In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Home Secretary had announced temporary visa concessions for Ukrainian nationals already in the UK. Furthermore, the UK Government has today announced the introduction of a Ukraine Family Scheme visa. We take a closer look at the Ukraine Family Scheme visa – full details of the visa together with a link to the application can however be found here.

What is it?

The Ukraine Family Scheme visa has been introduced by the UK Government as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The scheme allows for family members and extended family members of British nationals, those with Settled Status/Indefinite Leave to Remain, those with pre-settled status and were living in the UK before 1 January 2021, or those with refugee status and humanitarian protection in the UK.

Who is eligible to apply?

Those who meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply to the scheme:

  • Be applying to join or accompany a UK-based family member; and
  • Be a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national applying to the scheme;
  • Been residing in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022 (includes those who have already fled Ukraine).

Definition of UK-based family member

Only the following will be classed as a UK-based family member:

  • British nationals.
  • Individuals settled in the UK – e.g. holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain/Settled Status/Permanent Residence.
  • Individuals granted Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme and living in the UK before 1 January 2021.
  • Individuals with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.

Individuals will be required to provide evidence, i.e. marriage or birth certificate, to provide they are one of the following:

  • An immediate family member.
  • An extended family member.
  • An immediate family member of an extended family member.

Those who are unable to provide an official relationship document (for example documents which may have been destroyed in the conflict) are still encouraged to apply to the scheme and provide an explanation on why such document does not exist.

Definition of ‘immediate family members’, ‘extended family members’ and ‘immediate family member of an extended family member’

Immediate family members

  • Spouse or civil partner.
  • Unmarried partner (those living together akin to marriage for at least 2 years).
  • Children under 18.
  • Parent (if applicant is under 18).
  • Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner.

Extended family members

  • Parent (if applicant over 18).
  • Children over 18.
  • Grandchild or your partner’s grandchild.
  • Brother or sister.

Immediate family member of an extended family member

  • Spouse or civil partner of an extended family member.
  • Children 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.

Conditions of visa and fees

The visa will last up to 3 years and individuals will be allowed to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

How to apply

The Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kyiv is closed and all visa services suspended. There are temporary VACs at the Lemberg Business Centre in Lviv, Ukraine and Rzeszow, Poland. However, individuals can apply at any VAC in any country, including neighbouring countries Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Romania.

For those based in the UK, guidance on how to apply to the scheme will be available soon.

If you have any queries about this visa and how to apply for it, please contact Sundeep Rathod or any member of the Immigration team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.

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