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Visa Concessions for Ukrainians

The Home Office has introduced a temporary concession for Ukrainians in the UK as visitors, seasonal workers, skilled workers, students, HGV drivers, or pork butchers. There are also new measures to help Ukrainian residents with family ties and those without family ties to migrate to the UK.

Please use the contact form for immediate help & assistance with your extending or switching your visa based on the new provisions.

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    Overview of Ukrainian Concessions in the UK

    In response to the situation in Ukraine, the Home Office has announced visa concessions to support Ukrainians with valid visas in the UK as well as other measures to assist Ukrainian residents with migrating to the UK.

    Ukrainians in the UK with an existing UK visa that will expire soon can have their visas temporarily extended based on the visa’s standard requirements or until 31st December 2022. These concessions are for Ukrainian nationals on a visitor visa, student visa, skilled worker visa, and those in the UK as Seasonal Workers and HGV drivers.

    Currently, the visa application centre in Kyiv is closed but the Home Office has agreed to support non-British family members of British citizens who are in Ukraine to migrate to the UK for free and quickly.

    The Home Secretary has also announced that a new humanitarian support pathway will be launched to help Ukrainian residents who don’t have family ties in the UK.

    Ukrainian residents can still apply for UK visas from neighboring countries.

    We can provide legal advice to all Ukrainian nationals and residents looking to migrate to or extend their stay in the UK, not just those who fall within the concessions.

    Migrating to the UK for Ukrainians with family ties

    Please note the Ukraine Family Scheme closed in 2024. Reach out to IAS for further information on other alternative routes.

    Ukrainian residents who have immediate family members who are a British national that normally lives in Ukraine can currently apply free of charge for a family migration visa at an application centre in Lviv.

    Qualifying immediate family members for this route include spouse or civil partners, unmarried partners (together for over 2 years), a parent if you are under the age of 18, your child under the age of 18 or an adult dependent relative who you provide care for.

    Usually, there are other certain requirements you must meet under this route, such as the English language requirement or the minimum income requirement, due to the current circumstances in Ukraine the UKVI may be able to grant you permission to enter the UK for 12 months if you are unable to meet all of the requirements.

    The Home Secretary has also just launched the Ukraine Family Scheme, which allows both immediate and extended Ukrainian family members of British citizens and people settled in the UK to apply for a UK visa free of charge. Applications for the scheme are now open, for more information on how to apply or to find out if you are eligible get in touch with our lawyers today on 0333 305 9375, we will offer you professional immigration advice free of charge.

    Humanitarian Support Pathway

    Currently, only Ukrainians with family ties in the UK are eligible to apply for a visa. In response to this, the government has announced that they will be establishing a humanitarian support pathway to create a route for Ukrainian residents who don’t have family ties in the UK to migrate here.

    Under the humanitarian sponsorship pathway, Ukrainians without family ties to the UK will be able to match with individuals, charities, businesses, and community groups to get sponsorship for entry to the UK.

    Those who immigrate to the UK under the humanitarian support scheme will be given leave to remain in the UK for 12 months, they will also be able to work and access public services in the UK.

    The humanitarian support pathway scheme has not yet opened for applications and the Home Office has not announced when the scheme will launch. As soon as the scheme opens, our immigration lawyers will be able to assist with applications.

    Ukrainians with a UK Visitor Visa

    Although a UK visitor visa doesn’t usually allow you to switch to another route, you can do so temporarily if you are a Ukrainian national.

    If you are in the UK as a visitor and are unable to return to Ukraine, given the deteriorating circumstances, you may be able to switch from your existing visitor visa to a points-based route or family visa route.

    The UK points-based system covers all standard UK visas for workers and students. That includes these categories:

    If you have a family member in the UK, you may be able to switch to a UK family visa route, such as:

    You must meet the requirements for any visa route you choose, make an application and pay the associated fees.

    If you are confused about the route that gives you the best chances of switching your visa, contact us to assess your eligibility and provide advice. We can also help you complete and submit a high-quality application to the Home Office to maximize your chances of success. Please call 0333 305 9375 today.

    Ukrainian Nationals on a UK Student Visa

    Ukrainian students in the UK whose UK Student visa is due to expire soon can apply to extend their Student visa or switch to a Graduate visa if they meet the standard requirements for either visa category.

    Requirements to extend the UK Student visa

    To extend your UK Student visa, you must meet these requirements:

    • Be a Ukrainian national.
    • Be in the UK on a Student visa.
    • Have an unconditional offer of a place on a course proven with your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
    • Be able to show that you had made academic progress since you first obtained your visa.
    • Prove you can support yourself if you have been in the UK for less than 12 months.

    Requirements to Switch to the Graduate visa

    To switch to the Graduate visa, you must meet these requirements:

    • You are a Ukrainian.
    • You are in the UK on a Student visa.
    • You studied a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or another eligible course for the minimum time approved on your Student visa in the UK.
    • Your university, college, or institution has told you you’ve successfully completed your course.

