The NGO Welcome.US helps the arrival of Ukrainians fleeing the war from Russia

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WASHINGTON — Along with the April 21 rollout of the U.S. government’s Uniting for Ukraine program that will bring 100,000 displaced people from Ukraine to the United States, the nongovernmental organization Welcome.US has held nationwide online meetings to explain the important role of sponsors. will play in the program.

These sponsors, an essential part of the humanitarian parole program, are necessary for the successful resettlement of displaced people.

The Uniting for Ukraine humanitarian parole program grants program participants two-year stays in the United States. The program offers participants the possibility of employment, but it does not provide a pathway to citizenship. After two years in the United States, individuals are expected to be able to return to their home country.

The Welcome.US Online National Meetings, held April 21-25, brought together more than 100 participants, including representatives from the Ukrainian National Association (UNA) and the broader Ukrainian American community. From UNA, members of the Host Council include UNA Councilor Irene Jarosewich and National Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Yuriy Symczyk.

The sponsorship application process, which opened on April 25, and verification of sponsors and displaced persons that sponsors have agreed to support, will be conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through from the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services of the United States (USCIS).

However, once the government approves the applications, the actual settlement of the 100,000 refugees in the country will be coordinated with the help of Welcome.US in partnership with national and local community organizations. Welcome.US is recognized as the U.S. government’s civic partner that will help facilitate the implementation of the Uniting for Ukraine program.

Four steps

Welcome.US has identified the following four steps in the Uniting for Ukraine humanitarian parole process:

First, unite: A sponsor in the United States identifies a beneficiary and connects with the beneficiary, who is currently overseas. A beneficiary is a displaced person who has fled Ukraine. This person can be a family member, a friend or a recommended person. A US-based sponsor can be an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. The sponsor, in fact, will be responsible for the request on behalf of the beneficiary. Therefore, a lot of personal data about the beneficiary (displaced person) must be obtained before completing the application (Form I-134). Sponsors should review the request before contacting the recipient to understand what information is required. The sponsor, in effect, claims that through his sponsorship, the named beneficiary will receive financial support after arriving in the United States, since beneficiaries arriving on humanitarian parole are largely ineligible for support from the United States government. Once a sponsor and beneficiary have come together and can confirm that both parties are ready, the application process can begin.

Second, apply: The sponsor applies through DHS (dhs.gov/ukraine) and identifies the beneficiary. The application must be approved by DHS for the recipient to be eligible for humanitarian parole. The deadline to submit an application is October 31.

Third, Welcome: Once the Beneficiary and Sponsor are selected and approved, the Sponsor welcomes their Beneficiary into the community by providing housing, transportation, school enrollment for the children, and other immediate and essentials, as well as other necessary links with organizations and institutions that can welcome the newcomer. Volunteers can work with a sponsor to ensure strong support for the beneficiary.

Fourth, ongoing support: a sponsor and beneficiary continue to work together to ensure that social media, medical care and language assistance are provided during the beneficiary’s two-year stay, while continuously exploring possibilities for the beneficiary to return home.

Be a welcome

Welcome.US launched a campaign called “Be a Welcomer” to provide detailed information about the Uniting for Ukraine program. This campaign provides information about sponsor responsibilities and opportunities to donate to help support a beneficiary. Volunteering methods to ensure a successful resettlement for a beneficiary can be found on the Welcome.US website, https://ukraine.welcome.us. Answers to frequently asked questions are available at https://ukraine.welcome.us/explainer.

Joining the Welcoming Council, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States said: “The loss of life, the destruction of the infrastructure of major Ukrainian cities can be defined not only as a crime against the peace-loving people. of Ukraine, but against all humanity. The United States UOC strongly believes that the United States of America can be a safe haven for Ukrainians in this time of war. The Church is thrilled to partner with Welcome.US and enable Americans to provide help and assistance to those in need. The hope is to build genuine cooperation between the communities to develop a lasting capacity and ability to welcome refugees from Ukraine to the United States.

Another member of the Welcome Council, Metropolitan Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said: “We encourage the US government to use Ukrainian NGOs, and in particular the Church, to distribute aid, thereby reducing bureaucracy and administrative expenses. Ukrainian churches, religious organizations and Ukrainian society stand together, ready to support both those who fled Ukraine and those who remained. We hail the United States’ welcoming of refugees as a win-win, both for the freedom-loving homeless and for America. We call on all Americans to become welcome. The combined prayers, clarity and assistance of the world can turn this crisis into a historic global turning point. »

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