More than 4,000 applications have been filed to sponsor Ukrainians seeking to come to the United States within 48 hours, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service told U.S. cable news channel CNN on April 28.
This came after U.S. President Joe Biden launched a streamlined process for those fleeing war-torn Ukraine, a spokesperson for the service said.
In the afternoon of April 25, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched an online portal as part of its "Uniting for Ukraine" program. The humanitarian program requires Ukrainians seeking entry to the United States to be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or individual, which would include resettlement organizations and non-profit organizations.
Under the program, Ukrainians will be able to enter the United States for up to two years with the right to apply for employment.
Ukrainian applicants will undergo rigorous security vetting and checks, including biographic and biometric screening, and complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, including receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, to be eligible. Ukrainians must have also been resident in Ukraine as of Feb. 11.
From April 25, Ukrainians seeking to cross the land border with the United States without a valid visa or prior permission to enter the United States under the program will be denied entry and will have to apply through the program.
Earlier, the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, said that the United States had officially introduced the status of temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens.
In late March, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the country would accept 100,000 refugees who had been forced to leave Ukraine due to the full-scale Russian invasion.