Visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals in the UK
The Home Office has agreed temporary concessions to support Ukrainian nationals currently in the UK who are now unable to return when their existing visa expires. These concessions will assist Ukrainian nationals in extending their stay in the UK without having to leave and re-apply from overseas.
Ukrainian nationals who are in the UK may be able to extend their visa even if their visa category would not normally permit an in-country switch. These are in addition to the concession announced which would allow for the temporary waiving of application fees for those eligible under the Family Migration route.
New concessions which expand the scope for who can be a family member under the Rules were also announced on 1 and 10 March 2022. Spouses, children of any age, parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews of Ukrainian nationals or British citizens living in the UK will now be able to apply to join their family members under the family route
In order to apply however, family members must be able to show that they were ordinarily resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.
Additional provisions have been announced for the following categories of visa holders:
Worker visas and business visas
Ukrainian Migrants and dependants in the following visa categories will now be able to apply to extend their permission to be in the UK:
- Skilled Worker
- Intra-Company Transfer
- Global Talent
- Innovator, and
Visit visa holders
Ukrainian visitors will now be able to switch to Skilled Worker visas from within the UK, even though this is not usually permitted by the Immigration Rules.
Applications can also now be submitted to allow visitors to remain in the UK under the family route.
Seasonal workers will automatically have their visas extended until 31 December 2022.
Seasonal workers who arrived under the temporary concessions put in place for butchers and Large Goods Vehicle Drivers will also be able to apply to switch their visas into the Skilled Worker category. This will provide Ukrainian workers with a route to settlement in the UK.
Visa Concessions for Ukrainians outside the UK
The Home office has also announced further measures aimed at protecting Ukrainian nationals currently outside the UK.
The new ‘Humanitarian Protection Pathway’ route announced on 1 March 2022 will allow Ukrainian nationals who do not have family ties in the UK to be sponsored by individuals, charities, businesses and community groups in the UK.
Sponsors must be able to provide housing and integration support.
There will be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply through this route and in a clear relaxation of the standard Immigration Rules, successful applicants will both be able to work and access public funds.
The Home Office is intending to work with developed administrations and local authorities across the country to ensure this route can be rolled out to deliver a quick and efficient solution to the current humanitarian crisis.
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
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