How can Ukrainians apply for a visa to come to the UK?

From Tuesday, Ukrainians with passports will no longer need to go to a visa application centre to give their biometrics before they come to the UK.

Flora Thompson
Thursday 10 March 2022 17:04 GMT
Members of a Ukrainian family wait for paperwork to be completed at the ferry terminal in Calais (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Members of a Ukrainian family wait for paperwork to be completed at the ferry terminal in Calais (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Home Secretary Priti Patel has promised a streamlined online visa application system for Ukrainians seeking to flee the war with Russia in response to criticism of her approach to the crisis.

Visas are currently available to relatives of people who live in the UK. Another promised route, allowing individuals and companies to sponsor Ukrainians to come to the UK, has yet to be established.

From Tuesday, Ukrainians with passports will no longer need to go to a visa application centre to give their biometrics before they come to the UK.

Once their application has been considered and checks completed, they will receive notification that they are eligible for the scheme and can come to the UK.

Here is how Ukrainians fleeing conflict can apply for a visa to the UK, according to the Home Office:

– It is free to apply and visas granted will last for up to three years.

– Applicants must be joining UK-based family members, be Ukrainian or have an immediate relative who is a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme and have been residing in the country on or immediately before January 1 2022.

– The UK family member must be a British national, someone who has indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence or someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021. This can also include someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.

– Applicants will be asked for official documents to prove their relationship or an explanation as to why they do not have this.

– Applications, which will be subject to security checks, must be made online at gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa

– Those who need to attend a processing centre to provide biometric information to confirm their identity – such as fingerprints – can then book an appointment at sites across Europe. Sites around Ukraine which are taking appointments include in Warsaw, Rzeszow, Chișinau, Bucharest, Budapest, Prague as well as Paris and Brussels.

– A small “pop-up” site has been set up in Lille for cases specifically referred there. Free transport is being provided from Calais for those directed there. Another centre operating on a similar scale is due to open in Arras.

– There is also a free 24-hour helpline for anyone who needs information (+44 808 164 8810)

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