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1 March 2022

UK Government’s latest statement on Ukrainian refugees

The Home Secretary has set out the government’s plans to tackle the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
UK Government’s latest statement on Ukrainian refugees

Update: 15 March 2022 (update two)

In a new update, the UK Government has announced that refugees fleeing Ukraine can bring pets with them to the UK.

Using an emergency licence, Ukrainian nationals can bring their pets to the UK and any quarantine costs will be met by the Government.

Pets will be considered on a case by case basis, with vaccinated pets being subject to a shortened quarantine period. 

In a statement, Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “Ukrainian nationals are in an appalling situation. I’m pleased that Ukrainian refugees will be able to bring their pets to the UK with any quarantine costs paid for by the Government.”

You can read the full statement on the Government’s website.

Update: 15 March 2022

From 15 March 2022, Ukrainians outside the UK who hold a Ukrainian international passport will no longer need to provide your biometric information from overseas to apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme. 

They will still need to complete an application online, but will not need to attend an in-person appointment at a visa application centre (VAC)

Applicants must provide an email address with their application as they will need to be contacted with more information about the travel process.

Update: 14 March 2022

On 14 March 2022, the UK Government launched a new scheme in a further effort to support Ukrainian refugees. 

UK individuals and organisations will be able to provide a temporary home to a Ukrainian refugee. The scheme will allow all Ukrainians to enter the UK – including those who have no family already in the UK. 

Individual sponsors will be asked to provide a room for a minimum of 6 months and, in return, they will receive £350 per month. 

The Government has set up a website for people to register their interest.

The scheme will also mean that local authorities will receive an extra £10,500 in extra funding for each refugee in their respective area. This money will be used for support services. 

Update: 11 March 2022

The UK Government have outlined the requirements for those that wish to apply for the UK’s Ukrainian Family Visa Scheme from inside the UK.

They will need to apply online before booking an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point. 

Once there, applicants will need to provide their fingerprints and a photograph. They will receive a biometric permit. More information is available on the Government’s website

Update: 8 March 2022

On 8 March 2022, the UK Government updated their guidance on extended family members able to come to the UK. 

Under the guidance, both extended family members and immediate family members of extended family members are able to join a UK resident in the UK. The Government has a list of what counts as an acceptable family member. 

Please note that if the family member concerned is in a relationship with the qualifying individual, the relationship must have started before 1 January 2022. 

Update: 4 March 2022

On 4 March 2022, the UK Government officially launched their Ukrainian Family Visa Scheme. The scheme is designed to support the fleeing refugees from Ukraine since Russian forces invaded in February 2022. 

The scheme allows the family members of people who currently live in the UK to join them. The family member must be either:

  • a British national
  • Someone settled in the UK
  • Someone who has pre-settled status 
  • Someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

The individual in the UK must be a family member, an immediate family member, or an immediate family member of an extended family member. 

To find out more information, visit the UK Government website.

Update: 1 March 2022

Speaking at a news conference in Poland. The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced a further change to the visa rules for Ukrainian refugees.

The fresh changes will allow the extended family members of British nationals who live in Ukraine to come and join their family in the UK. As well as this, a further addition will allow British companies and citizens to sponsor Ukrainian individuals to come to the UK.

These fresh rules are additions to those set out by the Home Secretary yesterday – the details of which can be found below.

During his statement, the Prime Minister said the changes would mean “very considerable numbers would be eligible” to come to the UK. In terms of numbers, the UK could welcome as many as 200,000 Ukrainian refugees.

This page will continue to be updated with developments.

The UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, spoke in the House of Commons yesterday (28/02/22) and went over the UK’s plan to tackle the refugee crisis in Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians have fled the country since Russian forces invaded in February 2022. Due to the suspension of commercial flights, many refugees have fled across the borders into neighbouring countries. 

The UN refugee agency said today (01/03/22) that 660,000 people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began.

In light of the impending crisis, the UK Government has laid out its plans to offer support to the Ukrainian people. The Government has begun to introduce a new humanitarian route for people fleeting the conflict in Ukraine. The first phase of the route’s implementation has done the following:

  • Supported British nationals and their families in Ukraine in leaving the country. 
  • Allowed dependents of British nationals in Ukraine to apply for visas at temporary visa centres in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Further to the above, the Home Secretary’s statement also laid out plans to do the following:

  • Allow Ukrainian nationals already in the UK to switch into a points-based immigration or Family Visa route. They will be able to do this for free. 
  • Extend visas for Ukrainian temporary workers in some sectors, and allow them to stay until at least December 2022.
  • Allow British nationals and any person settled in the UK to bring over their immediate Ukrainian family members. 

The Home Secretary also said that, in the cases where non-British family members are not eligible for the route but do pass security checks, they will still be able to come to the UK and live here outside of visa rules for 12 months. 

The European Union, which has several members bordering Ukraine, said they will allow Ukrainian refugees to enter each of their member states without the need to apply for asylum for 3 years. 

You can read the Home Secretary’s full statement on the Home Office’s Government webpage

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