Immigration Options for UK & Ukraine
Updated 11 March 2022
The current situation between Russia and Ukraine has shocked the world. In recognition of the fact that millions are fleeing Ukraine, the Home Office have set up the Ukraine Family Scheme which is designed to assist those with UK-based family members.
The application is free and can be accessed here.
In order to be eligible under the Ukraine Family Scheme, an applicant must show they are:
- Intending to join or accompany their UK-based family member;
- Residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 01 January 2022
In addition, the UK-based family member must be:
- A British national; or
- Someone who is settled (i.e. they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence); or
- Someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 01 January 2021; or
- Someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
A family member constitutes someone:
- 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 would be:
- 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
You can also be the immediate family member of an extended family member. Other family members will be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.
Visas issued under the Ukraine Family Scheme will be valid for up to three years.
You will first need to complete an online application form (see the link above). Once completed, if you have a valid Ukrainian passport you will then be invited to verify your identity using an online platform. Please note that this option for online verification will be available from Tuesday 15th March 2022. If you do not have a valid Ukrainian passport or there is something complex about your case then you will be invited to book a biometric appointment. This is an appointment where you have your fingerprints and photograph taken. It is not an interview. You will be expected to provide supporting documents. These would typically be:
- Ukrainian passport or ID
- Proof of address in Ukraine that pre-dates 01 January 2022
- Evidence of your UK family member's immigration status
- Evidence of how you are related to your UK family member (i.e. birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.).
The Home Office do understand that some of these documents may not be available. You would be asked to explain where the documents are and why you cannot access them.
There may also be corporate sponsorship routes available but at the time of writing these have not yet been announced though there are rumours it could be announced on Monday 14th March 2022. It is anticipated that this scheme will help those who have no UK family ties or connections to be sponsored by a community, private institution or local authority. These visas are likely to be issued for a period of 12 months. This document will be updated with more information when it is available.