Guidance

Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)

Guidance for Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

Applications are processed in date order from when your documents were uploaded, or after your appointment at a visa application centre. We are working 7 days a week, but it will take some time before we can make a decision on every application.

We know that some applicants have been waiting nearly 3 weeks for their application to be processed. We are working to resolve this and speed up the processing of applications.

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 Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK. Your sponsor must be either:

Applicants to Scotland and Wales may previously have been considered under the super sponsor schemes, in which the governments of these nations act directly as sponsors. However, these super sponsor schemes are currently paused, so applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the relevant authorities.

It is free to apply.

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

Eligibility

To apply to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme you must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who has been granted permission under, or is applying to and qualifies for, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

You must also:

  • have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)
  • be outside of the UK
  • have an eligible UK-based sponsor, or you can choose the Scottish or Welsh Government as your sponsor

Your UK-based sponsor does not need to register with the Homes for Ukraine Scheme if you’re already in contact with them.

If your sponsor is the Scottish or Welsh Government, you do not need to arrange any accommodation – this will be provided for you.

Find out more about what happens when the Scottish Government sponsors your application.

Applicants aged under 18

Children under 18 years old must either:

  • apply with their parent or legal guardian
  • apply to join their parent or legal guardian if they’re already in the UK
  • apply with the consent of their parent or legal guardian to travel to the UK to join an approved sponsor

If the child is applying with their parent or legal guardian, they should travel together.

If the child is applying to join their parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian should either:

  • travel to meet the child before they depart, and then travel together to the UK
  • collect the child from the airport, port, train station or other point of entry into the UK

We advise that children do not travel via Calais, Coquelles or Dunkerque without a parent or legal guardian.

To be eligible, the child must have:

  • proof of consent by their parent or legal guardian notarised or certified by the Guardianship Service of the city or regional council in Ukraine; or, where the child is in another country, notary authorities in that country or by the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate.

  • proof of consent from their parent or legal guardianship to the sponsorship arrangement

  • a commitment to sponsorship for 3 years or until the child turns 18 (so long as the sponsorship lasts at least 6 months)

  • approval of the sponsorship arrangement by the local council where the child will live.

If the child applied before 10 August 2022, they will have received a letter with instructions on what to do next.

New applications can now be made by children applying who are not travelling with or joining their parent or legal guardian in the UK.

You can also read detailed information on GOV.UK if you are a:

If you’re applying as the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national

An immediate family member is your:

  • 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

You and your sponsor will be subject to security and safeguarding checks.

Crown dependencies

If you applied to the Isle of Man or Guernsey’s Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, you must finalise your application through that Crown Dependency’s process. If you need information or support, contact the relevant Crown Dependency:

How long you can stay

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

Fees

It is free to apply.

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

Apply

You must apply online.

Start now

If you have a named sponsor, you or your sponsor can fill in the form, or you can fill it in together.

The form is aimed at the person applying to the scheme.

This application is also an application for a biometric immigration document.

By completing this application, you confirm that both the applicant and the sponsor (if you have a named sponsor) have given permission for their data to be shared and contact details used for the purpose of checks and supporting the sponsor arrangement.

If you are a sponsor applying on behalf of the applicant

You’ll need to fill in the form online as if you’re the applicant coming from Ukraine.

Add the applicant’s contact details so that they have access the application form and all the decision letters.

If the applicant has a valid Ukrainian international passport they can use the ‘UK Immigration: ID check’ app to prove their identity. They will need to complete this part of the application themselves.

Read the whole guide to make sure you have everything prepared that you need before you apply.

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, or apply to extend your stay once your arrive in the UK.

If your sponsor is making an application on your behalf, you will still need to use the app to prove your identity. Once your sponsor has created your account details online, they will get instructions for you to start using the app.

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.

Find out how to use the app.

You don’t need to give your biometric information in the UK if you use the app

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

If you can’t use the app

If you can’t use the app and you have a valid Ukrainian international passport 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 a copy of the photograph page of your passport

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 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 once you’ve completed your application. 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 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 a named sponsor you must also provide documents that show their identity.

This can be a:

  • UK or Irish passport or Irish passport card
  • biometric residence permit or biometric residence card
  • refugee travel document
  • a photo driving licence issued by the UK, Ireland, or the Crown Dependencies

If your sponsor has a UKVI account, they can use the online View and prove service to show their identity.

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.

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

You will also be asked to provide your sponsor’s residential address. You do not need to provide a residential address for your sponsor if your sponsor is the Scottish or Welsh Government.

After you’ve applied

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

We are prioritising Ukraine Sponsorship 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.

You will need to collect your visa from the visa application centre before you travel 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 and Immigration (UKVI) 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.

Contact UK Visas and Immigration

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

Telephone: +44 808 164 8810
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
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday. 9am to 5:30pm

Published 18 March 2022
Last updated 15 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the 3 different Ukraine Schemes available.

  2. Updated the section on under 18s as unaccompanied minors may now apply for this visa.

  3. Removed this paragraph as the super sponsor schemes have been paused: 'If your sponsor will be the Scottish or Welsh Government, you must fill in the form yourself. You’ll be asked if you’re being sponsored by an organisation. Choose the ‘organisation option’ and select which government will be your sponsor from the list.'

  4. The temporary VAC in Rzeszow has now closed.

  5. Updated the guidance to include the pause in the Welsh and Scottish super sponsor arrangements and added a new section about unaccompanied minors. Other general improvements to help navigate the guidance.

  6. Added guidance about booking biometrics appointments for family groups.

  7. Added translation

  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. Ukrainian and Russian translations updated.

  11. Updated guidance about whether your sponsor needs to register their interest with the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Updated guidance for sponsors applying on behalf of someone coming from Ukraine.

  12. The process to submit your biometrics once you arrive in the UK has opened. Link to the form added.

  13. Information added about visa application processing times.

  14. Changed helpline opening hours.

  15. Added Ukrainian and Russian translations.

  16. First published.