Family of British Nationals in Ukraine: UK Visa Concession

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From 4 March 2022, a new Ukrainian Family Permit Scheme has been launched, replacing the family migration visa below. Details of the new visa can be found here

 

The UK government has introduced new temporary visa concessions for family members of British nationals living in Ukraine.

Under guidance published by the UK Home Office, eligible individuals can make an application for a family migration visa, free of charge, to enter the UK.

The British Embassy in Kyiv has now closed and all consular services from Kyiv have been suspended. British Embassy staff are temporarily operating from Lviv, where consular services are currently limited, and may be subject to further disruption or change as a result of Russian military action.

The Home Office continues to update its guidance in response to activity in the region, and individuals are advised to check the Home Office website for the most up to date information on visa rules and the status of local Consular services.

Separate guidance has been provided by the Home Office for British nationals in Ukraine. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to Ukraine.

On 27 February, Boris Johnson announced the UK would allow immediate family members fleeing Ukraine to join their Ukrainian relatives settled in the UK. Priti Patel later confirmed in the House of Commons that family members of those who are British nationals or have been given settled status, and who do not meet the usual eligibility criteria but pass security checks, will be able to come to the UK for 12 months.

 

Family migration visa eligibility requirements

Individuals can apply to the Home Office for a family migration visa for free if they have a family member who is a British national and usually lives in Ukraine.

The applicant’s British national family member must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be the applicant’s spouse or civil partner
  • Be the applicant’s unmarried partner and have been living together in a relationship for at least two years
  • Be the applicant’s parent, if the applicant is under the age of 18
  • Be the applicant’s child, under the age of 18
  • Be the applicant’s adult relative who they provide care for and who lives with them due to a medical condition

 

The Home Office guidance also states that where individuals do not meet the eligibility criteria for the visa concession, for example the English language requirement or minimum income requirement, UKVI will, given the circumstances, “consider an alternative grant of leave to come to the UK”.

 

How to apply for a Family migration visa 

The guidance states that applicants should first make contact with the Home Office department for visas and immigration, UKVI, prior to making their application.

UKVI can be contacted at:

Telephone: +44 300 3032785 – select option 1 (0300 3032785 if you’re in the UK – select option 1)
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 5:30pm

Applicants will be required to provide contact details and information about themselves and their family member(s). UKVI will then assess each applicant’s eligibility. Those that meet the criteria will be provided with the specific details of the application process.

After the application has been submitted, applicants will need to submit their biometric information in person, either by attending the new temporary office in the Lemberg Business Centre in Lviv (walk-in appointments are available) or by applying through a VAC in a nearby country such as Poland, Romania, Hungary or Moldova.

The Home Office advises that it is increasing capacity at VACs in cities within neighbouring countries to Ukraine, including Warsaw (Poland), Chisinau (Moldova), Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), and a new pop-up VAC being set up in Rzeszow (Poland) for dependants of British nationals.

 

How much does the family migration visa cost?

There is no fee from the UK Home Office to make the visa application. However, applicants may have to pay for certain user services such uploading supporting documents at the VAC, although applicants can upload their documents before attending the VAC. User service costs should be checked with the VAC.

 

How long is application processing for the family migration visa?

The Home Office has pledged to process these applications within 24 hours of the date when the applicant enrols their biometric information.

 

What if you are not eligible for the family migration visa?

As applications cannot currently be made through a VAC in Ukraine, individuals who are not dependants of British nationals would need to travel to apply for a UK visa through a VAC in a nearby country.

 

Last updated: 1 March 2022

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