“We have created a direct means by which they can get from Europe, from Ukraine directly to the United States, without going to the southern border,” Biden said at the White House after a speech unveiling new aid to Ukraine.
Last week, Biden announced a new system that would allow Ukrainian refugees to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds. They need a sponsor within the United States to be eligible.
The programme, called “Union for Ukraine,” will provide a simplified process for Ukrainian refugees seeking to come to the United States.
Ukrainian applicants will need to undergo rigorous security checks and checks, including biometric and biometric screening, full vaccinations and other public health requirements, including receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, to be eligible. Ukrainians must also be residing in Ukraine as of February 11.
Sponsors will need to pass their own security background checks as well as advertise financial support. There is no limit to the number of individuals a person or group can sponsor, but management officials have indicated that they will assess their means and ability to support the Ukrainians. The Department of Homeland Security will administer the program.
Individuals can start submitting applications through an online portal on April 25.
The limited routes to the United States have so far led to hundreds of Ukrainians going to Mexico, where it is easy to obtain a visa, and then trying to enter the United States through land ports of entry. More than 5,000 Ukrainians attempted to enter the United States in March, including more than 3,200 at the southern border with Mexico, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.
Biden referred to this system when discussing the Ukrainians’ attempt to enter the United States through the southern border.
“In the meantime, at the southern border, we’re trying to work and make sure there’s an orderly process and they’re able to get in,” he said. “But just so you know, we said there’s no need to go to the southern border. Travel directly to the US, we set up a mechanism where they can come directly with a visa.”
CNN’s Arlette Sainz, Priscilla Alvarez, and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.