South Dakota welcomes Ukrainian refugee families!

South Dakota is the №1 choice for Ukrainian refugees in the United States, offering various opportunities to rebuild and create a safe and prosperous future.  

Many groups such as government agencies, companies, non-profit organizations and friendly residents are working together to help Ukrainian refugees.

Learn more about South Dakota's ambitious plan to welcome more than 10,000 Ukrainian refugee families.

About South Dakota


The population of South Dakota is approximately 880,000. The state, known for popular attraction Mount Rushmore, ranks 16th in total area among the 50 states. South Dakota provides a high quality of life due to its shared values strong economy and active labor market.

Nature and Culture

South Dakota has untouched natural beauty and a vibrant cultural environment. You will see great natural diversity here, starting with the wide-open glacial lakes, the Black Hills, and stunning Mount Rushmore.

The happiest state

South Dakota is consistently ranked as one of the country's happiest states, making it a perfect place for new beginnings.

Learn more on the official website of South Dakota.

South Dakota's potential

Many people move to South Dakota because of our open approach to growth and inclusiveness. We are here to help individuals, families, and businesses succeed with low taxes, and diverse career and educational opportunities. 

Professional development can be pursued in South Dakota while maintaining a healthy work-life balance due to:

Reliable support

and comprehensive assistance with adaptation are available.

Fast relocation.

USA visa for relocation is just a couple of clicks away.

High quality of life 

One of the lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states. 

Strong Economy

South Dakota provides new opportunities for growth.

Unimaginable beauty of nature

South Dakota is a place where the beauty of nature is breathtaking. Enjoy outdoor activities and visit various attractions, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, Black Hills, Missouri River, and other state parks, lakes, and trails.

Locals also enjoy fishing and hunting. Learn more about these opportunities here.
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Discover new opportunities.

Find out about various opportunities and necessary information on career development, education, healthcare, and more.


South Dakota is home to many diverse, fast-growing companies that need workers. If you want to change your career, there are opportunities to learn new skills such as taking courses at vocational training centers or technical colleges or start a new business.

Living conditions

 A network of volunteers (sponsors and community supporters) is working to arrange for initial accommodation and other needs until you get your first job.

Health Care

Medicaid health insurance with basic coverage for all medical needs is provided to you and your family.

Adaptation support

The sponsor and other volunteers plan to provide support throughout the process.


All school-age children can enroll in local schools.

Learning English

You and your children can take free English lessons, if needed.

Financial support

Several programs in the United States for refugees and low-income families provide financial assistance for food. You may be eligible for these as soon as you arrive. Your sponsor or sponsoring organization can help you with other needs and expenses not covered by these programs.


Learn more about the opportunities, career, education, health care, and more.
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What are the minimum English language requirements for potential candidates (required / optional / minimum level)?

Within this program, English language proficiency is not required. However, having some proficiency might help you communicate with your sponsor, access services, adjust, and expand employment opportunities.

Refugees must attend in English language classes for at least 24 hours per month to maintain eligibility for cash assistance.

Can a candidate participate in the program if their specialty is not in demand in South Dakota?

Yes. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training (OJT) in the state.

Is there financial assistance?

Financial support is available during the time that refugees resettle in South Dakota. Initially, South Dakota considers this as humanitarian assistance for Ukrainian refugees to help them come to South Dakota, get settled, become self-sufficient, and start working.

Flights. The airfares from Europe to the US will depend on the sponsor/sponsoring organization and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are various fundraising efforts to help with this, and refugees can contribute to these costs.

Housing. The sponsor will make initial housing arrangements, which can vary from case to case. Sometimes, a landlord or Airbnb may provide a house or apartment for free. In some cases, a sponsor or another organization, such as a church, may pay the rent. In other cases, a sponsor may host a refugee in their home in a guest room. The refugee and sponsor must keep in touch throughout the process.

Food. Shortly after arrival, refugees will be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as "food stamps", which will allow them to buy sufficient food. Amounts vary, but generally it is around $200 per person per month. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may provide an additional stipend. A sponsor or sponsoring organization may help with other needs and expenses.

Health Insurance. Medicaid or Refugee Health Insurance will provide you and your family with basic coverage for all medical needs for up to 12 months. It typically takes from 14 to 28 days before your coverage begins.

For more details, please visit this website.

Is there financial support after starting a job?

Housing. Employment should provide enough money to pay for housing, but there may be situations when this is difficult. The sponsor and community intend to work with the refugee to find a solution.

