Welcoming Our New Ukrainian Neighbors in Nashville
As of now, over 80 Ukrainians have come to NICE to enroll in the services we offer, including: assistance applying for employment authorization and healthcare, enrollment in employment-based cash assistance programs, English language classes, case management, and more. More are arriving each week.
Unfortunately, Ukrainians coming into the US through the newly-formulated Uniting for Ukraine program, or those who fled the war and arrived in the US before the program was announced, are not eligible for much of the same government assistance that refugee usually receive. Even when refugees do receive the standard support, it is often not enough to cover anything beyond basic needs.
We invite you to help us extend our ability to provide a soft landing to our new neighbors through a gift to the newly launched NICE Refugee Relief Fund.
Support for Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees at NICE
Who is eligible?
Eligibility begins May 21, 2022, or the individual’s date of humanitarian parole, whichever is later.
If an individual was paroled into the U.S. between February 24, 2022, and May 21, 2022, their date of eligibility is May 21, 2022. If they entered the U.S. after May 21, 2022, then their date of eligibility is their date of humanitarian parole. To be eligible, the UHP must be paroled into the U.S. between February 24, 2022 and September 30, 2023.
Please note that availability of program enrollment will be dependent on staff capacity.
To make an appointment to assess program eligibility, please call 615.315.9681 or visit us at 417 Welshwood Drive, Ste. 100 Nashville, TN 37211
The U.S. government will allow Ukrainians to seek refuge in the United States on a temporary basis known as humanitarian parole, with the help of a sponsor in the United States who will provide initial financial and other support to ensure housing and other basic needs are met, and newcomers have assistance with accessing education or securing employment.
Sponsors can be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or other lawfully present individuals. Non-profits, educational institutions, and employers can also help to sponsor people fleeing Ukraine. Beneficiaries under Uniting for Ukraine include those individuals and families who were residents of Ukraine on February 11, 2022 and who are seeking safety from the war.
Adult beneficiaries will be authorized to work in the United States and may seek employment once welcomed into their new community.
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 USCIS documents, the sponsor is referred to as the “Supporter” to distinguish it from other forms of immigration sponsorship. Each are committed to helping the beneficiary find stability in the United States and will complete an application through the Department of Homeland Security, including security vetting by the federal government.
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 parole will be eligible to apply for work authorization, and congress has recently announced that Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees will now be eligible for certain benefit programs.
Sponsorship of immigrants is not new, but these tools are being reimagined by the federal government to respond to the needs of people fleeing Ukraine to find safety quickly as well as the willingness of many Americans, including but not limited to Ukrainian Americans, to immediately support those fleeing the war. Fees related to filing 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.
Each sponsor 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. Sponsors may apply as individuals, as a group, or as a representative of a non-governmental agency. As part of the application process, sponsors will sign that they agree to financially support Ukranians entering under United for Ukraine on their path to stability, as may be necessary.
Sponsors may also be responsible for finding safe and appropriate housing and supporting newcomers to ensure health needs are met, kids are enrolled in school, and that employment is secured, among other factors that will ensure that the sponsored beneficiary finds safety and sanctuary here in the U.S.
While not required, sponsorship is often most successful when groups of individuals –through friends, work, faith, community or other networks – come together to pool their resources to sponsor families and share the joy and responsibilities of helping newly arrived individuals and families thrive in their new communities. There is the hope, and expectation, that groups of individuals can share resources, including financial ones, to support the beneficiary.
No. Uniting for Ukraine allows anyone to serve as a named sponsor, including extended family, employers, friends, or others interested in welcoming whose application is approved.
Sponsors will undergo background checks conducted by the Department of Homeland Security as part of the application process, and beneficiaries will also be fully vetted and screened as part of the approval process.
Sponsors and sponsor groups typically provide day-to-day support, including 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.
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.
It has recently been announced that Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees and non-Ukrainians who last habitually resided in Ukraine are now eligible for certain government benefits.
In order for NICE and other Tennessee refugee resettlement agencies to prepare for assisting our new Ukrainian neighbors in navigating these complex benefit programs, we are conducting an informal community census and hosting a virtual information session on June 15th at 5:30pm.
If you are a current or prospective Uniting for Ukraine sponsor, or are assisting newly arrived Ukrainians in other ways, we invite you to fill out this form, and consider attending our informational session. You can also call our office at (615) 315-9681 to make an appointment to enroll in services.
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.
What Happens After Someone Fleeing the War in Ukraine Applies to Come to the United States through the United 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. Beneficiaries will be responsible for arranging their own flights and other transportation. 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.