There are three main immigration routes for Ukrainians seeking sanctuary in the UK. These routes are free of cost and these are:
- Ukraine Family Scheme,
- Homes for Ukraine, and
- Ukraine Extension Scheme
With the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme operable since March 2022, the UK has finally launched the much-awaited Ukraine Extension Scheme on 3 May 2022.
Ukraine Extension Scheme
Ukraine Extension Scheme allows those Ukrainians and their family members who are already in the UK on a limited leave to extend their stay. Applicants to the scheme must be in the UK with immigration permission on 18 March 2022 or if their last permission ended after 1 January 2022.
This scheme is not a route to settlement. Those who have leave on a route to settlement should consider carefully whether this is the right route for them to apply under.
Grant – Under the Ukraine Extension Scheme, Ukrainian nationals and their family members will get three years leave to remain in the UK and have the right to work, study and access public funds.
Ukraine Family Scheme Visa
Launched on 4 March 2022, the Ukraine family scheme allows immediate and extended family members of British nationals, people settled in the UK and certain other residents to come to the UK.
Those applying to the Ukraine Family Scheme will:
- Be applying to join or accompany a UK-based family member
- Be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme
- Have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022
Grant – Under Ukraine Family Scheme, Visa will be granted for three years with permission to live, work, study in the UK and access public funds.
Homes for Ukraine Scheme
Applications for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme opened on 18 March 2022. This scheme allows Ukrainians with no family ties to the UK to be sponsored by individuals who can offer them a home – such as a spare room.
The Homes for Ukraine Scheme is open to Ukrainian nationals who were residents in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022. It is also open to their immediate family members. You will need to match with an eligible sponsor in the UK.
There are many ways to find a match, however, it is important to safeguard yourself and use a trusted matching platform, such as the Reset service for community welcome.
Sponsors can be of any nationality, and with any immigration status provided, they have at least six months’ leave to remain in the UK. Sponsors are asked to provide accommodation for a minimum of six months
Grant – Visa will be granted for three years with permission to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.
Right to Work and Rent Checks for Ukrainian nationals
Ukrainian nationals and their family members who are granted a visa under one of the schemes have a right to work in the UK and rent private property in England.
Ukrainian nationals are subject to the same right to work and rent checks as other cohorts. The only difference is in what documents they have on arrival in the UK. They can evidence their right to work or rent either with their valid passport or with their Biometric Residence Permit.
Ukrainian nationals who have a valid passport
- Arrive in the UK on a valid passport – passport stamped with Code 1A or amended code 1 stamp, valid for six months – Leave outside the Rules (LOTR)
- Time-limited right to work and rent.
- Need to obtain a Biometrics residence permit – can be done at any time during six months validity of the stamp
- Follow up checks of those individuals who have time-limited permission to work and rent in the UK
Ukrainian nationals who don’t have a valid passport
- Biometric information given at a Visa Application Centre and provided with entry clearance vignette attached to a ‘Form for Affixing the Visa’ (FAV)
- Arrive in the UK on FAV
- FAV document can be used as proof of right to work and rent with confirmation from employer checking service / landlord checking service
- After arrival, BRP is available for collection
- BRP can be used to access Home Office online checking service to prove a right to work and rent