Support Those Fleeing Ukraine After the Russian Invasion

This page provides resources for people fleeing Ukraine in need of assistance and U.S.-based attorneys, advocates, and allies seeking to support them. Please note that the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) is unable to provide direct assistance to those fleeing Ukraine at this time. We encourage those seeking assistance to consult the links below. 

Please note that Title 42 remains in effect at the southern U.S. border until May 23, 2022. This policy gives the U.S. government authority to expel certain individuals, including asylum seekers, from the United States without giving them an opportunity to apply for protection. Unaccompanied children are currently exempt from the policy. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a memo instructing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to consider exempting migrants with valid Ukrainian passports from Title 42.  On April 1, 2022, Title 42 was terminated; however, the policy will be in force until May 23, 2022. Read more about CGRS’s ongoing litigation against Title 42 here, and learn how you can take action with the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign here

On April 21, President Biden announced Uniting for Ukraine, a new streamlined process that intends to provide Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia's war with opportunities to come to the United States. The State Department also announced plans to increase refugee resettlement processing and expanded access to visa processing at consular posts. Details on how to apply for the program are still being finalized, with the expectation that people can begin to apply for the program the week of April 25, 2022. More information about sponsoring Ukrainians through this new process is available below. 

On April 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a new notice to the Federal Register on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine. The notice provides information on the TPS registration process under Ukraine's designation. Previously, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an 18-month TPS designation for Ukraine.  The registration process for TPS begins on April 19, 2022, and all individuals who want to request TPS must file an application. More information about eligibility under the Ukraine designation is available here

CGRS has also developed a research guide listing news sources, media outlets, and other websites. The list is not exhaustive of all resources, but it provides a starting point for advocates to stay up to date on the ongoing crisis.

  • For those fleeing Ukraine seeking assistance: 

    • The European Council on Refugees and Exiles has published a non-exhaustive information sheet documenting EU countries’ responses to the arrival of Ukrainian nationals. The information sheet includes entry and stay requirements, asylum procedures, and reception conditions in most EU countries. The document will be updated regularly as the situation progresses, measures outlined in the information sheet are subject to change. 

      • ECRE has noted that Ukrainians do not need a visa to enter Schengen countries; they are allowed to stay for up to 90 days in Schengen countries if they have legal documents. 

      • Some non-Schengen countries (e.g., Ireland and Turkey) have waived visa requirements for Ukrainians. 

      • The United Kingdom is only accepting visa applications under a limited family scheme.

    • The European Commission has published a webpage with key information for Ukrainians with regard to crossing into EU territory, eligibility for temporary protection, and applying for international protection. The information is also available in Ukrainian and Russian

      • The webpage includes information on (1) steps to take before leaving Ukraine, (2) available protections in the EU, including temporary protection, asylum, and repatriation assistance, and (3) travel within the EU. 

      • Information on free travel options offered by European transport companies is also listed. 

    • The Legal Information Network for Ukraine (LINU), an all-volunteer organization, provides information for people displaced by the war in Ukraine who are seeking safety in the U.S. LINU provides a comprehensive overview of the legal process through tri-lingual written immigration resources, live webinars and Q&A sessions, and free legal consultations. 

    • The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) has a webpage with resources for those fleeing Ukraine, available in Russian and Ukrainian as well. 

      • Contains information on assistance for Ukrainians attempting to enter Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. 

    • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has country resource pages for Ukrainians currently in the following countries: 

    • Asylum Access has published a guide including links to organizations within Ukraine providing assistance to those in-country, emergency translation and interpretation, and border crossing information. 

    • Immigration Advice Service is offering free advice sessions to help Ukrainians navigate the temporary visa concessions process introduced by the United Kingdom Home Office. 

