Many Ukrainians have crossed into Poland since 24 February 2022 when Russia invaded. Some may want passage to the United States. Those fearing return to Ukraine need to ask for asylum with the Polish Government. The US Embassy only offers assistance to those desiring non-immigrant visas, usually for visitors and students, and to those eligible for immigrant visas, usually relatives of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. The US Mission in Poland has posted information to help Ukrainians applying for non-immigrant and immigrant visas in Poland.
The US Embassy and Consulate in Poland is on the US Travel Docs (vs. Yatri software platform) appointment system. A hotline has been set up for Ukraine related calls from outside the US +1(606) 260-4379, or from inside the US +1(883) 741 2777, but discussion with a licensed US lawyer who focuses on immigration and visas is recommended instead of calling this number. Such hotlines tend to have overworked representatives who cannot get the whole picture from an applicant, and therefore can only give limited advice that should not be relied on.
There is a US Embassy in Warsaw and a US Consulate General in Krakow (together the "US Mission in Poland"). There is information on Humanitarian Assistance to people in Poland at the US Poland Mission website.
Visitor and Student Visa Applicants at US Mission Poland
The most common and easy non-immigrant visa is the B1/B2 or visitor visa. The US Mission in Poland makes it clear that applications for non-immigrant visas like the B1/B2 or F-1 student visa require non-immigrant intent. Anyone stating an intention to stay permanently in the United States will be denied a non-immigrant visitor or student visa.
B visa applicants will need to show that the purpose of their trip is for a temporary visit, usually for business, pleasure or medical treatment. They need to be traveling for something that is limited and specific in duration. They need to show the ability to fund their trip without working in the United States. Finally, they need to show that they have a residence outside the US to which they will return, or other vital social or economic ties outside the US.
Appointments for non-immigrant visa applicants are made on the appointment setting account after starting a DS-160 online visa application. It is highly recommended that after completing a DS-160 in draft, you have a US licensed attorney with a focus on visa applications review the form after an in-depth consultation, where the lawyer speaks to you about your personal situation and visa eligibility. The concept of non-immigrant intent can be a difficult idea to grasp and show, but it is vital for qualifying for a non-immigrant visa.
After starting a DS-160, you can create an appointment account and pay a government visa fee (US$160) to schedule an appointment. Have with you your passport valid for six months beyond your intended period of stay in the US, a US passport size photo (2” square), and your DS-160 number. Students should have their I-20 form at the time that they create an appointment account.
Expedited Appointments / Emergency Visa Appointments
If you would like to request an expedited appointment based on humanitarian need or urgent work or study in the United States, you should speak to an attorney. Requests can be made on the appointment setting account by clicking the Emergency Request/ Expedited Request function.  The account will show when the earliest available emergency appointment date is. Documents in support of the request may be submitted. The request will be reviewed by US Mission Poland consular officers, and a response will be received by email. You will only get one chance at an expedite request, so use of an attorney to write the request and to advise on supporting documents is highly recommended.
As of the writing of this blog, visitor visa appointments at the US Consulate in Krakow were at 100 days out and at over six months out at the US Embassy in Warsaw. You can check regular appointment times before paying for a visa application. It is highly recommended to set up a visa appointment account to be able to track appointments on the calendar to attempt to get a sooner appointment just by watching the calendar. Appointments will open up for rescheduling from time to time.
Visitor Visa Appointments for Spouses and Children of American Citizens
Tips were circulated from the Warsaw US Embassy American Citizen Services section on February 26, 2022 to get appointments scheduled for non-immigrant visas for Ukrainians with US spouses or children. It is assumed that these were for families who planned to return abroad as soon as peace was re-established. Non-immigrant intent was still required to get the B (visitor) visas.
- In Warsaw, people could apply as a visa type “C1/D” (crew member), to get an appointment scheduled for a B visa. The embassy would re-categorize the appointment when the applicant came in.
- In Krakow, people could sign up for an “F” (student) appointment even if they weren’t a student. The consulate would recategorize the appointment when the applicant came in.
Family-Based Immigrant Visas for Ukrainians
If you were designated to Kyiv for your family-based immigrant visa application, your new processing post is the US Embassy in Frankfurt, Germany. The US Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC) is automatically re-assigning new immigrant visa case numbers for Frankfurt from Kyiv.
The US Mission in Germany has great resources for the demand on it historically, and the consular officers' work flow is well-managed by post leadership. US Mission German has multiple locations including consulates in Berlin and Munich. Berlin and Munich consulates issue non-immigrant visas only. The Frankfurt US Embassy has been known to convert to an immigrant-visas-only location when demand spikes.
Ukrainians with applications at the NVC can request and are receiving expedited processing of their cases in Frankfurt. Consult with a US immigration lawyer to make an expedite request. Life or death medical emergencies among other reasons can be the basis for an expedite request. 
Marriage with a US Citizen Spouse: Exceptional Circumstances Direct Consular Filing
Fiancé petitions cannot be direct filed in US Embassies abroad. You can file them only at the USCIS in the United States, and then ask for expediting with the USCIS. The USCIS has created a specific web page on helping Ukrainians after the invasion. Among other assistance, it mentions expediting petitions.
Asylum Seekers Should Apply in Poland with the Polish Government
The US Mission in Poland lets Ukrainians newly arrived in Poland know that asylum seekers will be processed by local authorities - in Poland. Refugees from Ukraine should appeal to the Polish Government and the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, in Poland. Ukrainians should not apply to the US Poland Mission as refugees or asylees. They cannot come to the US with intent to stay permanently without an immigrant visa. Most immigrant visas to the United States are based on marriage to a US citizen or US lawful permanent resident.
 For comparison, Russia-based, foreign spouses, who were processing US immigrant visas at the US Embassy in Moscow, were automatically re-designated to Warsaw by the National Visa Center. Previously designated Moscow applicants who were documentarily complete (DC) at the NVC were taking only three weeks to receive an appointment notice after re-designation to Warsaw, and appointments were set only one month after that before the Ukrainian invasion. Frankfurt US Embassy was completely caught up on its immigrant visa queue in fall 2021 as well. Interviews were being set only about a month after being DC.
U.S. Embassy Consular Section
ul. Piekna 12 00-540
Hale C. Van Koughnett, Consul General, Warsaw
U.S. Consulate General
ul. Stolarska 9 31-043
Patrick T. Slowinski , Consul General, Krakow
Relevant Email Addresses