UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens 2023 offers a comprehensive guide tailored for Ukrainians affected by the crisis that unfolded after Russia’s invasion in February 2022. The UK Government has launched specific programs such as the Ukraine Scheme to facilitate family sponsorship and visa extensions, along with concessions for Ukrainians already residing in the UK. Besides these specialized options, Ukrainians can still apply for standard UK visas for tourism, work, study, or family purposes, subject to regular fees. However, the Ukraine Scheme applications come at no cost.
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1. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens 2023
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK Government introduced several programs to assist Ukrainian citizens. The Ukraine Scheme is a noteworthy initiative that simplifies the visa process, requiring fewer documents and reducing fees.
Standard Visa Requirements for Ukrainians
For Ukrainians who don’t qualify for these special concessions, or choose not to take advantage of them, standard visa application procedures apply. The British visa for Ukrainian citizens requirements and fees depend on the type of application—whether for travel, work, study, or settlement in the UK.
Key Benefits Under the Ukraine Scheme
The UK Government’s aid to Ukrainians post-Russian invasion extends across several programs, including but not limited to:
- Ukraine Schemes
- Family Application Concessions
- Study and Work Switching
- Document Flexibility
- TB Certificate Waiver
- ID Check App Use
- Travel Letter Provision
- Expedited Processing
- 24/7 Helpline
Specific benefits of the Ukraine Scheme include no application fees, rapid processing, and permission to stay in the UK for up to three years. As of September 2022, 95.31% of Ukraine Scheme applications have been successful.
Ukrainian nationals can transition to family-based immigration routes without needing to exit the UK, provided they meet certain criteria.
Eligible Ukrainians can switch to different work or study routes, such as the Skilled Worker and Global Talent pathways.
In light of the crisis, written explanations can be provided in place of missing documentation in visa applications.
The usual requirement for a Tuberculosis test certificate is currently waived for Ukrainians.
For quicker processing, Ukrainians can utilize the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
A “permission to travel” letter can be issued to Ukrainians, allowing entry into the UK while their visa application is under review.
UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) is committed to expediting applications through the Ukraine Scheme, targeting a three-week processing window for most.
Around-the-clock helpline service is available for Ukrainians to address any visa-related inquiries.
2. UK Visa Schemes for Ukrainians: An Overview
To assist Ukrainians affected by the crisis, the UK has introduced several schemes. These initiatives aim to facilitate the visa application process for Ukrainian nationals and their family members, provided specific eligibility criteria are met. The three key programs are the Ukraine Family Scheme, Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, and Ukraine Extension Scheme.
Ukraine Family Scheme
This program allows Ukrainian nationals and their immediate or extended family members to apply for a UK entry clearance visa. Eligibility requires the UK-based sponsor to be a British citizen, a settled person, or someone with refugee status, among others.
- Immediate family members (e.g., partner, child under 18)
- Extended family members (e.g., grandparent, adult child)
- Non-Ukrainian family members can qualify if one immediate family member is a Ukrainian national.
Guidance for family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme.Apply for Ukraine Family Scheme visa
Homes for Ukraine Visa Application
Ukrainian nationals can apply if they have an approved UK sponsor willing to provide accommodation for at least six months.
- Must have resided in Ukraine on or immediately before January 1, 2022
- Must be outside the UK
- Must have an eligible UK-based sponsor
- Minimum 6 months UK residence permission
- Valid identity document
- Commitment to provide six-month accommodation
- All adults in the sponsor household must meet suitability requirements
Guidance for Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)
Ukrainian Extension Scheme
This scheme is for Ukrainians already in the UK, allowing them to live, work, and study. This scheme, however, does not lead to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain).
- In the UK with immigration permission as of March 18, 2022
- Last immigration permission ended after January 1, 2022
The Ukraine Extension Scheme does not count towards an indefinite leave to remain (ILR) application.
The Ukraine Extension Scheme is open to some Ukrainian nationals and their family members who have, or previously had, permission to be in the UK.Apply to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Extension Scheme
3. UK Visitor Visa for Ukrainian 2023
Ukrainians need a valid visa to enter the UK.
Exceptions exist for Ukrainians holding citizenship from visa-exempt countries such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU. Permanent residents in these countries, however, still need a visa.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 24,060 Ukrainians applied for visitor visa UK. 23,387 applications resolved, 20,542 visit visas granted to Ukrainian nationals, and 2,302 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK visitor visa success and refusal rate from Ukraine are 87.84% and 9.84%, respectively.
