, to serving as a guide to life in a new city or town. National and local partners are preparing to support a nation of welcomers to offer safety, sanctuary and new opportunities to those fleeing the war in Ukraine and coming to the United States. sign up for updates on opportunities to be a welcomer as they become available, and explore our site for all of the ways you can help right now whether donating money, housing, miles, or volunteering.

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Why do the U.S. Government materials say “Supporter” not sponsor? Are they the same thing?

On this website and in all of the tutorials and other material provided by Welcome.US, a sponsor refers to the U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other lawfully present individual who steps up to make it possible for an individual or family fleeing the war in Ukraine to seek refuge in the United States. In the U.S. Government documents, the sponsor is referred to as the “Supporter” to distinguish it from other forms of immigration sponsorship.
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I hear that Ukrainians will come to the U.S. through something called humanitarian parole. What does that mean?

Humanitarian parole allows individuals in urgent need of refuge to enter the United States. Under Uniting for Ukraine, beneficiaries can stay in the U.S. legally for up to two years. Individuals who are granted humanitarian parole will be eligible to apply for work authorization but may not be eligible for certain public benefits or benefits conferred to those that arrive under refugee status due to the temporary nature of humanitarian parole. The fees typically required to file for humanitarian parole have been waived under Uniting for Ukraine, meaning sponsors (or beneficiaries) do not have to pay any fees to the federal government.
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What types of government assistance might Ukrainians on humanitarian parole be eligible for?

Eligibility for government programs depends on a variety of factors, including income level and household composition. As a result, eligibility is often determined through an application process, which sponsors can help newcomers navigate.

However, federal government programs that humanitarian parolees may be eligible for include:

  • Emergency Medicaid, which provides healthcare coverage in the event of a life-threatening event
  • Affordable Care Act health insurance plans
  • Low-cost healthcare services at community healthcare centers and school-based clinics
  • Vaccinations and other health screenings at local public health departments
  • Head Start programs for youth; public school enrollment and associated services, such as free and reduced lunch
  • SNAP benefits for children under 18
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services and benefits
  • Medicaid for pregnant women
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Workforce and training services at American Job Centers (workforce centers)

It is important for sponsors to recognize that each family or individual may have different needs and different eligibility for federal and state programs. That’s another reason to connect with local service organizations that can help guide sponsors through the local ecosystem.

The Department of Homeland Security also has helpful information on how to apply for necessary documents, such as applications for a Social Security Number and employment authorization document (EAD) and how to comply with any conditions of parole, including those related to health and medical requirements.

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What is the difference between individuals arriving on humanitarian parole and those who arrive on refugee status?

While both sets of individuals may be fleeing similar circumstances, there are differences in these two populations. Refugees arrive through a long and arduous international process that can take years to complete. Upon arrival to the United States, refugees connect with resettlement agencies to relocate to specific communities where there are local resettlement offices and receive a set of services to help them integrate into their local community. Uniting for Ukraine allows for a quicker path for Ukrainians to find safety in the U.S., but it does not utilize the same process and services that refugees receive through the resettlement process. That’s why it is so important for people like you to step up to sponsor these newcomers. Ukrainians granted humanitarian parole will access different networks, like sponsor groups, to help them stabilize.