On March 24, 2022, President Biden announced that the United States plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the war through the full range of legal pathways. All those we welcome under this pledge will be seeking refuge but not all will have “refugee” as their immigration status – an important distinction for potential receiving communities like Washington. Ukrainians are arriving in Washington through many different legal immigration pathways.
The legal immigration pathways for arrival determine the type of services and level of state and federal support available to them through an emergency response. IRC expects that immigration pathways such as family reunification, student visas, employer-sponsored visas and humanitarian parole will be options. We are seeing a small number of the most vulnerable arrive through an expedited refugee process and are being served by the traditional refugee resettlement system. Based on which pathway they enter the US their access to federal public benefits and other supports will be different.
IRC is currently in the process of gathering all its funding sources and working with local Ukrainian community partners to determine how we will be able to best serve and support Ukrainian newcomers. IRC Washington has been doing extensive outreach amongst the newly arrived Ukrainian population and among other community partner events (Ukrainian Festival hosted by the Ukrainian Consul General).
How you can help:
- Spread the word. Our resettlement team has worked closely with local Ukrainian groups to put together an intake form that will help us determine what supports and services we can offer to meet the needs of Ukrainian newcomers. Please share our online intake form with any Ukrainian newcomers you know of who is need of support and services. Intake form is available in both Ukrainian and English.
- Contribute to the IRC in Seattle to help newly-arrived families meet critical needs and to support our work with newcomer communities more broadly. Prefer to donate by check, donor-advised fund, or other means? Please contact us at [email protected]. We have identified two main areas of support that are needed and where IRC can greatly support with additional funding: Rental assistance for Ukrainian families seeking housing support and technological assistance of phones/ laptops so families can communicate to loved ones back home.
- Purchase items from our welcome kit wishlist and back-to-school wishlist.
- Donate gift cards, so families can purchase exactly what they need. We are in high need of gift cards from: Target, Fred Meyer, Walmart, Ikea, and Visa/Mastercard. Gift cards (with dollar amount clearly indicated) may be mailed to: International Rescue Committee, 1200 S 192nd St, Suite 101, SeaTac, WA 98148.
- Help newcomers meet their long-term goals by supporting the IRC's local programs as a volunteer or monthly sustainer.
- Learn more about the rapidly-changing situation in Ukraine and others ways to support people at risk.
We will continue to post updates here as the situation and needs change. Thank you for your support!