The Home Office's attempts to limit Net Migration impacts on Ukrainian families

At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Home Office swiftly implemented a range of measures to assist Ukrainian families to be able to come to the UK as a safe haven. Equally swiftly (and unexpectedly) the Home Office has rescinded and amended many of these measures by the closure of the Ukrainian Family Scheme, leaving a considerable number of Ukrainian families unable to bring young, vulnerable and disabled family members to safety. 

Tom Pursglove, the Minister of State for Legal Migration and the Border, has suggested that the other scheme, Homes for Ukraine, would simplify the process and continue to address the needs of the Ukrainian immigrants. However, there are differences, the Homes for Ukraine scheme requires local councils to agree to house vulnerable family members, such as the elderly disabled who may require to be housed in a care home and children who are incapacitated and require wheelchair access, under the hosting scheme should a British sponsor be unable to provide these requirements.

Kavina Munja, a lawyer in the immigration team, commented “The abrupt closure of the Ukrainian Family Scheme and the other measuresKavina Munja, Paralegal at Giambrone & Partners that impact on Ukrainian families escaping the war in Ukraine mean that there are fewer routes to the reunification of families.” Kavina further pointed out “applications under the Ukraine Extension Scheme must be started as soon as possible as it closes on 16 May 2024. A Ukraine Extension Scheme visa, if granted, the visa permits Ukrainians or close family members of Ukrainians, to stay in the UK. It is strongly recommended that you are guided by an expert immigration lawyer to ensure that your application will not be rejected due to an avoidable error.”

The Grounds and Provisions Enabling Applications to the Ukraine Extension Scheme

You had permission to be in the UK between 18 March 2022 and 16 November 2023 and the permission expired after 1st of January 2024. If you have a child who was born in the UK after 18 March, you can apply on behalf of your child under Ukraine Extension Scheme provided:

  • You have permission to be in the UK under a Ukrainian scheme
  • You qualify for the Ukraine Extension Scheme
  • The Ukraine Extension Scheme will remain open after 16 May 2024 for children who are born in the UK.

You will not require a UK-based sponsor to take this route. Successful applicants will be granted permission to live a further three years in the UK.

With regard to family members of Ukrainians, an application for a family member can be made if the family member in question is a spouse or civil partner, an unmarried partner where the relationship is of two years’ duration or longer, a child under the age of 18 years or a parent who is under the age of 18 years.

Documentation Required for an Application

An application must be made online before 16 May 2024and the documents that are required must confirm that you have or had permission to be in the UK. The documents to support your application:

  • a biometric residence permit
  • a visa in your passport
  • a document from the Home Office that shows you have permission to enter and/or remain in the UK

In respect of a Ukrainian national’s non-Ukrainian family member, evidence must be provided that demonstrates the relationship to the Ukrainian citizen. Their biometric residence permit or visa in the person’s passport if they are in the UK as their dependant.

In the absence of one of these documents, you can provide:

  • A spouse of a civil partner could show a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate.
  • Evidence of living together in a relationship for two years or longer if the non-Ukrainian family member is an unmarried partner
  • A birth certificate if the family member who is a Ukrainian citizen’s child or parent

For applications for a UK-born child under the Ukraine Extension Scheme it is necessary to show that they were born in the UK, either by their:

  • International passport
  • Birth certificate

After your application has been submitted it will be necessary to attend the UK Visas and Citizenship Application Service (UKCAS) service point where fingerprints and a photograph will be taken of applicants but only a photograph will be taken of children under five years.

Speed of action is imperative and Giambrone & Partners’ experienced multi-lingual immigration lawyers have assisted a number of Ukrainian nationals to gain safety in the UK and they stand ready to help applicants to achieve their objectives before the deadline closes.

Kavina Munja has considerable experience related to immigration applications and has a comprehensive range of knowledge and expertise. She has successfully dealt with complex immigration appeals in the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

Kavina can assist clients with the preparation of applications, working closely with the authorities and ensuring that there are no errors or omissions that may impact on the success of the application.

If you would like further information regarding applications for the Ukrainian Extension Scheme please contact Kavina’s clerk Sam Groom on or please click here.