A lot of people ask how they can bring to the US their Ukrainian friends, girlfriends or extended relatives (not spouses, parents or children) at this time. The announcement by the Biden administration on March 24, 2022, that the US will accept 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Ukraine as refugees gave a lot of people hope. However, unfortunately at this time there is no clear program in the US for admission of Ukrainian nationals as refugees. U.S. immigration law is very restrictive as to who is eligible, and a war in your country does not qualify a person for a US asylum or refugee status. It is expected that in the next few days and weeks, the US government will issue clear instructions as to how these announcements by the Biden administration will actually be implemented.
At this time, for people with no immediate relatives in the U.S. there are following main options:
- If your relative or friend is in any of the European countries, they may apply for a non-immigrant visitor visa at the U.S. Embassy in that country ( using form DS-160, for a non-immigrant visa, or NIV) and ask for expedited processing. You will act as her sponsor, submit a letter of support and copies of tax returns, or banking statements.
- If it is your girlfriend who is temporarily staying in one of the European countries, you may apply with the USCIS for a fiancée visa on her behalf, (it will be processed within 5-7 months; you may be able to ask for an expedited processing, but it is not a guarantee). At least you will have an I-130 petition in the process, which would make it easier in the long term. And once that is approved by the USCIS, she will be able to apply at the U.S. Embassy in the country where she is staying for a fiancée visa.