Special treatment for Ukrainian nationals in the UK visa applications

We previously wrote on this topic in our blog on 26 February. A new scheme is being launched for those Ukrainian nationals who are family members of British citizens, persons settled in the UK, and certain others (holding permit as refugee or under humanitarian protection). The eligible family members will be able to come to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

Ukraine Family Scheme

Biometrics in person appointment not required

Ukrainian nationals with a valid passport are no longer required to submit biometrics (photo and fingerprints) from overseas. This is a helpful change, as the centres in the countries neighbouring to Ukraine were not coping with the increased number of applicants and the applications were delayed. Applicants will still be required to provide their biometrics after arrival in the UK.

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK. It is free to apply. Applicants will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

Who is eligible for Ukraine Family Scheme

  • those who are applying to join or accompany a UK-based family member
  • or are Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme
  • had to be resident in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)

Who are UK based family members for Ukraine Family Scheme

The UK family member must be one of the following:

  • a British national
  • someone settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

Applicants must provide evidence that their UK-based family member is one of the following:

  • an immediate family member
  • an extended family member
  • an immediate family member of an extended family member

Immediate family members

An immediate family member is applicant’s:

  • spouse or civil partner
  • unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least two years)
  • child who is under 18
  • parent (if you are under 18)
  • fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner

Extended family members

An extended family member is the applicant’s:

  • parent (if you are over 18)
  • child who is over 18
  • grandparent
  • grandchild or your partner’s grandchild
  • brother or sister
  • aunt or uncle
  • niece or nephew
  • cousin
  • mother-in-law or father-in-law
  • grandparent-in-law
  • brother or sister-in-law

Immediate family member of an extended family member

An immediate family member of an extended family is the:

  • spouse or civil partner of an extended family member
  • child 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

If your UK-based family member is the applicant’s (or an extended family member’s) spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner the relationship must have started before 1 January 2022. Other family members will be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.

Those who do not have a valid Ukrainian passport can present other forms of identity proofs. Those include:

  • a recently expired passport, which has not exceeded its expiry date by more
  • than 10 years for applicants aged over 25 and for applicants aged under 25
  • years by no more than 5 years
  • Ukrainian National identity card
  • UK issued biometric residence permit or card
  • a combination of other official documents containing a facial image that would
  • enable the applicant to establish their identity and nationality, which could
  • include a photo driving licence and a birth certificate an emergency certificate issued by a Ukrainian authority since March 2022

Suitability requirements for Ukraine Family Scheme

Suitability requiremens for the scheme are reduced. Still, the applicants will have to meet some of them:

  • exclusion and deportation (paragraph 9.2.1))
  • non conducive to the public good (paragraph 9.3.1)
  • criminality grounds (sentence over 12 months, persistent offender or serious
  • harm) (paragraph 9.4.1)
  • criminality grounds (less than 12 months or non-custodial) (paragraph 9.4.3)
  • exclusion from asylum or humanitarian protection grounds (paragraph 9.5.1)
  • false representations (paragraph 9.7.1)
  • sham marriage (paragraph 9.6.1)
  • no entry clearance grounds (refusal only and not cancellation) (paragraph 9.14.1)
  • medical (port refusals on medical grounds) (paragraph 9.16.1)
  • failure to produce recognised passport or travel document (port refusals) (paragraph 9.15.1)
  • Admissibility to the Common Travel Area (Part 9 9.10.1)
  • Purpose not covered by the Immigration Rules (port refusal only) (Part 9 9.13.1)
  • consent for child to travel (port refusal only) (Part 9 9.17.1)
  • returning Resident (port refusal only) (Part 9 9.18.1)
  • customs breaches (Part 9 9.19.1)
  • change of circumstances (Part 9 9.20.1)
  • ceasing to meet the requirements of the rules (Part 9 9.23.1)
  • dependant grounds (Part 9 9.24.1

TB testing requrement has been waived for the scheme.

More information about the scheme can be found in the official guidance.

One Thought to “Ukraine Family Scheme”

  1. […] Family members for the purpose of this Scheme are immediate family members (meaning a partner, child under 18, parent of a child aged under 18, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner), and extended family members of the UK-based sponsor or their partner (meaning parent, grandparent, grandchild, adult child, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, and cousin) and the immediate family members of extended family members of the UK-based sponsor or their partner. We write about the Ukraine Family Scheme here […]

Leave a Comment