Guidance

Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa

Guidance for family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The UK has put 3 different Ukraine Schemes in place to support those who wish to either come to or remain in the UK:

  • Ukraine Family Scheme - if you have family who are settled in the UK, you may be able to apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme

  • Homes for Ukraine - if you want to be sponsored by a UK household for 6 months, you may be able to apply to the Homes for Ukraine scheme

  • Ukraine Extension Scheme - you can apply for this scheme if one of the following is true:

    • you held permission to be in the UK on or between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023 – the permission does not need to cover the whole period

    • you previously held permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022

This route does not require a UK based sponsor.

Please carefully consider which scheme you apply to before making an application. Once you have made an application you should avoid applying to another scheme as this may delay a decision being made.

Overview

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members, or extend their stay, in the UK. Everyone must make a separate application, even children travelling with a family member.

It is free to apply.

You will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

If you need any assistance, contact UK Visas and Immigration.

Telephone: + 44 808 164 8810 – select option 1
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm
Calls are free of charge

If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, you can use another number instead. You may have to pay – check with your phone provider if you’re not sure.

Telephone: +44 175 390 7510 – select option 1
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm

Eligibility

To apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme you must:

  • be applying to join or accompany your UK-based family member

  • be Ukrainian, or the family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme to join a UK-based immediate family member

  • have been living in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (even if you have now left Ukraine)

You can apply if you’ve already arrived in the UK and meet the requirements above.

To apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme you must be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme.

You can apply for this scheme if one of the following is true:

  • you held permission to be in the UK on or between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023 – the permission does not need to cover the whole period

  • you previously held permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022

Your application will be subject to security checks.

UK-based family member

Your UK-based 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 under the EU Settlement Scheme and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021

  • someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

Your UK-based family member must be one of the following:

  • your immediate family member

  • your extended family member

  • the spouse or civil partner, unmarried partner, child, parent, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of your extended family member

You should provide a copy of an official document that confirms your family relationships if you are able to - for example, a marriage or birth certificate.

You can still apply if you are unable to provide these documents. You should explain why you are unable to provide them when you apply - for example, if you had to leave all your documents behind when you left.

Immediate family members

An immediate family member is your or your UK-based family member’s:

  • spouse or civil partner

  • unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 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 your UK-based family member’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-in-law or sister-in-law

If your UK-based family member is your (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.

If you have a family member from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

You might also be eligible for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit if you are the family member of someone who is living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme who is from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. You must be outside of the UK to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit.

You can choose which application you make but please do not apply to both the Ukraine Family Scheme and for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit as it may cause a delay in getting your decision.

Regardless of what you apply for to enter the UK, if you’re eligible you’ll be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once you’re in the UK.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for up to 3 years.

Fees

It is free to apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme.

You do not need to pay the immigration health surcharge or biometric enrolment fee for this scheme.

Apply from outside the UK

You must apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme online if you are outside the UK.

Start now

To support you in applying for the Ukraine Family Scheme or the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), we have translated the application screens into Ukrainian and Russian.

Prove your identity

If you have a valid Ukrainian international passport

You can use the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app to prove your identity if you have a valid Ukrainian international passport. You do not need to attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information.

Using the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app

The ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app checks your identity and verifies that the passport you’re using belongs to you. You’ll be told when to download the app once you begin your application online at GOV.UK - you can download the app at any time, but it will not work before this point.

You’ll use the app to scan your passport or take a photo if you can’t use the scanner.

Top Tips on applying to the Ukraine Schemes for a UK visa

There is detailed information about how to use the app if you need help.

If you can’t use the app

If you can’t use the app, you don’t need to attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information. Instead, you must give your biometric information within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

If you have an expired Ukrainian international passport with a formal extension stamp

You can’t use the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app If your passport has expired even if it has a formal extension stamp issued by the Ukrainian government. You don’t need to attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information. Instead, you must give your biometric information within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

During your application you must upload copies of both:

  • the photograph page of your expired passport
  • the page of your expired passport with the formal extension stamp

You can upload these documents using our commercial partner document upload app. This will be either TLS or VFS depending on which country you are applying in. You can download the app from the TLS or VFS website when you make your application.

If you need support to upload copies of your documents, you can still book an appointment at a visa application centre.

If you don’t have a valid Ukrainian international passport, or an expired Ukrainian international passport with a formal extension stamp

If you do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport, or an expired Ukrainian international passport with a formal extension stamp issued by the Ukrainian government, you will need to book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre (VAC). This also applies to child applicants.

During the online application process, you’ll be asked to upload copies of any identity documents you may have such as:

  • a Ukrainian national identity card
  • a combination of official documents – for example, a photo driving licence and birth certificate
  • an emergency certificate issued by a Ukrainian authority since March 2022

It is not mandatory to provide these documents, but it may help support your application if you are able to.

You can upload your documents using our commercial partner document upload app. This will be either TLS or VFS depending on which country you are applying in. You can download the app from the TLS or VFS website when you make your application.

Visa application centres

You will need to have your photograph and fingerprints taken at a visa application centre (VAC) as part of your application. Children under the age of 5 who do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport will not have their fingerprints taken but will still need to book and attend a VAC appointment and have a digital photograph taken.

VACs in Ukraine are currently closed. You can apply at a VAC in any other country if you are able to travel safely.

VACs are currently operating throughout Europe including:

Provide evidence that you’re eligible for the scheme

If you have them, you should also provide any documents that show:

  • your relationship to your UK-based family member

  • you were residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022

  • any other evidence requested as part of the application

You can upload your documents using our commercial partner document upload app. This will be either TLS or VFS depending on which country you are applying in. You can download the app from the TLS or VFS website when you make your application.

