Understanding the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

Update: May 31, 2022—

In response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Congress has passed the Ukrainian Aid package that authorizes the enrollment of specific Ukrainian populations and other non-Ukrainian individuals into Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) funded services and programs.

Who is eligible?

·     Citizens or nationals of Ukraine, and non-Ukrainian individuals who last habitually resided in Ukraine;

·     Individuals paroled into the U.S. between February 24, 2022 through September 30, 2023,

·     OR the spouse or child of an individual paroled during the given timeframe;

·     OR the parent, legal guardian, or primary caregiver of an individual described above who is determined to be an unaccompanied child paroled during the given timeframe

What are they eligible for?

·     Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees that meet the above criteria are eligible for mainstream benefits and services (e.g. TANF, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI), resettlement assistance (refugee case management, employment services, English Language Training) and other benefits available to refugees, with the exception of an initial resettlement program (Reception & Placement).

La Luz Immigration Legal Clinic will also be able to support Ukranian families in applying for Employment Authorization Documents (EAD’s) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

If you are in need of services please contact us here- Ukraineresponse@catholiccharitiesks.org

·         Please include name, phone, address, email, family size

If you are interested in sponsoring a family through the private sponsorship program, please visit https://www.uscis.gov/ukraine to complete and I-134

Crisis in Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine have sent nearly 4 million people fleeing their homeland in search of safety, which has quickly become the largest displacement crisis of the century.  In response to this crisis the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  To be eligible for TPS, a Ukrainian national must have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022.  Individuals admitted to the US after March 1, 2022 are currently ineligible for this status.  We continue to see families and individuals arriving to the United States on a variety of visas which allow them only temporary stay in the United States with little access to support services.  Currently, families fleeing the current crisis in Ukraine have not been through the proper vetting channels to be admitted to the United States as refugees.  The word refugee is often attributed to those fleeing war and violence.  However, in the United States and abroad, to be given the legal status of a refugee, an individual must go through processing with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  Once a refugee has been given refugee status, they may then have their case forwarded to an Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) to begin the process for resettlement in a third county.  Currently, this process can take 1.5-2 years to complete.  While the Biden Administration is considering options to expedite this process, there hasn’t yet been an indication of an immediate large scale influx in refugee arrivals to the US.  Currently, the most expedient measure for bringing Ukrainian families to the United States is through the Lautenberg Amendment, which is a family reunification program that allows certain individuals legally residing in the United States to bring their family members to the United States.  To access the program, eligible individuals must apply through resettlement agencies in their local community.

Above: Image from “Say No To War,” a free image collection run by Ukrainian platform Depositphotos. Use discretion in viewing other imagery.

Currently, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is supporting families from Ukraine in the following areas:

If you know of any Ukrainian families in need in our service area, please call the relevant number below:

Legal Services – Contact La Luz Immigration Clinic at 913-621-1504

Emergency Assistance– Food, Clothing, Rent, and Utility Assistance –
Contact the Family Support Center near you.

  Wyandotte County  913-621-1504
  Overland Park  913-384-6608
  Olathe  913-782-4077
  Lawrence  785-856-2694
  Topeka  785-233-6300
  Leavenworth  913-651-8060
  Atchison  913-367-5070


Support Our Work

Please use the form below if you would like to make a donation to support our work. If you would like to directly support the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine itself, please see our list of recommended charities and agencies to support.