Following the statement made by the Home Secretary to Parliament on 1 March 2022, the Ukraine Scheme has been introduced to allow Ukrainians and their family members, who were resident in Ukraine before 1 January 2022 and who have family members in the UK, to apply to come to the UK. It is free to apply and allows you to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.
To apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme 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; and
- have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)
You can apply if you’ve already arrived in the UK provided you meet the requirements. If you had permission to stay in the UK on or before 18 March 2022, you can apply to the scheme from 3 May 2022. Your partner and children can also apply if they’re in the UK as your dependants. If you previously had permission to stay in the UK but it has expired since 1 January 2022, you’ll also be eligible to apply. Your application will be subject to security checks.
Your family member must be a British national, someone settled in the UK, someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021 or 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 – spouse or civil partner, unmarried partner, child who is under 18, parent (if you are under 18), fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner
- an extended family member – parent (if you are over 18), child who is over 18, grandparent, grandchild or your partner’s grandchild, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, cousin, mother-in-law or father-in-law, grandparent-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law
- an 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. If successful, you can stay in the UK for up to 3 years.
You must apply online. If you are outside the UK, if you hold a valid Ukrainian international passport or an expired Ukrainian international passport with a formal extension stamp issued by the Ukrainian government, you do not need to attend an appointment to give your biometric information. If you do not hold a Ukrainian international passport you will need to book and attend a biometric appointment.
If successful you will receive an official permission letter confirming that you can travel to the UK. When you arrive, you will need to show your permission letter to Border Force officers who will endorse your passport with a 6-month entry stamp. This is evidence of your right to work, study and claim benefits in the UK.
You will need to submit your biometrics within 6 months of arriving to extend your stay for up to 3 years. You will then be issued with a biometric residence permit (BRP).
If you need advice as to whether you or someone you knows qualify under this scheme, or on any other immigration matter, please call for a free initial assessment on 0116 242 1120. Our immigration solicitor, Louise Koch, would be happy to discuss your query with you.