Salford Citizens Advice
Update on visa concessions for Ukrainians and their families:
The Home Secretary made an announcement on 1 March with further concessions on visas for Ukrainians coming to the UK on a family migration route. Visas will still be required by anyone coming to the UK.
Anyone making an application under these concessions should initially contact the Home Office 24-hour helpline: 0300 3032785 if you’re in the UK – select option 1 (+44 300 3032785 if you’re outside UK).
In addition to the original concessions for family members, the announcement outlined further support for Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion. The concessions for family members are now:
- Fees for family migration visas will be waived
- Family members of both British citizens and people settled in the UK are eligible
- Family members can now include parents, grandparents, adult children, and siblings in addition to the usual partners (that is spouses and unmarried partners who have lived together for 2 years) and children under eighteen
- These additional extended family members can also bring their immediate family members with them. For instance, a sibling will be able to bring their partner and children under eighteen.
- English language and minimum income requirements will be waived and there will be documentary flexibility
- If requirements are not initially met applicants will be given 12 months leave when they will be able to work and claim benefits
Visa applications are made online, but an appointment must be made at a visa application centre to give biometrics before a visa will be issued. Security checks will also take place. The helpline will give instructions on how to make the application.
There will be a priority process and the Home Office has said that they have put additional staff in place with decisions within 24 hours. Visa application centres are currently open in Lviv, Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary. A ‘pop-up’ application centre was also announced in Rzeszow in Poland.
Guidance on the concession to the Immigration Rules for Ukrainian nationals on family routes was published on 25 February but has not yet been updated. You can check for any updates at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukrainian-nationals-on-family-routes-concession-to-the-immigration-rules?mc_cid=f8b73e7a38&mc_eid=5f54a6c128
Ukrainians already in the UK:
Ukrainians on work and study routes already in the UK can now:
- switch into a work or study category, where that would not normally be permitted
- switch into a family category, even if they have limited leave – for instance as a visitor, or where their leave has recently expired
The Home Secretary’s statement on 1 March announced that these applications will be free of charge. Guidance on Ukrainians on work and study routes was published on 25 February but it has not yet been updated. Anyone making these applications should call the helpline first.
You can check for any updates at:
New route for Ukrainians without family connections in the UK:
The 1 March announcement also outlined a ‘sponsored humanitarian visa route’ that ‘will allow sponsors, such as communities, private sponsors or local authorities, to bring people to the UK. They will be able to work, and the sponsor would provide housing and integration support.’ They would also be granted 12 months leave with the right to work and claim benefits. There are no details of this scheme yet other than it will be uncapped – as soon as there is more information available, we will publish something further.
March 3, 2022.