    Ukrainians on a UK Skilled Worker Visa

    Ukrainian nationals on a Skilled Worker visa can remain in the UK if they are approved for extension or settlement. To get either, you must apply to the Home Office to extend your leave or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

    Extending your Skilled Worker Visa as a Ukrainian

    With the temporary concessions, you can extend your Skilled worker visa quickly if you meet these requirements:

    • You are a Ukrainian in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa
    • You have the same job as you did when you were permitted to enter the UK
    • Your job still has the same occupation code as when you entered the UK
    • You are working for the employer that gave you a certificate of sponsorship for your visa

    You may need to meet different requirements from those listed above, but that depends on if you have a Skilled Worker visa or Tier 2 (General) work visa and your occupation code.

    Applying for Settlement

    Settlement is Indefinite Leave to Remain, and it is a step to UK citizenship. In light of the current situation in Ukraine, it will be great if you obtain UK settlement, so you don’t have to worry about leaving the UK if the temporary concessions are lifted at any point.

    To apply for UK settlement under the temporary concessions, you must meet the immigration status requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain. That includes that you must have lived in the UK for about five years, meet the salary requirements, and will be needed for your job after obtaining indefinite leave to remain.

    Call us now on 0333 305 9375 to begin the process of helping you extend your visa or obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK today.

    Visa Concessions for Ukrainians who are Seasonal Workers

    Ukrainians in the UK who are seasonal workers, HGV drivers, or pork butchers can avail themselves of the temporary concessions to remain in the UK longer than initially approved if they can extend their visa.

    Ukrainians who are Seasonal Workers in the UK

    If you have an existing seasonal worker visa and cannot return to Ukraine, the Home Office will extend your visa to 31st December 2022 if you meet the requirement, which is that you must continue working in a job permitted by your visa route and with the same sponsor (Scheme Operator).

    Unlike most of the other categories, you don’t need to apply or do anything; UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) will work with your sponsor to process your visa extension. If this temporary concession applies to you, you will receive a notification from the Home Office.

    Concessions for HGV Drivers

    HGV drivers who cannot return to Ukraine can have their leave in the UK extended to 31st December 2022, but they must continue working in their current occupation and with the same sponsor that got them into the UK.

    You don’t need to apply for this extension because UKVI will work with your sponsor to process your extension if you are a Ukrainian national to whom this concession applies. You should get a notification from the Home Office if you qualify.

    Concessions for Pork Butchers in the UK

    Ukraine citizens in pork butcher jobs can apply for a temporary extension in the seasonal worker route to remain in the UK until 31st December 2022. After applying for the seasonal worker extension, UKVI will liaise with your Immigration Sponsor to process the extension.

    Alternatively, you can apply for a Skilled Worker visa if you are eligible. Call us today at 0333 305 9375 to review your eligibility, get expert advice on the best route to take, and get assistance in applying for any of the visa routes that are best for you.

    Get in touch with our immigration lawyers for assistance with remaining in the UK if you are Ukrainian.

    Legal advice for Ukrainian Nationals and Residents

    At IAS, we understand that the thought of going back to Ukraine because your visa expired must be very challenging at the moment. This is why we want to help you handle the visa and immigration permission so you can remain in the UK legally with peace of mind.

    If you are a Ukrainian national, please contact us for assistance with extending or switching your visa, or advice. We can provide advice sessions to Ukrainian nationals and residents to assist with the current situation. When you contact us, we will review your eligibility for your options which are extending your visa, switching to another route, applying for another visa, or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Our expert team can help you complete and submit a high-quality application to the Home Office so you have the best of chances for approval.

    We are one of the best teams of immigration advisers, experts, and lawyers in the UK and can assist you each step of the way. At IAS, we understand the urgent nature of this and will start working immediately on your case. To  get in contact use the contact form above or chat with us using our live chat.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    It depends. The Home Office has provided means for non-British family members of British nationals resident in Ukraine to come to the UK if they can leave Ukraine safely. Eligible family members are:

    • Spouse or civil partner
    • Unmarried partner who has lived together in a relationship with the British citizen for at least two years
    • Child under the age of 18
    • Parent if the British child is under the age of 18
    • Care provider for a British adult relative who lives with the foreign national due to a medical condition

    If you are any of the above, you can apply for a family visa for free, but you must call UKVI before applying. If UKVI confirms that you are eligible, you will receive details of the free application process. If you are not eligible, you may apply for any other UK visa that you qualify for.

    The UK embassy in Kyiv is currently closed, but you can give your biometrics at the temporary location at the Lemberg Business Centre in Lviv or apply through a visa application centre (VAC) in Poland, Romania, Hungary or Moldova. You are to upload your documents online before giving your biometrics at the VAC.

    The UKVI processes these applications faster than regular family immigration, so expect a response within 24 hours from submitting your biometrics.

    If you are not an immediate family member of a British national who usually lives in Ukraine or your immediate British family member lives in the UK, you can apply through a VAC in a nearby country if you can safely travel to that country.

    The UK government’s priority is to support British nationals. So, if you are in Ukraine and need a passport or an emergency travel document, you can contact the consular office. Her Majesty’s passport service, though prioritising British nationals in Ukraine, may not be able to take applications for a passport. Call the consular office and check for updates from the gov.uk website on what to do in the meantime.

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