June 27, 2022

On April 21, 2022, the U.S. government in combination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued notice of a new program called “Uniting for Ukraine”, or U4U, under which the U.S. Government will allow Ukrainians and certain Ukrainian non-citizens without a visa or other qualifying travel documents necessary to be admitted into the U.S., and who meet certain eligibility criteria, to obtain advance authorization to travel to the U.S. and seek entry.  The program applies to Ukrainian citizens and their non-Ukrainian immediate family members.  To be eligible, an individual must have been a resident in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022, and have been displaced as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have a sponsor in the U.S. who filed a Form I-134, “Declaration of Financial Support”, on their behalf that has been confirmed as sufficient by USCIS, be in possession of a valid Ukrainian passport, complete certain vaccinations and other public health requirements, and pass a “rigorous” biographic screening and various security checks.  Specific details on eligibility criteria and the process to apply for U4U travel authorization can be found here

To validate an approved U4U traveler, carriers should be able to use the same measures that are currently in place to validate that a traveler has a valid visa or other required documentation in order to issue a boarding pass for air travel.  CBP also notes that carriers may encounter minor Ukrainian citizens with approved U4U travel authorization who are listed as a dependent in their parent’s valid Ukrainian passport.  If this is the case, then the parent’s valid, unexpired Ukrainian passport can be used to meet the passport requirement for dependent children that accompany the adult holder of the passport.  However, if a carrier encounters a minor citizen of Ukraine who has U4U travel authorization and their own valid passport, but is not traveling with their parent or legal guardian, the carrier is encouraged to contact CBP using the following information:





Asia, Pacific Rim



Latin America, Caribbean


New York

Europe, Africa, Mid-East



Lastly, in terms of carriers who participate in Document Validation, CBP’s notice states that carriers that participate in Document Validation will get the “A” code to print a boarding pass, when the Ukrainian passport number submitted through APIS has a valid associated U4U authorization on file.  On the other hand, air carriers who do not participate in Document Validation will get the “Z” not applicable response code and will go through their established processes for checking documents and determining eligibility to board.  Please also note, that although the U4U program allows for Ukrainian citizens and certain non-citizens to travel to the U.S. without visas or other required documents, Ukrainian nationals and non-citizens traveling to the U.S. by air must still adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) guidelines for travelers entering the U.S. regarding testing, including COVID-19 testing.

If you have any questions, please contact Evelyn Sahr (esahr@eckertseamans.com 202-659-6622), Drew Derco (dderco@eckertseamans.com 202-659-6665), or Alexis George (ageorge@eckertseamans.com 804-788-7772).

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Evelyn D. Sahr Photo Washington, D.C.

Evelyn D. Sahr

Member - Washington, D.C.

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Drew M. Derco Photo Washington, D.C.

Drew M. Derco

Member - Washington, D.C.

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Alexis A. George Photo Richmond

Alexis A. George

Associate - Richmond

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