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Hiring Refugees from Ukraine in the US: FAQs for Employers

This article was last updated June 03, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced millions of people to flee and seek safety and possible resettlement throughout Europe. Employers across the U.S. have the opportunity to help refugees with their resettlement process when it comes to securing both short- and long-term employment. As part ofIndeed’s commitmentto support job seekers who face barriers to employment and to help employers to connect to this talent pool, this article answers common questions for employers looking to hire refugees from Ukraine.

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Can U.S. employers hire refugees coming from Ukraine?

Yes, certain people from Ukraine will have the right to work in the U.S. People from Ukraine who arrived in the United States by April 11, 2022 are eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status. TPS allows Ukrainians to stay and apply for employment authorization in the U.S. For more information and updates, checkhere.

In addition, the U.S. has announced a program called Uniting for Ukraine, which provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the U.S. to come to the U.S. and stay temporarily for two years. Ukrainian beneficiaries cannot apply directly under Uniting for Ukraine. A U.S.-based supporter must first file paperwork and be approved. Once approved, Ukranians can come to the U.S. and will be eligible to apply for work authorization in the U.S. For more information and updates, checkhere.

Who is eligible for employment in the U.S. and for how long?

Ukranians who are approved for Temporary Protected Status are authorized to live and work in the U.S. for 18 months. Those who are approved through the Uniting for Ukraine program and are granted work authorization will be able to live and work in the U.S. for two years.

Can employers outside of the US hire refugees coming from Ukraine?

To check for work authorization for refugees in your country, refer to your government’s information about temporary protected status for those fleeing Ukraine.

  • EU: The European Commission issuedthe Temporary Protection Directiveto support those fleeing the war in Ukraine. As part of this directive, starting March 4, 2022, people fleeing Ukraine are provided protection and support if arriving in one of26 member statesof the European Union.* Checkherefor updates on the EU Temporary Protection Directive.
  • UK: Clickhereto learn more.
  • Canada: Clickhereto learn more.

*The Temporary Protection Directive applies in all EU Member States except Denmark. It does not apply in Schengen associated countries (Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland).

How can I prepare to hire and support refugee job seekers?

For some refugees, entering the workforce in a new country may be challenging after arrival. It’s important for employers to understand these challenges and prepare for how you will hire and support refugee job seekers. Ultimately, these challenges are surmountable with preparation and connection to the available resources.

To prepare for hiring and supporting refugee job seekers, we recommend hiring an interpreter, paying a living wage, and getting creative about the benefits you can offer.

Additionally, you can receive individualized guidance and best practices for employing refugee job seekers by becoming a member of the Tent Partnershiphereor partnering with the employment/placement division of local refugee services providers in your statehere.

You’ll find an overview of the unique challenges refugee job seekers are facing below.

Limited language proficiency

Many refugees may not have English language proficiency. When it comes to language, employers should consider what positions are available and if there are opportunities to provide employment for individuals who aren’t proficient in English. Employers can also explore avenues to assist new hires with developing local language skills. For example, some employers have hired interpreters or established ESL programs with local partners to support the refugees they employ.

Access to transportation and relocation resources

If you’re located in a city with poor public transportation, consider establishing a carpool service, rideshare credits, or alternative transportation options for your refugee employees. Additionally, job seekers may need additional resources to relocate or to reunite with their families. Your company should consider what kind of relocation assistance you can provide new hires that are fleeing Ukraine.

Transferability and recognition of qualifications and skills

People fleeing Ukraine may have the necessary training and skills to perform a job for which you are hiring, but they may not hold the formal education or corresponding permit to hold that job in the US. Consider if there are positions that do not require licenses that those fleeing Ukraine can fill, while your company assists new hires in obtaining the locally required occupational license.

Care for children and elderly family members

The vast majority of refugees from Ukraine at this time are women, children, and elderly. Adult working age women may be available for and need employment, but will need support for family care. Consider what subsidies or support you can offer these job seekers to help them to get and stay on the job.

Legal documentation (e.g., licenses, passports, etc.)

Employers should be aware that, due to dangerous circumstances, refugees may have left home quickly without their documents, including passports or licenses. Potential employees may need additional time to work with local authorities to validate their status as a result. You may consider contacting your local government to determine whether alternate forms of documentation are acceptable to establish right to work or contact relevant professional organizations for advice on documentation of specific qualifications for individuals fleeing the war.

Psychological and emotional trauma

The experience of fleeing one’s home to escape danger can create serious psychological and emotional trauma. Consider how you will accommodate and support refugees’ mental health needs in the aftermath of this trauma.

With critical evaluation of these special challenges and some preparation, employers can hire refugees and ensure their success.

How can my job postings effectively reach refugees?

As part of our response to the war in Ukraine, we’ve asked experts like the International Rescue Committee (IRC) what refugee job seekers need to know about a potential job opportunity. They’ve told us that information on language requirements and training, as well as work location or relocation assistance are some of the most useful insights for a refugee job seeker to make an informed decision about any job application.

To reach refugee job seekers, there are a number of steps you can take when crafting your job postings.

  • Post jobsfor free* on Indeed
  • Indicate the language requirements for the job and if you offer language training
  • Indicate if you offer relocation assistance
  • Indicate the salary and additional benefits (such as transportation support, child care, etc.)
  • In addition, Indeed is asking all employers for additional details when posting jobs. Please consider providing this information where possible.

*Terms, conditions, quality standards and usage limits apply.

What are the benefits of hiring a refugee?

As an employer, you will be able to contribute to the refugee re-settlement process in a receiving country by providing alearning environmentfor those fleeing their home country. A learning environment includes providing opportunities to learn about your country’s culture, opportunities to communicate in the language of the receiving country, development of new skills, as well as providing financial support and autonomy to those in need. In addition, employers will benefit from the skills and talents of those coming from Ukraine.

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*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your recruiting or legal advisor, we are not responsible for the content of your job descriptions, and none of the information provided herein guarantees performance.

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