UK Standard Visitor Visa for the Citizens of Ukraine
The standard visitor visa is for tourism, family visits, business meetings, short-term studies, and other allowed activities. Ukrainians typically need a standard visa to visit the UK.
To secure a UK Visit Visa, Ukrainians must satisfy multiple criteria. The foremost requirement is stating the clear purpose of the visit, whether it’s tourism, business, or visiting family. Applicants also need to provide proof of financial means to support their stay in the UK, along with evidence of accommodation arrangements. Furthermore, proof of onward or return travel is required to ensure the applicant intends to leave the UK after the visit. Meeting these essential criteria is critical for obtaining a UK Visit Visa from Ukraine.
For the year ending 2022, out of 322 Ukrainian UK visitor visa applications, 311 were approved and 18 were denied, leading to a 89.39% approval rate and a 5.79% refusal rate.
From October 4, 2023, UK visa fees from Ukrainians are US$145 for a 6-month visa, US$505 for a 2-year visa, US$974 for a 5-year visa, and US$1,217 for a 10-year visa. All these visas have a maximum stay limit of 180 days per visit.
The standard visitor visa processing time is usually 3-weeks. Applicants can fast track the decision time within one week, by purchasing the priority service (service charges: US$632).
Tourist Visa to UK for Ukrainian Citizens
To apply for a UK tourist visa, Ukrainians need to fill the online application form, submit various documents like proof of intent to return, financial stability, and travel plans. The process involves an online application, fee payment (US$145), and biometric data submission at a visa application center.
- To prove your intent to return to Ukraine, acceptable documents may include a letter from your Ukrainian employer or educational institution confirming your commitments in Ukraine after your UK trip.
- Financial stability can typically be demonstrated through bank statements, showing you have sufficient funds to support your stay in the UK.
- For travel plans, a detailed itinerary and confirmed bookings for accommodation and transportation can serve as sufficient evidence.
Snapshot: Other UK Visitor Visas for Ukrainian Citizens
- Marriage Visitor Visa: For those marrying or forming civil partnerships. Stay: Up to 180 days. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$145.
- Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa: For private medical treatments lasting between 6-11 months. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$253. Companions must apply separately.
- Visiting Academics: For research or exchanges. Stay: Up to 12 months. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$253.
- Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE): For professionals on short-term specific paid tasks. Duration: Up to a month. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$145.
- Parent of a Child Student Visa: For parents of kids at fee-paying day schools. Stay: Up to 12 months. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$805.
- Transit Visas: For brief transits through the UK en route to another country, a transit visa is needed. Airside Transit Visa UK for Ukraine Fee: US$44; Visitor in Transit Visa UK for Ukrainian Citizens Fee: US$81.
4. Student Visa for Ukrainian Citizens to UK 2023
The UK Student Visa permits Ukrainian citizens to pursue a range of educational opportunities in the UK, from higher education to Student Union roles.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 730 Ukrainians applied for student visa UK. 727 applications resolved, 712 student visas granted to Ukrainians, and 13 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK student visa success and refusal rate for Ukrainians are 97.94% and 1.79%, respectively.
For a UK Student Visa, the standard charge is US$619, with a processing timeframe of roughly 3 weeks. An expedited service can be availed for an extra US$632. Students are obliged to pay an annual Immigration Health Charge (IHS) of £624.
The short-term study visa is designed for Ukrainians studying English in the UK for 6-11 months, costing US$253. A 6-month course costs US$145.
- Degree-level students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours weekly during the academic term, and full-time during holiday periods.
- For sub-degree level courses, the limit is 10 hours per week.
- Dependents of degree-level students can work; however, those of sub-degree students cannot.
Ukrainian graduates can avail a 2-year post-study work visa. PhD holders can get a 3-year visa.
5. Family Visa to UK for Ukrainian Citizens 2023
The UK Family Visa under Appendix FM allows Ukrainian citizens to join family members who are either settled in the UK or British citizens. Categories range from spouse visas to adult dependent relatives and parent of a British child visas.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 209 Ukrainians applied for family settlement visa UK. 275 applications resolved, 247 family settlement visas granted to Ukrainians, and 5 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK family (spouse) settlement visa success and refusal rate from Ukraine are 89.82% and 1.82%, respectively.
Spouse or Partner Visa UK for Ukrainians
- Eligibility: Applicants must meet requirements as outlined in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, including a genuine relationship, financial stability, secure housing, and English language skills.
- Validity & Extensions: Initially spouse visa is granted for 33 months, extendable after 30 months. Eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years.
- Cost: Standard fees are US$2,332, with an optional expedited service costing an additional US$632.
