Ukraine immigration schemes

30 March 2022

On 29 March, the UK Government published legislation that brings into force three schemes to support Ukrainian nationals and their families:

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1220, 29 March 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

At UKCISA, we can advise only on the Ukraine Extension Scheme. For advice on the other two schemes, or about routes other than Student, Short-term Student and Graduate, please contact the organisations we link to below and/or immigration lawyers (details are in the links).

Ukraine Extension Scheme for people who are already in the UK

This scheme launches on 3 May. Applications will be free and online.

You will need to provide biometrics, a passport or other ID document and be in the UK.

You must have or have had permission to enter or stay in the UK, under any immigration route, on 18 March 2022. A person who held permission on or before 18 March and who has extended it after 18 March can apply under this scheme. We will ask the Home Office what this means for you if you have exceptional assurance or are exempt from immigration control.

Alternatively, you must have been in the UK with immigration permission immediately before 1 January 2022 and your permission has expired after that date. If your permission expires before this scheme launches on 3 May, seek advice about the best option for you, including applications under other routes  – see Solidarity with Ukraine | Work Rights Centre.

A baby born in the UK after 18 March 2022 is not required to hold permission in order to apply under this scheme; we will ask how people should apply for permission for babies born in the UK before 18 March.

The scheme is open to Ukrainian nationals. It is also available to other nationalities, but only if you have or most recently had permission as the partner or child of a Ukrainian national. Babies born in the UK after 18 March who do not yet have permission also qualify, and we will ask about babies born in the UK before 18 March. This means that in a family that consists of a Ukrainian Student and a non-Ukrainian partner with Student dependant permission, both can apply under this scheme. However, in a family with a non-Ukrainian Student and a Ukrainian Student dependant (partner or child), only the Ukrainian national in the family can apply under this scheme. You may need advice on other options – see Solidarity with Ukraine | Work Rights Centre

Partners must meet the requirements set out in a new part of the Immigration Rules, called Appendix Relationship with Partner. This appendix will later be extended to all routes, including Student and Graduate. The key criteria are summarised in the explanatory memorandum, ie 

“A partner can be the applicant’s spouse or civil partner or a person in a durable relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership of at least 2 years. The requirements are that the partners have met; are both aged 18 or over; are not related within the prohibited degrees that prevent marriage or civil partnership; any previous relationships must have broken down permanently (with a limited exception for polygamous and polyandrous marriages); and the relationship must be genuine and subsisting”.

An application for a baby born in the UK must include a full UK birth certificate.

Children aged under 18 who are not applying with their parent(s) must provide parental consent, unless a caseworker considers it reasonable to grant permission without such consent, and details of the care arrangements in place in the UK for the child.

Permission to stay will be for a period of 36 months (3 years), and people with be able to study (subject to obtaining Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance in certain subjects), work (including self-employment) and will have access to public funds.

Holders of this permission will be able to "switch" in the UK into the Student and Student dependant routes. They will not be able to apply under the Graduate route. This is not an immigration category that leads to settlement, unless you qualify under a different route – see Check if you can get indefinite leave to remain - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Two other schemes were added to the Immigration Rules with effect from today, 30 March.

Homes for Ukraine for people who are outside the UK

This is for entry clearance applications only (outside the UK), applicants must be 18 or older, unless joining a parent or legal guardian, and they must have the offer of accommodation in the UK. Details for potential sponsors are at Reset Communities and Refugees - The UK's Community Sponsorship Hub • Reset Communities and Refugees (resetuk.org).

Information for applicants is at Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Family scheme for people inside and outside the UK

This is for both entry clearance and permission to stay applications. It is for those with eligible family members in the UK and it reproduces information already in guidance. Applicants must not have visitor permission granted after 18 March 2022. For details, see Immigration information for Ukrainians in the UK, British nationals and their family members - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1220 (Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine) - Free Movement.

People who have already been granted permission have leave outside the Rules but from today they will be granted permission under the Rules.

Under both schemes, applicants are granted permission for a period of 36 months (3 years), and they are able to study (subject to ATAS), work (including self-employment) and will have access to public funds. Free Movement provides helpful information about why your permission might look different: How come my Ukraine Scheme visa doesn't last three years as promised? - Free Movement.


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