As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, many Ukrainians who are currently in the United States have two options for extending their stays: apply for either Temporary Protected Status or asylum. For either, however, the applications they must complete are complicated to fill out and available only in English.
To help Ukrainians living in the U.S. extend their stays, the technology company SixFifty today launched a free, automated tool, available in both English and Ukrainian, to help them complete the necessary paperwork.
“Going home isn’t an option for Ukrainians right now,” said Kimball Parker, CEO of SixFifty. “Tens of thousands of Ukrainians will need to apply for TPS or asylum over the next several months in order to stay in the U.S. SixFifty is hoping to alleviate the stress of applying during what is surely one of the most challenging moments in their lives.”
Read more about SixFifty at the LawNext Legal Tech Directory.
Although Ukrainians are free to use the tool directly, SixFifty recommends that applicants go through it in conjunction with an attorney. SixFifty is already working with major law firms to deploy it to their attorneys who are providing pro bono assistance to Ukrainians.
The tool guides the user through a series of questions in English and Ukrainian that pertain to either the TPS application or the asylum application. Based on the user’s responses, the system fills out the application documents (translating Ukrainian responses into English) and then emails a copy to the user with instructions on how to proceed.
For the TPS application, the tool can also populate a work authorization form and an attorney representation form. SixFifty worked with the Refugee Justice League and other immigration experts to ensure the tool would be as effective as possible in helping those in need.
To assist in translating the forms into Ukrainian, SixFifty employed Kateryna Kravchenko, a Ukrainian citizen who is studying linguistics at Brigham Young University, and Eva Malezhyk, a family friend who fled Ukraine three weeks ago, together with Kravchenko’s mother.
“I have friends and family who need to apply for TPS or asylum to stay in the United States, including my mother,” said Kravchenko. “This free tool gives me comfort that they can find a way to stay in the United States legally.”
SixFifty also sought to simplify the questions an applicant would need to answer, reducing somes sections of the application forms that have multiple highly specific questions down into a single general question that covers all of them.
For example, SixFifty’s tool asks whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, but it does not ask about each specific crime listed on the official application form.
Among the firms that will use the tool to help process TPS and asylum applications is Wilson Sonsini. “With the help of SixFifty’s groundbreaking technology, we hope to help many more individuals stay in the United States in the coming months than would otherwise be possible,” said Luke Liss, pro bono partner at the firm.
I have written several times about SixFifty, which has created a number of tools to automate legal processes for business and individuals. You can read more posts on this blog about SixFifty here or read more about its products at the LawNext Legal Tech Directory.