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20 February 2024

New changes to the Ukraine Scheme and the Health and Care Worker Visa

A new Statement of Changes has introduced changes to the Ukraine Scheme, as well as Health and Care Worker Visas. Read on to find out more.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Ukrainian flag flying in the sky to represent changes to the Ukraine Scheme

On 19 February 2024, the Home Office announced a new Statement of Changes that mainly deals with the Ukraine Scheme, which provides routes into the UK for Ukrainian nationals, such as the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine.

However, there are also changes to the Health and Care Worker Visa which were previously announced in December

Changes to the Ukraine Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS), Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (HFU) and the Ukraine Extension Scheme (UES) have all received changes.

First, one change that applies to all of the Ukraine Scheme routes is that general immigration rules will now be applied. This means that applications can now be refused if, for example, the person applying has not provided all the required information in their application, or has previously broken immigration rules. 

Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

New applications can no longer be made under the UFS route. 

However, Ukrainian nationals outside of the UK can now apply for the HFU route instead. This requires them to have an approved sponsor who is either a British or Irish citizen, or settled in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme or with Indefinite Leave to Remain. The sponsor must also provide accommodation for at least six months. 

Additionally, those who do not hold one of the previously listed statuses, or are not Ukrainian nationals, can only come to the UK as part of the HFU if they are immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals who qualify or already hold permission as part of the HFU.

The Government has said that these changes will be ‘more sustainable’ due to accommodation requirements and checks, as well as safeguarding checks that the UFS did not have. 

Furthermore, new applicants to the HFU, including minors, will now be given 18 months permission to stay in the UK instead of the previous 36 months. This brings the period of time more in line with the EU Temporary Protection Directive, which lasts a year at a time.

Ukraine Extension Scheme

The Home Office has announced that the UES will be closing to new applicants on 16 May 2024. Anyone who wants to extend their stay must apply before this date. 

However, children born after 18 March 2022 to parents who hold permission to stay in the UK under any of the previously mentioned schemes, will still be eligible to apply after the UES closes on 16 May. The length of stay they are given will be aligned with the parent whose permission expires last.

Health and Care Worker Visas

As was announced on 4 December 2023, the Government is now making it so that those in the UK on a Health and Care Worker Visa can no longer bring their dependants with them. Only children born in the UK to the visa holder will be valid to apply.. 

The ban on care workers bringing dependants with them is part of the Government’s aim to cut down net migration. 

Additionally, sponsors of those applying for the Health and Care Worker Visa must now be registered with the Care Quality Commission and currently active and regulated. This limits the number of jobs available, but also helps to address worker exploitation, as sponsors will need to ensure that they comply with the regulations. This only applies to England.

There are going to be transitional arrangements put into place for people who applied before the changes. They can apply to stay with the same sponsor regardless of the new regulation changes, as well as bring dependants.

How we can help

If you are looking to come to the UK through the Ukraine Scheme by applying for the HFU, extend your stay through the UES, or apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa, then we can help.

Our experienced immigration law experts will guide you through every step of your application, and strive to ensure that your application is as likely to be successful as possible. 

Arrange a free 10-minute consultation to discuss your issue and if we can help you. Then, you can arrange a paid 30-minute consultation, or an hour long consultation. 

One of our team members will act as your dedicated point of contact in our firm and will be there to answer any questions that you may have.

Get in touch with us today if you need our help.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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