If you need support to upload images of your documents, you can book an appointment at a visa application centre.

You can still apply if you are unable to provide these documents. You should explain why you are unable to provide them when you apply - for example, if you had to leave all your documents behind when you left.

After you’ve applied

You will need to await a decision from UK Visas and Immigration on your application before travelling to the UK.

If you attended a visa application centre, you will need to return to collect your visa before you travel to the UK.

We are prioritising Ukraine Family Scheme applications and aim to make a decision as quickly as possible.

You will be contacted when a decision has been made with more guidance on the travel process.

Your decision letter will tell you if you need to collect a biometric residence permit when you arrive in the UK, or if you need to give your biometric information first.

If you attended a visa application centre as part of your application

Once your application has been processed, you’ll be given a visa.

This visa will allow you to board a plane or other form of transport to the UK.

Do not go to the visa application centre to collect your visa until you have been contacted.

You’ll be able to pick up your biometric residence permit once you’re in the UK. Your biometric residence permit can be used to confirm your status and rights in the UK.

If you did not attend a visa application centre as part of your application

Once your application has been processed you will receive an official permission letter from UK Visas & Immigration confirming that you can travel to the UK.

The permission letter will allow you to board a plane or other form of transport to the UK.

You should not travel to the UK until you have received an official permission letter.

If you applied using the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app, you’ll be able to pick up your biometric residence permit once you’re in the UK.

If you didn’t use the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app you’ll need to submit your biometrics within 6 months of arriving in the UK to extend your stay for up to 3 years and be given a biometric residence permit. You will be told how to do this in your decision letter.

Extending your stay in the UK

You do not need to apply to extend your visa if you were able to use the ‘UK immigration: ID check’ app or if you attended a visa application centre as part of your application to come to the UK

You need to apply to give your biometrics within 6 months of arriving in the UK if you received a stamp in your passport when you entered the UK.

You will then be able to stay in the UK for up to 3 years.

You do not need to do this as soon as you reach the UK, but you do need to make sure that you have applied to give your biometrics before the 6 months ends. You will be told how to do this in your decision letter.

Apply to extend your stay in the UK

You can start the application to give your biometrics by completing the online form.

Start now

You will then book and attend an appointment at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

Your biometric residence permit will be sent to the address you gave in your application. You do not need to collect it.

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) service points

You will need to give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UKVCAS service point - this is to get a biometric residence permit.

Children under the age of 5 will not have their fingerprints taken but will still need to attend the UKVCAS service point and have a digital photograph taken.

Some services at UKVCAS service points have a fee. You do not need to use these services, such as document scanning, to complete your application.

If you want to use of any of these services at a UKVCAS service point during your appointment, you will not need to pay a fee for them and you should not pay for them in advance.

Booking appointments for you and your family members

If you would like to book appointments for you and your family members on the same date you will first need to set up individual accounts for all your family members, including children. You can use your own email address when setting up accounts for children.

You should then log in to your UKVCAS accounts and book your appointments together.

If there is more than one application linked to the same email address, you will need to provide the unique application number (UAN) for each application you want to book an appointment for.

A UAN is a unique 16-digit code (format xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) that each person gets once they have made their online application to extend their stay in the UK.

We cannot guarantee that appointments will be available for all family members on the same date.

Apply from inside the UK

You must apply online to the Ukraine Family Scheme if you are in the UK.

You will then book and attend an appointment at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

After you apply

We will prioritise your application and aim to make a decision as quickly as possible.

You will be contacted when a decision has been made.

Contact UK Visas and Immigration

If you need any assistance, contact UK Visas and Immigration

Telephone: + 44 808 164 8810 – select option 1
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm
Calls are free of charge

If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, you can use another number instead. You may have to pay – check with your phone provider if you’re not sure.

Telephone: +44 175 390 7510 – select option 1
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm

Published 4 March 2022
Last updated 15 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added a concession to introduce a new eligibility period for the Ukraine Extension Scheme and information about the 3 different Ukraine Schemes available. Eligibility for the Ukraine Extension Scheme has now been extended to allow those who have and continue to arrive after 18 March 2022, until 16 May 2023, to apply.

  2. The temporary VAC in Rzeszow has now closed.

  3. Added a section about applying for a biometrics appointment as a family group.

  4. Monday to Friday opening hours for the contact centre have changed to 8am to 8pm.

  5. Updated phone line opening hours.

  6. Added translation

  7. Ukraine and Russian translations added.

  8. You can now apply online and use the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app to prove your identity if you have a valid Ukrainian international passport.

  9. Added a link to the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme application screens translated into Russian and Ukrainian.

  10. Changed helpline opening hours.

  11. Ukrainian and Russian translations updated to include information about the Ukraine Extension Scheme (information published in English on 29 March).

  12. Added information about the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

  13. Added Ukrainian and Russian translations.

  14. Updated the 'Uploading your documents' section to clarify the information about the document upload app commercial partner. This will be either TLS or VFS depending on which country you are applying in.

  15. Updated guidance to reflect changes to the out of country application process from 15 March 2022.

  16. Updated information for people applying from inside the UK.

  17. Added information about changes to the application process from 15 March.

  18. Added alternative phone number for people who cannot use UK 0808 numbers.

  19. Updated guidance on extended family members.

  20. The temporary VAC in Lviv is no longer operating.

  21. First published.