Press Club

Statutes of Liberty: Dear Russian diplomats and government officials in Washington

This sponsored column is by Law Office of James Montana PLLC. All questions about it should be directed to James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq., and Laura Lorenzo, Esq., practicing attorneys at The Law Office of James Montana PLLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Arlington, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact us for an appointment.

If You Oppose the War in Ukraine, Apply for Asylum with Our Office, for Free

Like most Americans, we reacted to news of the Russian attack on Ukraine with horror.

There are a few things that we, as immigration lawyers, can do to help.

The first thing we can do is offer our advice and assistance to any Russian diplomats and government employees in Washington. Ordinary Russian citizens are protesting their government’s decision to invade Ukraine, at great risk to themselves and their families.

If you are a Russian diplomat or government employee in the Washington, D.C. area, and you oppose this invasion, and you fear that your opposition to your government’s policy will put you and your family in danger, our office will be glad to help you and your family apply for political asylum in the United States, for free. Feel free to contact us by whatever means you consider safest and most secure.

The second thing we can do is provide information to Ukrainians living in our area about how our immigration laws may be able to offer them some assistance. The U.S. government is considering offering temporary protection (“TPS”) to Ukrainians in the U.S., but that has not happened yet. Do not apply for that benefit until it is available. If you are here on a visitor visa, you might consider applying to extend your stay. We can help with that, and answer any other questions you have about how to remain safely in the United States.

In addition, we want to share information about departure from Ukraine for those who hold valid travel documents. Pre-departure COVID tests are no longer required. Of course, in the absence of civilian air travel in Ukraine, this information is likely to be more useful to Ukrainians who have already left Ukraine for other countries with functioning civil air transport.

The third thing we can do is provide information for Americans in Ukraine. The State Department has released guidance on how to leave Ukraine. Here it is. Please stay safe.

As always, we welcome comments and will reply to all that we can.

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