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Home Office visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals

Non-British family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine can now apply for family migration visa for free.

The Home office has published updated guidance on support for family members of British nationals who normally live in Ukraine. This is in addition to the guidance already issued on concessions for Ukrainian nationals already in the UK.

What does this mean for Ukrainians in the UK?

For Ukrainian nationals already in the UK, some temporary concessions are now in place to support those who are unable to return when their existing visa expires. This means that Ukrainian nationals can extend their stay in the UK without the need to leave and re-apply from overseas.

These temporary concessions apply to visitors, skilled workers, students, seasonal workers, HGV drivers and pork butchers. Further information on each route and contact details for assistance can be found in the guidance.

What does this mean for Non-British family members of British nationals in Ukraine?

Non-British family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine can now apply for family migration visa for free. This is open to persons of all nationalities (except British) whose British family member usually lives in Ukraine. The British family member must be:

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

UKVI are aiming to process these visa applications within 24 hours of biometrics being submitted. Those wishing to apply are advised to contact UKVI before doing so, using the contact details provide in the guidance.

From Friday 4 March 2022, the Ukraine Family Scheme will allow extended family members to apply. Applicants must:

  • Complete an online application form
  • Book an appointment at any Visa Application Centre (VAC) throughout Europe
  • Attend a VAC appointment
  • Remain in the location where the application has been submitted until UKVI get in touch.

Visa application centres

To keep people safe, the UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kyiv has been closed and all UK visa services in Kyiv are suspended. Applicants can attend the temporary VAC in the city of Lviv to give biometrics. Those who are able to safely travel can apply through a VAC in a nearby country. VACs are currently operating in Poland, Romania, Hungary and Moldova.

What about Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine?

As it stands, Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine (who aren’t immediate family members of British nationals normally living in Ukraine, or where the British national is living in the UK), are not able to make visa applications to visit, work, study or join family in the UK through a VAC in Ukraine. Instead, applications can be made via a VAC in one of the nearby countries.

There are plans for a new sponsorship scheme for Ukrainians with no family ties to the UK. The Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine will allow sponsors, such as communities, private sponsors, or local authorities, to bring those forced to escape Ukraine to the UK.

The Home Office has announced that there will be no limit on this scheme and all Ukrainians that wish to come and have matched sponsors will be welcomed.

Leave will be granted for an initial period of 12 months and individuals will be able to work and access public services.

Those who wish to sponsor an individual or family can volunteer and will be matched quickly with Ukrainians in need.

Further details are expected soon, including information on how people and organisations in the UK can apply to be sponsors.

What does this mean for employers of Ukrainians in the UK?

Employees on the temporary HGV or poultry and pork butcher visas schemes will have their visas extended until 31 December 2022. They will also be allowed to apply to the skilled worker route from within the UK.

Support should be given to other employees who have a visa that will expire soon to ensure they are aware of the measures in place to assist them to extend their visa, or to switch to another route, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so.

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