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Updates: Ukraine Nationals and UK visas

Here is a summary of the updates regarding the Ukraine situation as and when they happen: 

13/03/2022

The Home Secretary has announced that from Tuesday 15th March, Ukrainian passport holders will be able to complete their visa application digitally online without needing to go to a Visa Application Centre to submit their biometric data (fingerprints etc.). The biometric data will still need to be submitted, but this can be done once you arrive in the UK.

The Government has issued updated guidance on the visa application route, including this latest information on its website, which you can find here.

Those without passports and only possessing ID Cards will have to continue submitting their data to Visa Application Centres as is the case now.

The system for applying online is not live yet, but it is scheduled to go live on Tuesday. When it does go live, it will likely be referenced in either the link above, or through the Government’s travel advice pages to Ukraine.

 

13/03/2022

The government is set to launch a sponsorship scheme which will allow a range of organisations to sponsor a Ukrainian to come to the UK, even if they do not have family ties here. There is limited information on this scheme but it is thought that:

  • There will be no cap to the number of people that can be sponsored under this route and Ukrainian nationals sponsored will be issued with an initial 12-month visa.
  • It is proposed that individuals and organisations will need to apply to be sponsors and will be matched with Ukrainians ‘in need’.
  • The Home Office will work with devolved administrations and local authorities to facilitate sponsorship under the scheme.

More information is expected on this scheme, but for official announcements regarding this then please head over to the Government's official site.

 

10/03/2022

It has been announced that from Tuesday (15/03/22) Ukrainian refugees who have passports or ID cards will be able to apply for UK visas online. As a result of this, it will mean that eligible Ukrainian nationals will be able to apply for a visa completely virtually and will no longer have to visit a Visa Application Centre. This update will only apply to those Ukraine nationals who are applying under the Ukraine Family Scheme Visa.

You can read more about this announcement here

 

09/03/2022

The UK’s Ukraine family visa scheme has been extended to include aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws.  The current list of eligible applicants is as follows:


Immediate family members
An immediate family member is your:

  • 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

 

Extended family members
An extended family member is your:

  • 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 or sister-in-law


Immediate family member of an extended family member
An immediate family member of an extended family is the:

  • 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

 

The UK Sponsor must be:

  • a British national
  • someone settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

 

04/03/2022

The Ukraine Family Scheme visa is now open for formal applications via a new online application form released today.

The scheme is open to Ukrainian nationals and their family members in Ukraine (or those recently fled) who have a relative in the UK fitting one of the listed status requirements.

For more information about the Ukraine Family Scheme Visa (including how to apply) then please head over to this link.

If you require legal advice and assistance, then as always, please get in contact with us where one of our immigration lawyers or solicitors will be able to help.

 

02/03/2022

Our head of our Personal and Family Immigration department, Nigel Smith, has provided the following summary on the latest updates regarding Ukrainians seeking to come to the UK:

“Further concessions for Ukrainian nationals seeking to come to the UK were announced yesterday.

Those applying must be the family member of a British national or non-British national holding indefinite leave to remain.

In addition to partners, children and dependent adults, the following family members will now be considered under the scheme:

  • Siblings
  • Adult children
  • Parents (including no-dependent)
  • Grandparents (including no-dependent)

Applicants must contact the helpline directly on 0300 3032785 in order to register.  They will then be notified if they can apply and will receive further instructions for applying to the scheme.

Income and English language requirements will be waived.

A humanitarian visa route will be opened which will allow sponsors, such as communities, private sponsors or local authorities, to bring people to the UK.

This is a completely new initiative and no details of how it will be implemented, what the requirements will be nor when it will commence have been released.”

Read the Government’s announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-support-for-ukrainians-fleeing-russia-invasion 

 

28/02/2022

There has been an important update regarding the Ukraine situation.

This morning, the Home Office have provided an update about visas for non-British family members of British nationals fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Below is a summary of the update:

  • All existing family application routes to the UK will be fee-free including partners, parents, children and adult relatives who are dependants and in need of care; 
  • Where applicants do not meet the usual financial or English language requirements the Home Office will consider an alternative grant of leave;
  • The UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kyiv is closed but a temporary VAC has been opened in the Lemberg Business Centre in the city of Lviv;
  • Applicants may also attend a VAC in a nearby country including Poland, Romania, Hungary or Moldova;
  • The update suggests that applicants will be processed or responded to within 24 hours from submitting fingerprints at the VAC.

For more information we advise getting in contact with the Home Office helpline:

  • Telephone: + 44 300 3032785 – select option 3 (0300 3032785 if you're in the UK – select option 3)
  • Monday to Friday 24 Hours. This is a free phone number, but network charges may still apply.

If you require legal assistance or need legal advice then please don't hesitate to get in touch where one of our immigration lawyers will be able to advise you on your case and your next steps.


 

18/02/2022

Due to the ongoing situation between Ukraine and Russia, the Home Office have announced that non-British family members of British nationals who are living together in Ukraine may apply to settle in the UK for free. The fee for such family members is normally £1523 per person for partners and children and £3250 for adult dependent relatives. In addition, applicants would normally be required to pay the £1872 health surcharge.

Families will still need to meet the criteria for settlement in the UK although it is not clear whether aspects of the requirements may be waived.  The rules currently require a British national returning to the UK with their non-British family members to have been earning over the required threshold in their country of residence and to have a job offer in the UK also paying at that level. The amount is £18,600 for couples and increases where non-British children are to be included. Significant savings (exceeding £62,500) can also be used to meet this requirement.

People in Ukraine wishing to return to the UK with their non-British family members should contact the Home Office before making an application:

  • Telephone: +44 300 3032785 – select option 1 (0300 3032785 if you’re in the UK – select option 1)
    • Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
    • Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 5:30pm

(This is a free phone number, but network charges may still apply)

At this stage there have been no dispensations made for Ukrainian nationals currently in the UK who will need to continue to meet the conditions of their existing visas.