UK Changes to the Ukraine Schemes

Effective February 19, 2024, the Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS) is closed to new applicants. This route allowed UK residents to bring Ukrainian national family members to the UK.

  • The same Ukrainian nationals who qualified under UFS can qualify under the Homes for Ukraine (HFU) Sponsorship Scheme if their UK family member is approved as a sponsor and they meet the other requirements of the HFU.
  • However, third country (non-Ukrainian) nationals are not eligible for HFU if they are not immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals who qualify or hold permission under the scheme (unlike under UFS).
  • Previously, a sponsor only needed to hold at least six months’ permission to stay in the UK from the date of the visa application.

Holders of permission under UFS will continue to hold that permission despite the closure of the scheme to new applicants.

Meanwhile, new visas issued under the Homes for Ukraine route will grant a reduced period of leave of 18 months, rather than three years as previously.

The Ukraine Extension Scheme (UES) will close to new applications on  May 16, 2024.

Applications can be made under the UES until it closes on May 16, 2024 if one of the following is true:

  • The applicant had permission to be in the UK for any period between 18 March 2022 and 16 November 2023; or
  • The applicant previously had permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022.

Amendments have been made to the UES to allow children born in the UK after  March 18, 2022, to those who have permission under the Ukraine Scheme (including under the now closed Ukraine Family Scheme) to be eligible to apply under this route beyond May 16, 2024. They will be granted permission aligned to the length of permission under the Ukraine Scheme held by their parent.  Where the parents hold differing lengths of permission under the Ukraine Scheme, a child will be granted in line with the parent who holds permission that expires last.

The government also announced that it intends to launch a new Ukraine Permission Extension (UPE) Scheme.  Ukraine Scheme visa holders will be able to apply three months before their existing visa is due to expire.  The government states that it will provide further details “shortly.”

The government has also applied to Appendix Ukraine Scheme several grounds for refusal from part 9 of the immigration rules that had been previously omitted from the Ukraine routes.

Erickson Insights and Analysis

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.