Other Family Visas
- Fiancé(e) Visa: For Ukrainians planning to marry or engage in a civil partnership in the UK. The visa lasts 6 months. After marrying or forming the partnership, they can switch to a spouse or civil partner visa. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$2,332.
- Parent of a British Child: For Ukrainians with sole guardianship of a British child. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$2,332.
- Adult Dependent Relative: For Ukrainians needing extended care from a UK relative. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$4,106.
- Returning Residents: Ukrainians who were previously settled in the UK and wish to return. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Cost 2023: US$805.
6. Work Visa for Ukrainian Citizens to UK 2023
Ukrainian citizens need work permit for working and doing business in the UK. Ukrainians often choose the Skilled Worker visa when seeking employment in the UK. Other options include visas such as the Innovator, Startup, Global Business Mobility, and Health and Care Worker.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 11,811 Ukrainians applied for work visa UK. 11,801 applications resolved, 11,009 work visas granted to Ukrainian nationals, and 189 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK work visa success and refusal rate from Ukraine are 93.29% and 1.60%, respectively.
Skilled Worker Visa UK for Ukrainians
Ukrainians can work in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa. This visa is for those sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor for specific skilled roles. It offers a path to permanent UK settlement. The cost of the UK work visa for Ukrainian in 2023 stands at US$908 for up to three years and US$1,794 for longer durations.
Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation) Visa cost for Ukrainians is US$696 for up to three years and US$1,370 for durations longer than three years.
Health and Care Work Visa UK for Ukrainians
This visa is specifically designed for qualified doctors, nurses, or allied health professionals from Ukraine who are sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor. It also provides a route to permanent UK settlement. The UK Work Visa for Ukrainians cost for this category in 2023 is US$359 for up to three years and US$696 for more extended periods.
Global Business Mobility Visa UK for Ukrainians
A brief overview of UK work visas available for Ukrainians under the Global Business Mobility category, along with their 2023 fees.
- For top-tier managers or specialized professionals moving to a UK office, the Senior or Specialist Worker visa applies. This visa costs US$908 for stays up to three years and US$1,794 for stays longer than three years.
- Graduate Trainee: For individuals in graduate programs leading to specialist roles in the UK. Fee: US$377.
- UK Expansion Worker: For specialists or senior personnel expanding a business into the UK. Fee: US$377.
- Service Supplier: For individuals providing services as per UK trade commitments. Fee: US$377.
- Secondment Worker: Specifically for Ukrainians seconded to the UK for high-value contracts or investments. Fee: US$377.
Quick Guide to Other Work and Business Visas
Below is a brief overview of various UK visa categories along with their associated fees for Ukrainians looking to work or do business in the UK.
- Start-Up Visa: For Ukrainians starting an innovative business in the UK. Fee: US$550.
- Innovator Visa: For Ukrainians with innovative, viable, and scalable businesses. Fee: US$1,505. Requirements include an endorsement, £50,000 investment, and B2 IELTS level.
- Innovator Founder Visa (Introduced April 2023): Replaces older Innovator and Startup visas. Streamlined for international entrepreneurs with endorsement-based approval. Leads to potential permanent UK residency for family members. Endorsement Fees: US$1,263, Application Fees: US$1,505
- Investor Visa: For high-value Ukrainians investing in the UK. Fee: US$2,380.
- High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa: For Ukrainian graduates from top-50 global universities seeking employment in the UK. Fee: US$1,039.
- Scale-Up Visa: For Ukrainians with a job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company. Fee: US$1,039. Leads to potential UK settlement after 5 years.
- Global Talent Visa: For Ukrainians who are leaders or potential leaders in academia, research, arts, or digital technology. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens fees vary: US$662 (Approval Letter for initial application), US$243 (Main Applicant with Approval Letter), US$905 (Main Applicant without Approval Letter and for Dependents).
- T2 Minister of Religion Visa: For Ukrainians intending to undertake preaching and pastoral work. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Fees 2023: US$908
- International Sportsperson Visa: For elite Ukrainian sportspersons or coaches contributing to UK sports. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Fees 2023: US$377 (up to 12 months COS) or US$908 (more than 12 months COS).
- T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa: For Ukrainians in various sectors, such as seasonal, religious, or creative workers. UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens Fees 2023: US$377.
7. How to Apply for UK Visa from Ukraine?
A comprehensive guide tailored for Ukrainians outlining the steps to apply for a UK visa. Note: The estimated cost is based on a UK visitor visa, and priority service could shorten the process to 5 working days from 15.
Total Time: 30 days
Determine the Visa Type
Firstly, ascertain the specific category that aligns with your reason for travel visa to UK for Ukrainian citizens.
