Ukraine visa schemes
one year on

Friday 24 February 2023 marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since the start of the conflict, the UK has been one of Ukraine’s closest allies, providing 2.3 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) of aid in 2022 and vowing to match or exceed that amount this year.

Over the last year, the UK has also provided refuge for over 100,000 Ukrainian nationals forced to flee their homes. In response to the war, last year the UK government introduced three different visa schemes for Ukrainian citizens wishing to come to or remain in the UK:

  • The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members in the UK.
  • The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor.
  • The Ukraine Extension Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members to apply for permission to stay in the UK if one of the following is true:
    • they 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
    • they previously held permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022.

Latest Ukraine visa scheme data

The Home Office publishes regular data on the number of applications and grants issued under the three schemes. As of 14 February 2023, there have been a total of 269,700 Ukraine Scheme visa applications received and 218,500 visas issued.

The latest data relating to each individual scheme is as follows:

  • A total of 86,700 applications have been received under the Ukraine Family Scheme, with 65,900 visas issued.
  • A total of 183,000 applications have been received under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme with 152,600 visas issued.
  • A total of 28,800 applications have been received to extend permission to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Extension Scheme. Of these, 23,600 were granted.

Latest advice for Ukraine visa scheme applicants

If you are outside the UK and hold a valid Ukrainian international passport or hold an expired Ukrainian international passport that contains an official passport extension stamp endorsed by the Ukrainian government (including embassies or consulates), you do not need to provide your biometric information at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) from overseas to apply to the Ukraine Scheme.

You will still need to complete an application online and upload a digital scan of your valid Ukrainian international passport, but you will not need to attend an in-person appointment at a visa application centre.

For applicants who do need to submit their biometrics and passports before travelling to the UK, the UK VAC in Kyiv re-opened on 30 January 2023.

The centre will be open for a limited number of appointments per day, any may need to close at short notice for security reasons or because of unscheduled power cuts. Customers will be able to keep their passport in their possession after submitting their biometrics.

Please note that if your application is successful, you will need to travel to Warsaw, Poland.

More information on the UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals can be found here.

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