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24 February 2022

Ukraine visas update

Given the events overnight in Ukraine, the British government has introduced temporary visa concessions for family members of British nationals who live in Ukraine.[1]

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine the Home Office has opened a family migration visa for free if you live in Ukraine and have a British national family member. So long as the British national family member is:

  • a spouse or civil partner
  • an unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years)
  • your parent if you are under the age of 18
  • your child under the age of 18
  • an adult relative you provide care for who lives with you due to a medical condition

The Home Office are accepting applications over the phone, which is highly unusual, but understandable given the circumstances. The website requires applicants to submit their biometrics.

The Visa Application Centre in Kyiv is closed and all services are suspended [2].The government is advising there is a temporary VAC in the Lemberg Business Centre in the city of Lviv. Alternatively, applications in a VAC in a nearby country, if individuals are able to safely travel there, will be accepted. These countries are Poland, Romania, Hungary and Moldova.

Although this visa is a supportive step during these terrible times, it remains to be seen whether the practicalities of getting biometrics done and arranging travel to the UK at this time are possible for those in Ukraine.

Other routes remain available to Ukrainian nationals, but given the situation the practical challenges remain. These include the ability to apply for visit, work and study visas. Also, if there is an urgent need to travel to the UK for compassionate reasons one can apply for a visa in the usual way and include clear compelling or compassionate reasons for the visit in the application.

The government has also provided an update for British nationals in Ukraine. The FCDO is advising all British nationals to leave Ukraine immediately. Commercial flight routes will be disrupted given that Ukraine’s airspace is now closed. The FCDO is also advising against all travel to Ukraine.

The ongoing situation in Ukraine is extremely worrying. If you require any advice please do not hesitate to contact Matt Ingham or Richard Milford of the Citizenship and Immigration Team.

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Matt Ingham
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