Ukraine Family Scheme visa

A guide to the Ukraine Family Scheme in the UK

In light of recent developments in the war between Russia and Ukraine, the UK is offering increased support for Ukrainians with families in the UK. The Ukraine Family Scheme visa enables Ukrainians who have settled family members in the UK to stay in the UK themselves or to extend their existing stay in the UK. Read our guide to the Ukraine Family Scheme to find out whether you or your family are eligible to stay in the UK under this scheme.

What is the Ukraine Family Scheme?

The Ukraine Family Scheme is a new visa scheme offered by the UK government to Ukrainians fleeing Ukraine with families already living in the UK. The Ukraine to UK visa scheme allows British nationals and Ukrainians with settled status in the UK to sponsor:

  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Children under 18/ Adult children
  • Siblings
  • Aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins etc

The purpose of the scheme is to make it easy for Ukrainians fleeing conflict in their home country to stay in the UK until it is safe to return home. 

Who is eligible to apply for the UK Family Scheme?

To qualify for the Ukraine Scheme a person must have been ordinarily resident in the Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 unless they are already present in the UK or they are a child born or adopted on or after that date.

The UK Family Scheme is suitable for anyone living in Ukraine with parents, grandparents, children, siblings, or other immediate family members in the UK. Your family member must be either:

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

To make the scheme more accessible, regular requirements for salary and language have been removed. The Ukraine scheme is open to Ukrainian citizens of all backgrounds and incomes.

What permissions does the Ukraine family visa scheme grant?

The Ukraine Family Scheme grants permission for accepted Ukrainian citizens to live, work and study in the UK, as well as access public funds such as Universal Credit. The visa will last for up to 3 years, after which you may be able to apply for an extension depending upon the situation in both Ukraine and the UK at the time.

How to apply for the Ukraine Family Scheme?

You can apply online and depending on if you are inside the UK or outside the UK the procedure to obtain the visa varies. 

To apply, you will have to supply a copy of an official document that confirms your relationship with your UK-based family members, such as a birth certificate or a marriage certificate. If you can’t supply this document, you can still apply, though you’ll have to explain why you can’t supply the document.

As of today, Ukrainian Overseas can apply for their applications online without providing their biometrics until a decision has been made. Ukrainian applying within the UK still require to provide biometrics after the submission of their application.

If you are unsure about the procedure it is a good idea to seek legal advice before you apply for the Ukraine Family Scheme visa.

UK visas for Ukrainians FAQs

If you want to know more about the Ukraine Family Scheme, read some of our most frequently asked questions below or contact us today to find out more about the scheme.

Can British citizens sponsor their Ukrainian parents?

Yes, the Ukraine Family Scheme visa exists to enable British citizens and nationality persons with ILR or Settled status (EEA Nationals with Pre settled status) to sponsor their Ukrainian Families to the UK. This applies to parents, grandparents, adult children, siblings, and other immediate family members of British nationals or people settled in the UK.

What other options are there for Ukrainians who want to stay in the UK?

If you don’t have family members in the UK, you could apply to stay in the UK under the local sponsorship scheme. This scheme allows sponsors, such as communities, local authorities, and private individuals to sponsor Ukrainians without family in the UK to stay and work in the UK for an initial period of 12 months. This scheme will be unlimited, meaning there is no limit on the number of Ukrainians who can come to the UK provided they have a matched sponsor.

As of 21st March 2022, the Home Office has decided to offer discretionary visas to Ukrainian surrogate mothers and their family members. Precise details are yet to be published.

Can I extend my existing visa due to the conflict?

If you’re a Ukrainian currently living and working in the UK, there are options available to help you extend your visa or switch to the Ukraine Family visa in the UK. Many visas, including those for seasonal workers, can be extended to December 31st 2022. You can also switch to the Ukraine Family Scheme visa if your spouse, child, or parent is settled in the UK.

How many Ukrainians have settled in the UK under the scheme so far?

The UK government is currently processing a huge number of applications for the Ukraine Family Scheme, with over 17,000 applications received at the time of writing. It’s important that Ukrainians wanting to stay with family members in the UK file their applications for the Ukraine scheme as soon as possible to ensure their stay is granted in good time.

How much does the Ukraine Family Scheme cost?

The Ukraine Family Scheme visa is free of charge in order to ensure that it is accessible to all Ukrainians who meet the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

How should Ukrainians travel to the UK?

Once your visa application has been granted, there are various options for affordable travel to the UK. The airline Wizz Air has offered 100,000 free seats on flights from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to the UK to help Ukrainian nationals flee Ukraine. They are also offering rescue fares from €29.99 from other locations. Eurostar is also offering free tickets for Ukrainian nationals from any Eurostar station to London St Pancras International in London. To obtain free travel, you will have to show your valid visa and your Ukrainian passport.

What should you do if you need to travel to the UK urgently?

As of today, Ukrainian Overseas can apply for their applications online without providing their biometrics until a decision has been made. Ukrainian applying within the UK still require to provide biometrics after the submission of their application.

We have experienced Immigration Lawyers in London, and we also have Immigration Lawyers in Harrow, so you have access to the best Immigration Advice in London.

You can call and speak to our Immigration Lawyers in London on 0207 993 6981, they are ready to take your call.

You can also call our Immigration Lawyers in Harrow on +44 208 150 6709

Call now and speak to us and discover for yourself that we are the right Immigration Lawyers in London, or Harrow, for you. Alternatively, you can Email us at 



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