UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals

Guidance on support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members.

You must not travel to the UK before you have a visa or a letter from the Home Office giving you permission to enter.

If you have family in the UK

The Ukraine Family Scheme enables you to come to the UK or to stay longer if you’re a family member of:

It is free to apply.

You’ll be able to live, work, study and claim benefits in the UK.

Read more information about the Ukraine Family Scheme.

If you do not have family in the UK

You can apply to come to the UK if you have a named sponsor or on any other existing visa you’re eligible to apply for.

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)

If you do not have family in the UK, you can apply for the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

The scheme enables people and organisations in the UK (sponsors) to bring Ukrainians and their family members to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

If you have a sponsor you can:

  • come to the UK for up to 3 years
  • work in the UK
  • access public services and claim benefits

Read more information about applying to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

Find out how people and organisations record their interest in becoming a sponsor.

Other visas you can apply for

You can make an application to visit, work, study or join family in the UK.  Check which visas are available.

You’ll need to complete your online application form. You’ll get a GWF reference number. You can use this to book an appointment at a visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

The Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kyiv, Ukraine is now open for biometric enrolments and document scanning for UK visa applications. Biometric enrolment appointments will be limited.

If your visa application is successful you will need to travel to the VAC in Warsaw with a valid international passport to collect your visa vignette.

For more information including opening hours and appointment booking , please visit the TLS website.

If you’re already in the UK on a visa

If you’re Ukrainian you’ll be able to stay longer. You can apply:

  • to the Ukraine Extension Scheme
  • to extend your current visa
  • to switch to a different visa

Ukraine Extension Scheme

You can apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme if you’re Ukrainian or you have a Ukrainian family member.

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

Read more information about applying to the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

Extend your visa or switch to a different visa

If you’re Ukrainian, you can also stay in the UK by extending your current visa or switching to another one if you meet the eligibility requirements. You can extend or switch even if your current visa does not usually let you do this.

If you have a Ukrainian family member, you can apply to extend your current visa or switch to another one if your visa allows that.

Check what Ukrainians in the UK on a visa can do.

If you’re travelling with pets

Read guidance on bringing pets to the UK from Ukraine.

Contact UK Visas and Immigration

You can phone the free Ukraine helpline if you need help:

Telephone: + 44 808 164 8810

Telephone: +44 (0)175 390 7510 (if you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers)

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4:45pm
  • Friday, 9am to 4:30pm

Closed on bank holidays.

Published 17 February 2022
Last updated 24 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated helpline operating hours to include information on bank holidays.

  2. Updated helpline opening hours.

  3. Removal of redundant 'Stay up to date' call out.

  4. Updated information for the reopening of the visa application centre.

  5. Updated helpline information.

  6. Amended opening times over the holiday period.

  7. Added a concession to introduce a new eligibility period for the Ukraine Extension Scheme. 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.

  8. Russian and Ukrainian translations updated.

  9. Condensed information so it’s clearer and focused on visa support for Ukrainian nationals: - removed links to information that’s included in the Ukraine foreign travel advice section - added links to indefinite leave to remain and EU settled or pre-settled status pages - clarified what you can do if you have a sponsor - added more information about visa application centres - clarified information about staying longer if you’re already in the UK - removed chapter about travelling to the UK urgently as it’s no longer needed

  10. Monday to Friday opening hours for call to the contact centre about the Ukraine Family Scheme have changed to 8am to 8pm.

  11. Updated phone line opening hours.

  12. Added link to Ukraine Extension Scheme guidance.

  13. Changed helpline opening hours.

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

  15. Added information about the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

  16. Added link to information about travelling with pets.

  17. Added Ukrainian and Russian translations.

  18. Updated information about the Ukraine Family Scheme.

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

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

  21. Guidance updated.

  22. Added link to Ukraine Family Scheme.

  23. Updated page title and summary. Updated coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.

  24. Updated guidance to reflect announcement by the Home Secretary on 1 March 2022.

  25. Updated information on family migration visas.

  26. Updated information on visa application centres.

  27. Guidance updated to reflect concessions for Ukrainian nationals currently in the UK.

  28. Guidance updated to reflect the closure of the VAC and suspension of UK visa services in Kyiv.

  29. First published.