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Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney > Blog > Immigration > Can I Remain in Florida as a Ukrainian Refugee?

Can I Remain in Florida as a Ukrainian Refugee?


In 2023, NBC News reported that over 270,000 Ukrainian refugees had entered the United States since the start of the war – and that number is likely even higher today. Many of these individuals chose to stay in Florida, and some may be wondering whether they can stay in Palm Beach County for the foreseeable future. After all, Ukraine has been devastated by the war, and some may feel that they have nothing to return to. How easy is it to remain in Florida as a Ukrainian refugee, and what are the potential immigration pathways?

The United for Ukraine Program 

The obvious route for many Ukrainian refugees is the United for Ukraine program. Also known as “U4U,” this program grants temporary humanitarian parole for two years after entry. In other words, Ukrainian refugees can remain in Florida for two years without taking any further immigration steps. Although this program was set to expire in October of 2023, Biden extended it to April of 2025. This technically gives Ukrainian refugees more than two years to remain in Florida in a relatively easy manner.

That being said, Ukrainian refugees in Florida should begin to prepare for their next immigration steps. At some point, this program will expire, and it makes sense to take advantage of your humanitarian parole period to explore other immigration opportunities.

Can I Apply for Refugee Status as a Ukrainian Refugee? 

Another obvious choice is to apply for refugee status. According to immigration laws in the United States, you must apply for permanent residency within one year of being admitted to the United States as a refugee. While it is possible to pursue a green card as a refugee in the United States, Ukrainian refugees may encounter certain challenges when pursuing permanent residency.

Although it might seem unthinkable, many Ukrainian refugees do not fall under the legal definition of “refugees” according to US law. In order to be considered a refugee in the United States, you must be fleeing due to fear of persecution based on your religion, race, or political ideology. Due to the ethnic, linguistic, and religious similarities between Russians and Ukrainians, this may be difficult to establish. In other words, fleeing war does not automatically make you a refugee in the United States.

Find a Qualified, Experienced immigration Attorney in Palm Beach County 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced immigration attorney in Palm Beach County, look no further than the Devore Law Group. Over the years, we have helped numerous immigrants settle in Florida for the foreseeable future – including refugees. While there are certain challenges associated with pursuing permanent residency in the United States, we can help you overcome any roadblocks you might be facing. Book a consultation today to get started.




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