Food. Employment should provide enough money to pay for food. If not, some level of SNAP may be available.

Health insurance. Typical options may include employer-provided insurance, and the employee often pays part of the monthly premium.

Some refugees may be eligible (depending on their specific situation) for health insurance (known as Obamacare), with the employee often paying a portion of the monthly premium.

Medicaid health insurance may also be available in certain situations.

What happens if a candidate  tries their best to find a job, but doesn’t succeed?

There are thousands of job openings in South Dakota. Sponsors and other types of support will help refugees find a job in South Dakota. If a person makes a good-faith effort to find a job but is unsuccessful, public assistance remains available (SNAP and TANF).

Is public transportation well-developed in South Dakota?

Public transportation in South Dakota is less developed than in Ukraine. Sioux Falls and Rapid City have reliable bus systems. However, the frequency and coverage are not as good compared to Ukrainian cities.

There are no fixed-route shuttles as there are in Ukraine. However, many medium-sized and small cities (e.g., Aberdeen, Brookings, Watertown, Milbank) have on-call bus systems that are reasonably priced. These require the rider to call ahead to schedule a pick-up and drop-off.

In cases where public transportation is impractical or unavailable, the sponsor or sponsoring organization will arrange transportation.

Many communities in South Dakota are small enough for walking and biking to be practical.

Eventually, Ukrainians may want to obtain South Dakota driver's license and/or purchase a car.

Are free English lessons available?

In some South Dakota communities, there are nonprofit organizations that provide English lessons. The majority of public schools offer help with English language learning to non-native speakers.

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Pourquoi ai-je plusieurs frais de port sur une même commande ?
Pourquoi ma commande est expédiée en plusieurs fois ?
Je souhaite noter ma commande ou des produits
J’ai reçu une commande incomplète. Que faire ?
Mon produit est arrivé cassé /incomplet / non conforme
Comment contacter un vendeur ?
Is it possible to get additional vocational training?

Potential employers or other private organizations may provide or pay for vocational training.

Depending on the refugee’s situation, there may be other opportunities for job training. 

What schools and preschools available for children in South Dakota?

Most communities have public and private schools for all ages (usually starting at 5 years old). After kindergarten, there are 12 grades of school (as opposed to 10 grades in Ukraine).

Most daycare facilities (preschool care) are privately owned and charge reasonable fees. There is often a waiting list for a place in daycare. Communities are working on solutions to provide more daycare options.

A preschool program that promotes child development, known as Head Start, is available to some low-income families. Head Start is a 7-hour program for children ages 3 to 5. They also provide Early Head Start to help parents (with home visits) raise children ages 1 to 2.

Extracurricular activities for children. What are the most popular activities in South Dakota?

Many students participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by the school. These include many sports, playing in the orchestra, speech, debate and drama.

Many South Dakota communities also have club and town-organized sports teams, bands, and community theaters. Softball is the most popular club sport. Swimming, soccer, ice skating, and hockey are available in many communities. Several communities have Boys and Girls Clubs that provide a variety of after-school activities as well as life skills classes.4-H clubs are famous throughout South Dakota. 4-H provides opportunities for youth to develop agricultural, entrepreneurial, and life skills. 4-H also provides lessons in sports such as archery and shooting and organizes state-level competitions.

Will there be any assistance in Ukrainian/Russian in order to be able to call and ask any question about local life?

Yes, several Ukrainian/Russian-speaking people live in South Dakota and can answer questions about life in the state. We can arrange a call on a case-by-case basis. We are working on a more systematic approach to provide this assistance.

What specialties are the most in-demand, which are the most likely to find a job?

According to a publication by the South Dakota Labor and Market Information Center, the top 30 in-demand professions in the state from 2020-2030 can be found here:

In addition to these professions, there are many other vacancies in the service sector (retail stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.). For a more detailed description of current job openings, see this link:

There are also many other vacancies in the service sector (retail stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.).

Will this program work for Ukrainian refugees who are already in the United States and have a work permit but are now in another state?

South Dakota welcomes Ukrainian refugees who are already in the United States regardless of their current location. We recommend that these refugees coordinate with their current sponsor in their current state before moving to South Dakota..

We can assist in connecting Ukrainians with potential employers.

It is worth noting that some federal benefits may not apply to individuals with other immigration or visitor statuses. However, they may still be able to move to South Dakota.

Do you see yourself relocating to South Dakota?

Let us hear about you and we will contact you once the program is launched.

Take the first step to your new home

We would love to hear more about you in order to determine the best way for us to help you.