Ukraine: UK Government visa concessions
The situation in Ukraine is fast moving, information will be added to this page when it is made available by the UK government. Bookmark this page and check back regularly, the most recent information will be at the top of the page.
Updated: 1 April 2022
From the 3 May 2022 if you are a Ukraine national and you have permission to stay in the UK on or before the 18 March 2022 you can apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme.
If your partner and children are already in the UK as your dependants they can also apply. If you previously had permission to stay in the UK but it has expired since 1 January 2022 then you will be also able to apply. The application is free but not yet available to apply for.
Options available depending on the type of visa you currently have
If you are in the UK on a visitor visa and cannot return to Ukraine you can apply to switch to another visa. You will need to meet the requirements of that immigration route.
If you are on a Skilled Worker visa that is due to expire you can apply to extend your leave or apply for settlement if you meet the Immigration Rules.
If you are on a student visa that is due to expire you can apply to extend your leave, switch to a Graduate visa, or switch to another type of visa if you meet the Immigration Rules.
You can extend your visa to 31 December 2022. You must continue working in a job permitted by the Seasonal Worker route, with the same Scheme Operator (your sponsor).
17 March 2022
Home for Ukrainians
The UK government have been asking the British public to open their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war in the new Homes for Ukrainians scheme. The scheme is set to go live on Friday 18 March 2022 and Boris Johnson has confirmed that 100,000 people have already signed up to the scheme.
How the scheme works
The scheme will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members. Those who are sponsoring the scheme are expected to provide accommodation for a minimum of 6 months but longer if they are able to do so.
A person fleeing Ukraine can apply to the scheme if they:
- Were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022
- Are a Ukrainian national
- Are an immediate family member of a Ukrainian national
People arriving under this scheme will be able to:
- Live and work in the UK for up to three years
- Access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition.
Information added: 14 March 2022
Ukraine Family Scheme
The UK government has announced that from Tuesday 15 March, if you are outside the UK and hold a valid Ukrainian international passport, you will no longer need to provide your biometric information from overseas to apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme. You will still need to complete an application online, but you will not need to attend an in-person appointment at a visa application centre.
Before 15 March, you should apply to the scheme using the current process of applying online and booking an appointment at a visa application centre (VAC). You must provide a valid email address when you submit your application as they will need to contact you with more guidance on the travel process.
Updated UK immigration concessions
As of 11 March 2022 the UK Government has updated its Immigration Concessions for people entering the UK from the Ukraine and people who are already in the UK from the Ukraine. The current position now allows applicants of the scheme to join family members or extend their stay in the UK.
The application is free and once approved on the scheme it is valid for 3 years. The scheme allows people to be able to live, work, study and access public funds. Please note the application process differs depending if you are in the UK already and you will be subject to security checks.
Application criteria for the Ukraine Family Scheme
All applicants to the Ukraine Family Scheme must:
- be applying to join or accompany a UK-based family member; and
- be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme; and
- have been residing in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)
You can apply for the above even if you are in the UK already.
UK based family member
Your family member in the UK must be one of the following:
- a British national
- someone settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
- someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
You must provide evidence that your UK-based family member is one of the following:
An immediate family member which is your:
- spouse or civil partner
- unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least two years)
- child who is under 18
- parent (if you are under 18)
- fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner
An extended family member which is your:
- parent (if you are over 18)
- child who is over 18
- grandchild or your partner’s grandchild
- brother or sister
- aunt or uncle
- niece or nephew
- mother-in-law or father-in-law
- brother or sister-in-law
To confirm your relationship with the UK based family member you will be asked to provide evidence such as, a marriage or birth certificate if you have one. However, you can still apply if you are unable to provide evidence as long as you can explain why you are unable to do so. To find more information about the scheme please review the UK Government website.
Immediate family member of an extended family member
- spouse or civil partner of an extended family member
- child under 18 of an extended family member
- parent of a child under 18 who is an extended family member
- fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of an extended family member
If your UK-based family member is your (or an extended family member’s) spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner the relationship must have started before 1 January 2022. Other family members will be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.
Ukraine family scheme – helpful links and contact numbers:
Home Office general number – 0300 3032785
Home Office number for the Ukraine Family Scheme – +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK).
Please feel free to contact the David Gray immigration team on 0191 232 9547 if you have queries, the team will be happy to help.
Information added 4 March 2022 – it may be superseded by information added more recently.
Due to the tragic events that are unfolding in the Ukraine, the UK Government has had to act fast by introducing Immigration Concessions to help secure UK visas for those fleeing from the Russian invasion to get to safety.
In support of this, here at David Gray Solicitors, our Immigration team has signed up to the Ukraine Advice Project to help give free advice on the ever-changing immigration concessions. If you or if you know anyone who is affected please get in touch.
Entering the UK from Ukraine
On 1 March 2022 the UK Government updated its temporary Immigration Concessions for people trying to enter the UK from Ukraine. The current position for a family mitigation visa is, any person of any nationality who lives in Ukraine with a British national can apply. This means that the British citizen does not have to be a Ukraine national as long as the British sponsor is:
- Spouse or civil partner.
- Unmarried partner (i.e. cohabited in a relationship for two years).
- Parent, if the applicant is under 18.
- Child under 18.
- Adult relative who lives with the applicant to whom the applicant provides care because of their medical condition.
Ukraine Family Scheme
The Extended family members scheme comes into force on Friday 4 March 2022. All applicants to the Ukraine Family Scheme should follow these steps:
- Complete an online application form.
- Book an appointment at any Visa Application Centre throughout Europe.
- Attend a Visa Application Centre appointment, for accelerated security checks.
- Remain in the location where you have submitted your application until we contact you.
Before you apply, the UK Government states you must contact the UKVI on +44 300 3032785 and select option 1. The lines are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and they can confirm if you are eligible.
Visa Application Centres
If you are eligible and required to go to a Visa Application Centres (VAC) there is one in the city of Lviv, (Lemberg Business Centre) or alternatively, there are centres in; Poland, Romania, Hungary and Moldova. When you have completed the application, the outcome is usually decided within 24 hours from when you have submitted your biometrics (fingerprints) at the VAC and there is no fee to pay. To find out more please review the UK Government website.
Already in the UK – Visa switching and extensions
If you have a current visa such as working, studying or living in the UK then potentially your current visa can be extended to 31 December 2022 or alternatively you can switch to another visa even if your current visa does not allow you to. The UK Government has set out what is required for different types of visa on their website.
Helpful links and contact numbers:
Home Office telephone number: 0300 3032785
Contact our immigration specialists for advice
Please contact the David Gray Immigration team on 0191 232 9547 if you have anything you want to discuss and we will be happy to help.