The newest Ukrainian scheme – the Ukraine Extension Scheme – was opened exactly a week ago today. This scheme is only available to those who meet the following criteria:
- they are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national (where the Ukrainian national is also applying under the Ukraine Extension scheme) and
- the Ukrainian national had permission to enter or stay in the UK (i.e. held a valid visa) on 18 March 2022 and held lawful permission to be in the UK on 18 March 2022. This means that they must have arrived in the UK on or before 18 March 2022. The only exceptions to this is where:
- they were in the UK with a valid visa immediately before 1 January 2022 but that visa has since expired
- they are a child who was born in the UK after 18 March 2022
There are also suitability provisions so applications can be refused, for example, on criminality grounds.
Applications must be submitted from within the UK – it isn’t possible to submit this application from outside the UK. Successful applicants will be able to stay for three years in the UK and will be able to work in the UK and have access to public benefits.
At the moment, it doesn’t appear that it will be possible to switch into a different category of immigration leave. Furthermore, the route does not currently lead to any permanent residency rights which means that the time spent under the scheme may not count towards an Indefinite Leave to Remain/settlement application in the future.
As with the other Ukraine schemes, there is no application fee to apply. Potential applicants can also contact the 24/7 helpline on 0808 164 8810.
We recommend obtaining immigration advice before applying to ensure that the Ukraine Extension Scheme is the appropriate application for you to remain in the UK. With other specific options available for Ukrainian nationals and family members such as the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and the Ukraine Family Scheme as well as the other standard routes such as sponsorship, it is best to consider all options carefully.