Work Authorization for Ukrainians—Uniting for Ukraine Program
Effective November 21, 2022, USCIS has announced all Ukrainians admitted to the United States under the Uniting for Ukraine Program or other humanitarian parole are granted employment authorization incident to their parole status. This means that if you are paroled into the United States under U4U, you are not required to apply for and obtain work authorization (I-765) before you can legally work in the United States. However, if an individual seeks to continue employment with a company for more than 90 days, USCIS will require proof of an unexpired EAD to continue employment. That said, as soon as one arrives under U4U, they should file an I-765 EAD application to avoid a lapse in work authorization in the future.
Prior to this policy update providing work authorization incident to status, an individual was first required to enter the United States under the parole program, and then apply for work authorization (Form I-765) which might take months of processing. Now, an unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record showing class of admission as “UHP”, or otherwise “DT” issued between Feb 24, 2022 and September 2023, is all that is required to demonstrate work authorization to the government and/or any current or prospective employer for the first 90 days of employment with a company.
Individuals who received a passport stamp or a paper Form I-94 when they entered the United States should visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Form I-94 website to view and print a copy of their Form I-94.
If you have already filed an EAD, USCIS will continue processing and issuing that document. However, it is not likely USCIS will refund any filing fees paid. Furthermore, while the U4U program does allow for work authorization incident to status, those paroled into the United States under the U4U program are still eligible to apply for an I-765 work authorization and are fee exempt for that filing. Lastly, if one has engaged in unauthorized employment, USCIS’ policy announcement does not forgive or excuse any unauthorized employment prior to the effective date.
For information on the Uniting for Ukraine program, or for information about resources available to our brothers and sisters seeking shelter here in the United States, please contact Ryan Wilck at email@example.com
By: Ryan A. Wilck, Partner and Attorney at Law
Ryan Wilck is an attorney at Reddy & Neumann, P.C. assisting helping clients and their employees through the phases of the Green Card process. “Concilio et labore” is not only the motto of Ryan’s favorite sports club but is also his life’s motto; all things come through wisdom and effort. Ryan is passionate about gaining the trust of his clients utilizing a relentless and detail-oriented work ethic to understand their specific goals and concerns, hoping to instill a sense of confidence and stability. Whatever your immigration problem, he and his team will find a solution, through wisdom and effort. Reddy & Neumann has been serving the business community for over 20 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on employment-based business immigration. We work with employers and their employees, helping navigate the complex immigration process efficiently and cost-effective.