UK Immigration Advice for British nationals in Ukraine and Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine and the UK
If you are a UK national living in Ukraine, or you are a Ukraine national who is in the UK or who is planning to move to the UK, it is a worrying time as there is so much uncertainty about what may or may not develop in Ukraine. On the 17 February 2022 the UK government released Home Office guidance for British nationals in the UK as well as guidance for non-British family members of British citizens in the Ukraine and Ukrainians in the UK. Our immigration solicitors take a look at the latest Home Office guidance for those caught up in the Ukrainian crisis.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors
British citizens in Ukraine
For some time, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has advised against all travel to Ukraine and has said all British nationals in Ukraine should leave the country while commercial flights and transport are still available.
The FCDO advise that if you are a British national still in Ukraine, you should register your presence in the country with the FCDO so they can keep you updated with the latest developments and FCDO travel advice.
Registration is important as the FCDO has temporarily withdrawn some Embassy staff and has had to change the way it provides consular assistance. The FCDO emphasises that British citizens should leave Ukraine whilst they still have commercial travel options available to them.
Non-British family members of British citizens based in Ukraine
Immigration solicitors understand that the reluctance of some British citizens to leave the Ukraine relates to their Ukrainian immediate family members and their extended family. Some British citizens have expressed fears that their family will not be able to secure UK entry clearance.
Immediate family members of British nationals who are living in the Ukraine or who normally live in Ukraine can apply for a family visa.
Under UK immigration rules you are classed as an immediate family member if you are:
- A husband or wife or civil partner.
- An unmarried partner if you meet the unmarried partner eligibility criteria. This means you must have been in a relationship for at least two years.
- A child of a British citizen and you are under the age of eighteen.
- The parent of a British citizen who is a child under the age of eighteen.
- A dependant adult if the adult meets the adult dependent family visa eligibility criteria.
Even if a Ukrainian family member of a British citizen does not meet the eligibility criteria for a family visa you may be able to persuade the Home Office to exercise discretion because of your exceptional compelling compassionate circumstances. Alternatively, you may meet the eligibility criteria for another type of visa, such as a visitor visa or business visa.
As applicants for UK visas need to provide biometric information (fingerprints) at an appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) it is important to make your family visa application (or other type of visa application) as soon as you can. The Home Office is trying to process family visa applications within twenty-four hours.
Visas for Ukrainian nationals to enter the UK
If you are a Ukrainian national in Ukraine who is not an immediate family member of a British national then you may still meet the eligibility criteria for a UK visa. Your UK visa options include:
- A short-term visitor visa or business visa.
- A skilled worker visa provided you have a job offer from a UK employer with a Home Office sponsor licence.
- An intra company transfer visa if you are transferring your employment from the Ukraine to the UK and the UK base of your international employer has a Home Office issued sponsor licence and your job meets the intra company transfer visa criteria.
- A student visa if you are intending to become an international student.
- A business visa such as a start-up visa, innovator visa, global talent visa or sole representative visa if you are planning to set up business in the UK.
Although you may have heard that the UK has closed the investor visa route there are still potentially lots of visa options available to you.
Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to discuss visa options.
Ukrainian nationals currently in the UK
If you are a Ukrainian national in the UK and you are subject to UK immigration control you need to make sure you continue to comply with all your visa conditions and that you check the expiry date of your visa. That is because the Home Office has not made a concession to say that the visas of any Ukrainian nationals in the UK will be automatically extended to cover your staying in the UK after the expiry of your visa and until the situation with Russia becomes clearer. The onus is therefore still on the visa holder to make an immigration application to extend their current visa or switch visa.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors