If you're from Ukraine and your visa is ending, find out the necessary steps to take for a smooth transition and renewal process.

If you’re from Ukraine and your visa is ending

If you’re a Ukrainian citizen residing in the UK and your visa is nearing expiration or has already expired, it’s crucial to understand your options to maintain your legal status. This guide will outline possible pathways for visa extensions, alternative routes, and other relevant schemes to help you continue your stay in the UK.

Visa Extension for Family or Skilled Workers

If you currently hold a family or skilled worker visa, consider applying for an extension if eligible. Extending your visa can contribute towards qualifying for indefinite leave to remain, a key step towards permanent residency.

Ukraine Extension Scheme Visa

For those who may not qualify for a standard visa extension, the ‘Ukraine Extension Scheme’ visa provides an alternative. This scheme is specifically designed to assist Ukrainian citizens, allowing them to remain in the UK under more flexible conditions.

Work or Study Visa

Ukrainian citizens who were legally in the UK before 24 February 2022, or who applied to enter the UK before that date, can switch to a work or study visa. This is a significant concession that provides Ukrainian nationals with the opportunity to switch visa categories without needing to leave the UK.

Asylum Claim

If other routes are not applicable, claiming asylum is another option. You can apply for asylum at any point if you believe returning to Ukraine would lead to persecution or serious harm.

Options if Your Visa Has Expired

If your visa has expired, there are still options available depending on your situation. It’s important to look into these and get advice from an immigration expert to find out what you can do next.

Ukraine Extension Scheme Visa

If your visa expires on or after 1 January 2022, you might be eligible for the Ukraine Extension Scheme visa. This scheme allows for late applications without needing to justify the delay.

Late Application for a Different Visa

If your visa expired within the last 14 days, you could still apply for a different visa, provided you explain the delay in your application. The Home Office will consider these applications based on the circumstances described.

Asylum Claim

You can claim asylum regardless of when your visa expires if you face risks upon return to Ukraine.

Understanding the Ukraine Extension Scheme Visa

The Ukraine Extension Scheme visa offers crucial support for Ukrainian citizens and their families residing in the UK. Here are some important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Eligibility: This visa is for Ukrainian citizens or individuals with a Ukrainian partner (husband, wife, fiancé(e), civil partner, or partner of at least 2 years) who currently hold or previously held permission to stay in the UK.
  • Duration: If approved, the visa permits a stay in the UK for three years, which includes any time already spent under the ‘Ukraine Family Scheme’ or ‘Homes for Ukraine Scheme.’
  • Benefits: Those with this visa can work, study, and access benefits in the UK. However, it’s important to understand that this visa does not provide a pathway to permanent residency in the UK.

Special Considerations for Minors

Minors who are Ukrainian citizens or whose parents are Ukrainian citizens may also qualify for the Ukraine Extension Scheme. Applications can be made on behalf of a minor by their parents or with parental permission if applying independently.

Applying for the Ukraine Extension Scheme

To apply for this scheme or other visas, visit the official UK government website (GOV.UK) for comprehensive instructions and application forms. Professional legal advice is highly recommended to ensure compliance with all requirements and to maximize the chances of a successful application.

For Ukrainian citizens in the UK, understanding the various visa options and timely action is essential. Whether extending your current visa, switching to a different category, or applying for asylum, knowing your rights and available routes can help secure your stay in the UK. Always consider consulting with immigration experts to navigate this complex process effectively.

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