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Key Points

  • DOS has issued further details for Ukrainian applicants affected by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine
  • The guidance applies to immigrant and nonimmigrant visas
  • Applicants must prove intent to leave the US, when it is safe, to receive a nonimmigrant visa
  • Individuals who have filed a Form I-130 petition with USCIS can request expedited processing
  • A COVID-19 exemption applies to some nonimmigrant travelers from Ukraine


The US Department of State (DOS) has issued more details for Ukrainian applicants on immigrant and nonimmigrant visas affected by the Ukraine crisis.

Nonimmigrant Visas (NIV)

To receive a nonimmigrant visa (NIV), Ukrainian applicants must prove that they intend to leave the US and return to their residence abroad when it is safe to do so. DOS adds that NIVs are not the right tool for starting a refugee, immigrant, or resettlement process. NIV applications can be processed, and appointments can be made from the Ukrainian national’s current physical location.

Immigrant Visas (IV)

Additionally, DOS has provided clarifying guidance for immigrant visa applicants. Individuals who have already filed a Form I-130 petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and who are awaiting approval of their petition can contact USCIS to request expedited adjudication. USCIS will consider all requests for expedited review on an individual basis.

COVID-19 Considerations

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are granting exemptions for certain nonimmigrant travelers from Ukraine. These travelers may be exempt from the standard COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements that typically apply to travelers arriving in the US.

Looking Ahead

Individuals can find complete guidance and additional information on scheduling appointments, requesting expedited processing, and filing on the Department of State website.

Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: US Department of State

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