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Changes to the Ukraine Schemes: What You Need to Know

Mar 23, 2024

The United Kingdom has been providing temporary sanctuary for Ukrainian citizens for almost two years now. With nearly 230,000 people welcomed under the Ukraine schemes, the British government has announced changes to ensure the sustainability of these programs. Here's everything you need to know about the changes to the Ukraine schemes:

1. New Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme (UPE)

The British government has announced the creation of a new Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme (UPE). This scheme will allow Ukrainians to apply for an additional 18 months' permission to stay in the UK on expiry of their current visa. This will provide a new route for Ukrainians to apply and will help ensure that those seeking temporary sanctuary can continue to stay in the UK.

2. Reduced Length of New Visas under Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (HFU)

The length of new visas issued under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme (HFU) has been reduced from 36 months to 18 months. This change is made to align with the period which will be offered to those who choose to extend their permission under the UPE. This means that those initially granted a visa for 36 months under the Ukraine schemes will be able to stay in the UK for a total of up to 54 months.

3. Changes in Sponsor Eligibility

To ensure that visa holders have appropriate accommodation as well as the necessary in-country support to help them assimilate and thrive independently in the UK, the sponsor eligibility under the HFU has been updated. Sponsors for new visas will need to be British or Irish citizens or settled in the UK (which means they have the right to live permanently in the UK). Previously, a sponsor only needed to hold at least six months' permission to stay in the UK from the date of the visa application.

4. Rationalising the Offer for Ukrainians

The offer for Ukrainians coming to the UK has been rationalised to provide one single out-of-country route (HFU) for all Ukrainians to apply to when seeking to come to the UK. The Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS) has been closed to new applications from today. This will strengthen and improve the sustainability of the schemes provided.

5. General Grounds for Refusal Provisions Reinstated

To ensure the integrity of the Ukraine schemes, several of the General Grounds for Refusal provisions, which were temporarily disapplied from the Appendix Ukraine scheme, have been reinstated.

In conclusion, the changes to the Ukraine schemes aim to provide a more sustainable and efficient system for those seeking temporary sanctuary in the UK. The changes will ensure that Ukrainians can continue to stay in the UK while also providing the necessary support to help them assimilate and thrive independently.

To stay up to date with news on such changes please view our news pages

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