Ukraine citizens will now be able to apply for certain US visas, announced the US Embassy in Ukraine.
The visas that will be available are non-immigrant US student visas (F and M category), O visas for “aliens with extraordinary ability”, I Visas for members of the media, P Visas for athletes and entertainers, as well as immigrant visas for the Ukrainian family members of US citizens.
“As of August 12, the United States Embassy in Ukraine will resume certain nonimmigrant services, including: F, M, certain J categories (alien physician, government visitor, international visitor professor, research scholar, short-term research scholar, specialist, secondary school student and college/university student), C1/D, E, I, O, and P visas, and certain immigrant visas including IR1, IR2, CR1, and CR2,” the announcement reads.
The F1 visa is a US student visa granted to international students who want to attend educational institutions in the US. The application fee for the F1 student visa is $160.
Whereas the M1 visa is for students who want to enroll in vocational studies in the United States, i.e. cooking classes, technical courses, mechanical classes, flight school, cosmetology. The visa application fee for the M1 visa is also $160. Ukrainians can apply for both at the US Embassy in Ukraine.
However, Ukrainians students that will have to attend online-only courses this fall semester may have their visa applications denied after the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced it is planning that to reject visa applications for international students if their university switches to all-online classes to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier this year.
A lawsuit has been filed on July by the attorneys general of 17 states and the District of Columbia, in the US Court in Massachusetts against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an attempt to stop the policy from going into effect, while the case is being decided.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukrainian citizens are allowed to travel to the US for tourism purposes as well for those holding valid B1/B2 tourism visas.
As per those who intend to apply for work visas such as the H1B, H2B, L1, and certain J category visas will not be able to do so until at least January 2021, as a result of US President Donald Trump signing a proclamation suspending entry to “aliens who present a risk to the U.S. labour market following the coronavirus outbreak.”
“American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work,” the White House proclamation reads. “Temporary workers are often accompanied by their spouses and children, many of whom also compete against American workers.”
According to President Trump, non-immigrant work visas, such as the H1B, H2B, and L1 “pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.”
In June, the Trump administration proposed another rule, which would prohibit international students from staying in US territory if their classes were entirely held online. These plans were later dropped, following criticism and lawsuits by the District of Columbia as well as renowned American universities.