TAMPA, Fla — What happens next is the question Ukrainian refugees are trying to answer as they begin to resettle.
“I have my own house," Valeriia Skorobohaca said. "I have the clinic. I have the friends there. I have the car. So, I have everything to leave there and I need to start everything from the beginning."
Skorobohaca said it's hard to start everything from the beginning when she can’t work yet.
“Part of resettling in the United States, aside from finding a place to live, learning a new language, is having the right to work," Castro Legal Group founder Renata Castro said.
Getting her hands on proper documentation so that she can work is the latest hurdle Skorobohaca is trying to overcome.
“That's the only one thing that I need, to go for work, because I don't have the responsibility to do it because we have only the visas here," Skorobohaca said.
One immigration attorney told ABC Action News it could take anywhere from three to six months before employment authorization is granted.
“This is still a bureaucratic, morose, process, legal process. Be prepared for delays even though the immigration agency has made it their current purpose to expedite cases," Castro added.
Castro said Ukrainian refugees, who entered the U.S. before April 19 can apply, for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through immigration services.
She added this will grant them authorization to work, opening the doors for medical benefits as well.
“Ukrainian nationals receive protection for two years and it is renewable," Castro said. "So, for as long as the United States recognizes Ukraine as a disaster area, Ukrainian Nationals will be able to renew their TPS designation and remain in the United States working, paying taxes, go to school, and just having as close to a normal life as they can."
Skorobohaca said she’ll feel a sense of normalcy once she can get back to work.
“I couldn't work in Ukraine because we don't have the electricity we don't have the water there in my city," she said. "That's why the focus is on the documents. The focus is on the restart of the usual life for my kids."