Who will be affected?

1. Non-British family members of British nationals in Ukraine
2. Ukrainians in the UK

Background

1. Non-British family members of British nationals in Ukraine

You can apply for a family migration visa for free if you’re the family member of a British national who usually lives in Ukraine. Your British national family member must be one of the following:
• a spouse or civil partner
• an unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years)
• your parent if you are under the age of 18
• your child under the age of 18
• an adult relative you provide care for who lives with you due to a medical condition

Implementation

You should contact UKVI before you make an application.

You’ll need to provide information about yourself and your family members, as well as contact details which will be shared with UKVI.

UKVI will then confirm whether you’re eligible for a family migration visa and share details of the gratis (free) application process.

There may be cases where some people do not meet the eligibility criteria, for example the English language requirement or minimum income requirement. Given the current circumstances, if somebody does not meet these requirements, UKVI will consider an alternative grant of leave to come to the UK.

Impact

The UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kyiv is now closed and all UK visa services in Kyiv are suspended in order to keep people safe.

Family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine and need a UK visa can apply through the new, temporary location in the Lemberg Business Centre in the city of Lviv to give their biometrics. Alternatively, you can apply through a VAC in a nearby country if you are able to safely travel. VACs are currently operating in:
• Poland
• Romania
• Hungary
• Moldova

All other visa applicants will be unable to apply through a VAC in Ukraine. If you are able to safely travel, you can apply through a VAC in one of these nearby countries.

Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine (who aren’t immediate family members of British nationals normally living in Ukraine, or where the British national is living in the UK), are currently unable to make visa applications to visit, work, study or join family in the UK through a VAC in Ukraine.

If you are able to safely travel, you can apply through a VAC in one of the nearby countries.

If you need to travel to the UK urgently for compassionate reasons you should apply for a visa in the usual way and include clear compelling or compassionate reasons for your visit in your application. You should also tell staff at the VAC about these reasons during your appointment.

Next Steps (or) Actions Required

You’ll need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) to provide your biometric information (fingerprints).

Family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine can access (walk-in) appointments in Lviv or can apply outside Ukraine.

You can upload supporting documents for your application online before attending your VAC appointment or you can have your documents uploaded at your appointment. There is a fee for uploading your documents at the VAC.

How long it takes

UKVI aim to process family migration visa applications, or contact you about your application, within 24 hours from when you have submitted your biometrics (fingerprints) at the VAC.
Where family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine have given their biometrics and have retained their passport, but haven’t received their vignette, they should contact UKVI

2.  Ukrainians in the UK

The Home Office has agreed some 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.
If you’re in the UK and unable to return to Ukraine, you may be able to extend your visa or switch to another one even if your visa does not normally allow you to do so.

Impact

Visitors
If you are a visitor
The Home Office has introduced a temporary concession to allow Ukrainian nationals in the UK on a visitor visa to switch into a points-based route or a family visa route.
If you are in the UK on a visitor visa and cannot return to Ukraine you can apply to switch to another visa. You will need to meet the requirements of that visa route and pay the associated visa fee(s).

Skilled Workers
If you are a Skilled Worker
If you are on a Skilled Worker visa that is due to expire you can apply to extend your leave or apply for settlement if you meet the Immigration Rules.
Full details can be found in the Skilled worker guidance.

Students
If you are a student
If you are on a Student visa that is due to expire you can apply to extend your leave or switch to a Graduate visa, if you meet the Immigration Rules.
Full details can be found in the Student visa guidance.

Seasonal Workers

If you are a seasonal worker
You can extend your visa to 31 December 2022 if you cannot return to Ukraine. You must continue working in a job permitted by the Seasonal Worker route, with the same Scheme Operator (your sponsor).

You do not need to do anything. UKVI will work with your Immigration Sponsor to progress your visa extension. You’ll receive a notification from the Home Office that this concession applies to you.

If you are an HGV driver
You can extend your visa to 31 December 2022 if you cannot return to Ukraine. You must continue working in your current occupation with the same sponsor.
You do not need to do anything. UKVI will work with your Immigration Sponsor to progress your visa extension. You’ll receive a notification from the Home Office that this concession applies to you.

If you are a pork butcher
You can request a temporary extension in the seasonal worker route until 31 December 2022 if you cannot return to Ukraine.

If you request a temporary extension in the seasonal worker route you do not need to do anything. UKVI will work with your Immigration Sponsor to progress your visa extension. You’ll receive a notification from the Home Office that this concession applies to you.

You may, however, be eligible for Skilled worker route, subject to meeting the Immigration Rules. You should discuss with your employer.

Important

Passports

Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) is prioritising passport applications for British nationals in Ukraine.
We are proactively contacting people to get more information where needed so cases can be prioritised.
As of 24 February, HMPO are unable to accept passport applications from Ukraine.

Santa Fe Analysis

As the situation is evolving and ever-changing, and subject to great variation in policy from one national government to another, Santa Fe UK will be happy to assist any client in verifying or investigating individual queries relating to accessing visa centre services of other countries for the UK. However we notify our clients that there may be delays in doing so as the number of enquiries and visas application are high due to the number of refugees fled in different countries.

For more information or assistance please contact:

Koshi Blavo Barna
UK Head of Immigration
Santa Fe Relocation
London, UK
D: +44 0203 457 3595
E: Koshi.BlavoBarna@santaferelo.com

 

To read more immigration updates, click here

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