Create an Online Account
Navigate to the UK government’s official visa and immigration site and register on the UK Visas and Immigration platform.
Fill Out the Application Form
Ukrainian applicants must fill out the specific online application form with great care, confirming that all details match their supporting documents.
Pay the Application Fee
Ukrainian candidates, upon completing the UK visa application form, will be directed by the UKVI system to the secure payment gateway to securely pay their application fee.
Assemble Your Supporting Documents
Based on your specific visa type, gather essential documents like your passport, evidence of your financial standing, and details of your accommodation in the UK.
Schedule a VAC Appointment
It’s vital to book an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (UKVAC).
Attend the VAC Appointment
Proceed to your local UKVAC with every supporting document and partake in the biometric verification as guided by your appointment details.
Await Visa Decision
Your UK visa application begins processing post-submission. Expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks, or in 5 working days if using the priority service.
Passport Collection or Delivery
Either pick up your passport from the VAC or use a courier service for visa delivery. If denied a visitor visa, your options are to reapply after refusal or commence an immigration Judicial Review. Note, appeals are limited to applications on human rights grounds, and common visa refusal reasons often include suspicious intentions and unexplained large bank transactions.
Prepare for Your UK Journey
With your visa secured, plan your UK travel and familiarize yourself with the terms of your visa.
Estimated Cost: 145 USD
- Application form
- Valid Ukrainian Passport
- Recent passport-sized photos
- Invitation letter (if applicable)
- Payment for visa fee in USD
- Proof of UK accommodation
- Internet access
- Ukrainian Passport
- Financial documents
Materials: Photostat copies of key documents, Application confirmation print, Document mail envelope.
8. Documents Required: UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens
- Valid Passport: Must be valid for the duration of your UK stay.
- Application Form: Completed on the UK Visas and Immigration portal.
- Proof of Accommodation: Details of your UK stay.
- Financial Proof: Evidence of financial capability.
- Travel Itinerary: Outline of travel plans.
- Proof of Ties to Ukraine (or country of residence): To show intent to return.
- English Language Proficiency: When required, generally via an accredited test.
- Work Visas: Includes employment offer and Certificate of Sponsorship.
- Study Visas: Requires Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
- Family Visas: Requires relationship proofs.
- Tourist Visas: Additional trip details may be necessary.
Furnishing documents from a UK sponsor can significantly enhance your visa application, especially for visas like family or work where sponsorship is mandatory.
- Letter of Invitation
- Sponsor’s Immigration Status
- Financial Documents
- Accommodation Proof
- Relationship Evidence
Remember: Sponsor documents are supplementary; meeting the primary visa criteria is crucial.
9. FAQs: UK Visa for Ukrainian Citizens 2023
What is the Ukraine Family Scheme?
The Ukraine Family Scheme is designed to assist Ukrainian nationals and their immediate or extended family members in applying for a UK entry clearance visa. Eligibility mandates that the UK-based sponsor must either be a British citizen, a person who has settled status, or someone holding refugee status. Both immediate family members like partners and children under 18, and extended family members like grandparents or adult children can apply. Non-Ukrainian family members are also eligible if they have at least one immediate family member who is a Ukrainian national.
What is the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme?
The Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals to apply for a UK visa if they have an approved UK sponsor willing to provide accommodation for a minimum of six months. The applicant must have resided in Ukraine on or immediately before January 1, 2022, and must currently be outside the UK. The sponsor must be UK-based, have a minimum of 6 months of UK residence permission, hold a valid identity document, and commit to providing six-month accommodation.
Who is Eligible for the Ukraine Extension Scheme?
The Ukraine Extension Scheme aims to assist Ukrainians who are already in the UK. This allows them to live, work, and study in the country. To qualify, an applicant must have had immigration permission as of March 18, 2022, and their last immigration permission should have ended after January 1, 2022. It’s crucial to note that this scheme does not lead to settlement, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Can the Ukraine Extension Scheme Help Me Get Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?
No, the Ukraine Extension Scheme does not contribute towards an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application. While the scheme does provide an option for Ukrainians already in the UK to extend their stay, it is not a path that leads to permanent settlement.
How to Pay for UK Visa Fee?
Ukrainians must pay the online application fee in US Dollars. Payments can be made via debit or credit card after completing the application form.
Can Ukrainian Work in UK?
Yes, Ukrainians can work in the UK provided they obtain the appropriate work visa, such as a Skilled Worker Visa, Innovator Founder Visa, or Health and Care Worker Visa, among others.