Immigration policy – protecting citizens of Ukraine

Find out more about immigration concessions to support Ukrainian nationals in the UK.

Location: International UK
Audience: International doctors
Updated: Wednesday 20 April 2022
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Ukrainian nationals in the UK

The Home Office has granted the following immigration concessions to support Ukrainian nationals in the UK.

If you are on a work, study or visit visa in the UK, you will be able to switch onto different visa routes:

  • if you are on an existing points-based system route you can extend your leave in the UK
  • if you are on an existing visitor visa you can switch into a points-based system migration route without having to leave the UK
  • if you are on an existing visitor visa you can apply under the family route for further leave without meeting the immigration status requirement, provided they meet the requirements for leave based on exceptional circumstances.


Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK

The Ukraine Family Scheme

You can apply for a family migration visa for free if you are the family member of a British national who usually lives in Ukraine.

You do not have to pay the immigration health surcharge and the visa can last for up to three years.

The immediate family members of a UK based family member (“the sponsor”) that can apply for the visa include:

  • spouse or civil partner
  • unmarried partner and have been living together in a relationship for at least two years
  • parent, if the sponsor is under the age of 18
  • dependent child, under the age of 18
  • adult dependent relative (eg: if you provide care).

Extended family members that can apply for the visa include:

  • parents and grandparents (that do not need care/are not dependent)
  • siblings
  • adult and non-dependent children and grandchildren.

Immediate family members of extended family members may also apply. This includes:

  • their spouse or civil partner if the relationship started before 1 January 2022
  • dependent children, under 18
  • parent of a child under 18 who is an extended family member
  • fiancé or proposed civil partner if the relationship started before 1 January 2022
  • other family members will be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.

The UK based family member must be:

  • a British national or
  • someone settled in the UK (ILR/Settled status/proof of permanent residence) or
  • someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection.

Currently it is only possible to apply for the visa if the applicant is outside the UK, though the government will issue updated guidance on applying from within the UK soon.

From Tuesday 15 March 2022, the Home Office have simplified the process for applying under the scheme. Ukraine passport holders can apply online and are no longer required to attend in-person biometric appointments. Security checks on applicants can be completed electronically, and the applicant’s confirmation of permission to travel to the UK can also be provided in digital form.

Ukraine passport holders who apply successfully online, will be granted leave to enter the UK for 6 months outside of the normal Immigration Rules. They will be able to work, study and claim benefits immediately. Once in the UK, they will be able to attend a biometric appointment and have their stay extended to 36 months.

Those who only have an ID Card will have to attend a biometric appointment before their application is granted, and before they enter the UK.

How to access the scheme

The scheme can be accessed through the 24-hour dedicated Home Office hotline:

You should contact UKVI before you make an application. 

Telephone: +44 300 3032785 – select option 1 (0300 3032785 if you’re in the UK – select option 1)

Lines are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and please note this is a free phone number, but network charges may still apply.

What you will need to provide

You’ll need to provide information about yourself and your family members, as well as contact details which will be shared with UKVI.

If you do not meet eligibility criteria

In a situation where you do not meet the normal eligibility criteria relating to the usual salary and English language requirements for those coming to the UK to be with their family members, the Home Office will issue a 12-month permission to remain in the UK, outside of the normal Immigration Rules.

Humanitarian sponsorship

This route is designed for Ukrainian nationals who do not have family ties within the UK; it opens up the possibility of individuals, charities, and businesses sponsoring Ukrainian nationals.

Under this scheme, the applicant will be granted leave for an initial 12-month period. They will be able to work and have access to public services.

Please note: these measures are only temporary and can be withdrawn at any time and we strongly recommend you monitor the Home Office website. If you wish to apply under this route, we also recommend that as a member of the BMA, you contact our dedicated Immigration Advice Service, where you can get free advice on your initial enquiry.

Homes for Ukraine Scheme

Individuals fleeing Ukraine under this scheme will be able to nominate an individual or family, business, charity, or community group to stay with, for a minimum of 6 months. Successful applicants will be granted leave to enter the UK for an initial period of 36 months. Applications may be submitted from 18 March 2022.

Individual sponsors will receive a monthly grant of £350 (described as a ‘thank you’ payment) from the government.

Citizens of Ukraine, or immediate family members of a Ukraine citizen, resident in Ukraine before 1 January 2022 are eligible to apply under the scheme. They will be able to work in the UK and access public funds.

The website for individuals in the UK who wish to express an interest in becoming a sponsor launched on Monday 14 March 2022. Anyone with a room or home available can apply to become a sponsor, whereupon they will undergo security checks before being approved.


Obtaining GMC registration

The GMC will assess your postgraduate training or practice for the purposes of assessing whether you have gained the experience needed to work as a fully registered doctor in the UK. For further information we recommend you email the GMC directly or call them on +44 161 923 6602.


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