Who can be a U4U backer, and where can I find one?
The United for Ukraine (U4U) program has been set up to help Ukrainian people and families who are struggling because of the ongoing situation. An important part of this program is finding sponsors who can help recipients with money and other things. This thorough guide will tell you about the different kinds of sponsors in the U4U program, how to find them, the rights and responsibilities of both sponsors and recipients, and other important things to think about to make sure your sponsorship is safe and effective.
Sponsors Can Be: Sponsors for the U4U program can be a wide range of different people and groups. These people and organizations can become sponsors:
- Residents and citizens of the U.S.
- People who have TPS (Temporary Protected Status)
- Refugees who just came
- Groups that don’t make money
- Institutions for education
- The official bosses
For these donors to be eligible, their income or assets must be equal to or higher than 125% of the U.S. Poverty Guideline.
Finding Sponsors: There are several ways to find potential sponsors:
Social media platforms: Many sponsors and groups talk about how ready they are to help on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Searching for appropriate groups or hashtags could help connect people who need help with people who want to help them.
Official websites: The welcomus.service.now.com and Ukraine.welcome.us websites are good places to find donors and learn more about the U4U program.
Networking: Potential sponsors can learn a lot from talking to other Ukrainians who have gone through the sponsorship process and can give them advice.
How to file and what forms to use: People who want to support Ukrainians and their close relatives after January 6, 2023, must fill out the new I-134A form (Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support). The I-134 form, which used to be used, is no longer allowed.
For the I-134A form to be filed, the sponsor must be in the United States, and the beneficiary cannot file the form on their own. For each beneficiary (like a child under 18) that a sponsor offers to support, a separate I-134A form must be filled out.
Children Who Win: To be considered for the U4U program using the I-134A form, children under the age of 18 must come to the U.S. under the custody and legal guardianship of their parents or legal guardians and show proof of their relationship. This paperwork can include a birth certificate, papers about an adoption, or other official papers.
Rights and Obligations: Sponsors are usually expected to give people a place to live and the food they need until they can take care of themselves. But if a sponsor only gives money and doesn’t help with housing or anything else, USCIS will consider them a “Paper Sponsor.” Beneficiaries must already have a place to live in the U.S. in these situations.
Beneficiaries have the right to say no to any pressure or ultimatums from their sponsor, including requests to live with them, work for them, hand over their documents, or have intimate relations with them. Sponsors can’t stop being sponsors, kick recipients out of the country, or force them to do things they don’t want to do.
Documentation: Sponsors only need a copy of the beneficiary’s passport and their current contact information.
- Email address
- Where you live and how to reach you
- Location of birth
If a sponsor doesn’t make the income requirements and can’t find a co-sponsor, they may ask for a copy of the beneficiary’s bank statement that has been translated and changed to show that the beneficiary is financially stable.
Fraud Alert: People who benefit from the U4U program should watch out for fraud and never give money to anyone, not even their sponsor or a middleman. Scammers may try to take advantage of people who are weak, so it is important to make sure that possible sponsors are real and that the information they give is accurate.
Keeping up-to-date: Both sponsors and beneficiaries need to know the most recent information about the U4U program, sponsorship standards, and changes to immigration laws. Participants can make sure they stay informed and meet program requirements by going to official websites like www.uscis.gov and signing up for newsletters or updates from relevant groups.
Building trust and communication: For a sponsorship to work, sponsors and beneficiaries must have a good relationship with each other. Open and honest communication and setting clear expectations from the start can help beneficiaries avoid misunderstandings and make the transfer go more smoothly.
Sponsors should be clear about what kind of help they can give and any limits they may have, and those who receive the help should talk to their sponsors about their needs and worries as they come up. Keeping in touch and giving updates on a regular basis can help build trust and make the connection stronger.
Support Services and Resources: Beneficiaries and donors should know about the different support services and resources that are available to them during the sponsorship process. Some of these are:
Legal help: Groups like the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and local legal clinics can help you understand the U4U program and other immigration steps.
Language and culture help: Many community centers and non-profit groups offer language classes, cultural orientation programs, and other services to help refugees and immigrants get used to life in the United States.
Employment and education: Local job centers, employment agencies, and educational institutions can help beneficiaries find work or continue their education by giving them tools and advice.
Beneficiaries may find it helpful to form a support network by getting in touch with other Ukrainians or foreigners in their area. During a hard time of change, this can give emotional support, useful advice, and a sense of belonging. Ukrainian cultural centers, faith groups, and social clubs can all be good places to start meeting people.
Responsibilities after sponsorship: Sponsors are very important in helping sponsored people get settled in the U.S., but it is also important for sponsored people to take steps toward self-sufficiency as soon as they can. This can mean finding a job, learning English, and getting to know the local rules and customs.
Sponsors should be ready to gradually cut back on their help as the people they are helping become more independent, and the people they are helping should take the initiative to look for ways to improve their skills and fit in with their new groups.
Understanding how funding works in the United for Ukraine program is important for both sponsors and the people they are helping. This will help make sure that everyone has a good time. People can take part in the program safely and well if they know the different types of sponsors, how to find them, the rights and responsibilities involved, and the different tools and support services that are available. As both sponsors and beneficiaries go through this process, trust, dialogue, and a shared commitment to success will be key to making a better future.