    • U.S. Senator for California Alex Padilla has stated his commitment to coordinate support for Ukrainians. To receive humanitarian casework assistance from Padilla’s office for yourself or immediate family members, complete this form

    • Ukraine Take Shelter is an independent platform working to connect Ukrainian refugees with potential hosts for safe housing. UkraineTakeShelter asks refugees to provide their nearest city to display closest listings

    • #Unterkunft Ukraine is another platform that connects refugees with shelter, primarily in Germany 

    • The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is mobilizing its teams in Ukraine and neighboring countries to respond to the humanitarian needs of Ukrainians and stranded third-country nationals. IOM is compiling news and resources on this webpage

      • IOM has also compiled a list of support hotlines for people fleeing Ukraine. This page compiles all hotlines that are currently operational in the region. IOM will update the page regularly. 

      • IOM has also partnered with Airbnb to provide a limited amount of free accommodation to those fleeing Ukraine. 

    • The U.S. Department of State has released guidance for Ukrainians who are seeking protection in the United States. This document provides information on nonimmigrant visas, immigrant visas, COVID-19 entry requirements, humanitarian parole, refugee status, and more. 

    • A consortium of international law firms, attorneys, and legal technicians have developed a database to connect international legal providers to provide pro bono services to displaced Ukrainians. The Ukrainian Legal Aid Database is a free resource unaffiliated with any governmental agency, organization, or international body. 

    • The San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative has compiled this list of referral organizations for Ukrainians seeking assistance in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

    • The Refugee Legal Aid Information Rights in Exile Programme has compiled this directory of pro bono legal service providers for displaced Ukrainians. 

    • Romanian website in which those fleeing Ukraine that are in or near Romania can request assistance, including transportation and accommodation. 

    • United for Ukraine Facebook group 

    • Ukraine Justice Alliance, a UK-based coalition of legal service providers and NGOs, is coordinating assistance for those fleeing Ukraine and entering the UK, more information is available at this link

    • Ukraine Advice Project UK provides those fleeing Ukraine with legal assistance. To request advice, contact projectu@dlapiper.com

    • Free mental health counseling is available remotely for Ukrainians through Headroom. 

  • For Advocates and Attorneys:

    • CGRS resources on Title 42: 

    • AILA Practice Pointer: NIV/IV Options for Ukrainian Nationals 

    • Advice from the American Immigration Council on eligibility for TPS for Ukrainians 

    • UNHCR Position on Returns to Ukraine. The UNHCR “calls on all countries to allow civilians of all nationalities fleeing Ukraine non-discriminatory access to their territories and to ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.” 

    • NAFSA has collected immigration resources relevant to individuals impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The webpage includes information on potential visa options, immigration benefits, and other resources.

    • The Ukrainian Legal Aid Database, a consortium of international law firms, attorneys, and legal technicians, is a resource for displaced Ukrainians to access pro bono legal services. Attorneys who are willing to provide pro bono support can complete the sign-up form at this link. For any questions, contact support@ukrainelegalaid.org

  • For Others Who Want to Help

    • Take Action

      • On April 21, President Biden announced a new streamlined process, Uniting for Ukraine, allowing people fleeing the war to apply for refuge in the U.S. through
        support from a U.S. citizen or legally-residing resident as a sponsor. Visit the  Ukraine Welcome Hub at ukraine.welcome.us to become a welcomer. 

      • The European Commission website has a map with listings of local European organizations working to assist those fleeing Ukraine, as well as a social media toolkit.

      • Voices of Children Foundation is collecting donations to help Ukrainian children impacted by the war. The foundation provides psychological support to help children overcome the consequences of armed conflict. 

      • CARE is collecting donations for its Ukrainian Crisis Fund which aims to provide immediate aid and recovery for 4 million people, prioritizing the needs of families, women and girls, and the elderly. 

    • Volunteer

      • Ukraine Take Shelter is an independent platform working to connect Ukrainian refugees with potential hosts for safe housing. UkraineTakeShelter asks refugees to provide their nearest city to display the closest listings. Hosts offering to house Ukrainians need to provide their city and contact information. 

    • Stay up-to-date on news in Ukraine