Visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals

Mar 29, 2022

In response to the current situation in Ukraine, the Home Office has introduced temporary visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals currently living in the UK.

On 27 February 2022, an updated guidance has also been published on support for family members of British nationals who normally live in Ukraine.

The guidance has been updated on 29 March 2022 to allow Ukrainian nationals who had permission to stay in the UK on or before 18 March 2022 to apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme from 3 May 2022. Partners and children who are already in the UK as dependants of the Ukrainian national can also apply.

If your previous permission to stay in the UK has expired since 1 January 2022 you will also be eligible to apply.

Ukrainian nationals currently in the UK

Under the UK Immigration Rules, most visa categories require individuals to re-apply from overseas to extend heir stay in the UK or switch to a different visa category.

The new temporary concessions allow Ukrainian nationals to extend their permission and retain lawful status without having to leave the UK.

Visitor visa holders

Ukrainian visitors in the UK can now apply to switch from their visitor visa to a different points-based route or a family visa route if they cannot return to Ukraine. Ordinarily, the immigration rules do not allow visitors to switch into a different visa category. Those who wish to apply still have to meet the eligibility criteria of the visa they are switching into and pay the associated visa fee(s).

Skilled Worker visa holders  

Ukrainian nationals on a Skilled Worker visa that is due to expire can apply to extend their leave or apply for settlement if they meet the Immigration Rules.

Student visa holders

Ukrainian nationals on a Student visa that is due to expire can apply to extend their leave or switch to a Graduate visa, if they meet the Immigration Rules.

Seasonal workers

Ukrainian nationals who are currently working as a seasonal worker in the UK, can extend their visa to 31 December 2022 if they cannot return to Ukraine. They must continue working for the same sponsor (scheme operator) in a job permitted by the Seasonal Worker route.

UKVI will liaise with your sponsor for the extension, and you will be notified by the Home Office if this concession applies to you.

HGV drivers

Ukrainian nationals who are currently working as an HGV driver in the UK can apply to extend their visa to 31 December 2022 if they cannot return to Ukraine.  They must continue working in their current occupation with the same sponsor.

UKVI will liaise with your sponsor for the extension, and you will be notified by the Home Office if this concession applies to you.

Pork butchers

You can request a temporary extension of your visa until 31 December 2022 if you cannot return to Ukraine.

UKVI will liaise with your sponsor for the extension, and you will be notified by the Home Office if this concession applies to you.

The Home Office advises Ukrainian nationals to discuss with their employers whether they are eligible for the Skilled Worker route.

Ukrainian nationals with family in the UK

Ukraine Family Scheme visa

It allows family members of British citizens, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK.

This is a fee-free visa route without salary or English language requirements, however applicants will need to pass a security check.

To be eligible you must:

  • be applying to join or accompany your UK-based family member; and
  • be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme
  • have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine).
Visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals

compiled by Judit Adorjan – Immigration Consultant

Non-British family members of British nationals in Ukraine

Family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine can also apply for a family migration visa for free.

The British national family member must be one of the following:

  • a spouse or civil partner
  • an unmarried partner (living together in a relationship for at least 2 years)
  • parent (if you are under the age of 18)
  • child (under the age of 18)
  • an adult relative you provide care for who lives with you due to a medical condition

Those who wish to apply must contact UKVI before doing so. The contact details are provided in the guidance.

You will be asked to provide information about yourself and your family member, as well as contact details.  UKVI will then confirm whether you are eligible for a family migration visa and share details of the free application process.

If an individual does not meet the eligibility criteria, for example the English language requirement or minimum income requirement, UKVI will consider an alternative grant of leave to come to the UK.

UKVI aim to process family migration visa applications, or contact you about your application, within 24 hours from when you have submitted your biometrics (fingerprints) at the VAC.

Ukrainians who don’t have family in the UK

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)

To be eligible you must:

  • have been resident in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022
  • be currently outside the UK
  • have a named a UK sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

Individuals and organisations can record their interest in becoming a sponsor.

Anyone in the UK can use this service provided:

  • they can offer accommodation for at least 6 months
  • if they are not British citizens, have permission to stay in the UK for at least 6 months.

It is free to apply. The applicant and the sponsor can fill in the form together. You and your sponsor will need to complete security and safeguarding checks.

From 15 March 2022 valid Ukraine passport holders or with an expired Ukrainian international passport including a formal extension stamp issued by the Ukrainian government do not need to attend in-person Visa Application Centre (VAC) appointments.

All applicants still need to complete an online application form and undergo the appropiate checks. They will then receive direct notification that they are eligible for the scheme they applied for.

Valid passport holders who have not attended a VAC will be granted 6 months leave to enter the UK outside the rules including the permission to work, study and claim benefits immediately.

To extend their stay for up to 3 years they must enrol their biometric data within 6 months of arriving in the UK. The can start the process for this by filling in the online form.

If you do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport you will need to book and attend an appointment at a Visa Application Centre.

The UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Ukraine are currently closed.

If you are able to travel safely you can apply at a VAC in any country.

There is a temporary VAC in Rzeszow, Poland. Walk-in appointments are no longer accepted, therefore you must book an appointment before attending the Rzeszow VAC.

VACs are currently operating throughout Europe including:

If you are a Ukrainian National looking for a Visa Concession, get in touch with our Expert UK Immigration Lawyers

Should you have any questions related to the changes being introduced feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.

Visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals

Karen Kaur and Jonathan Beech. Immigration Lawyers