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20 Feb. 2024

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UK closes one of the main programs for Ukrainian refugees: what is known

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UK closes one of the main programs for Ukrainian refugees: what is known

The British government has suspended one of the key programs for Ukrainian refugees. This step creates a need for Ukrainians to look for alternative ways to stay in the country legally. Learn more about the closure of the Ukraine Family Scheme and what programs remain available

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
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On February 19, the UK government suspended the Ukraine Family Scheme, which provided Ukrainian refugees with the opportunity to stay legally in the United Kingdom. Applications under this scheme will no longer be accepted. This is stated on the website of the British government.


Under this program, Ukrainians had the opportunity to enter the UK to visit relatives, receive education, work and receive benefits for the next three years.


Ukraine Family Scheme in the UK closed: next steps


After the end of the Ukraine Family Scheme program, participants are offered to take advantage of the Homes for Ukraine program, under which the British accept Ukrainians in exchange for government support. 


Validity of visas for Ukrainians in the UK


As you know, about 200,200 Ukrainians have arrived in the United Kingdom since russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Initially, they were issued visas for a three-month period - the first visas were due to expire in March 2025.


However, it was recently announced that the validity of the visas was extended for another 18 months. This means that those who received the first visas can stay in the country until at least September 2026.


Initially, it was announced that the extension would apply to all three visa programs introduced after February 24, 2022: Homes for Ukraine, Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Extension Scheme. However, later it was reported that one of the programs was closed.




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How to use the Homes for Ukraine program?


In order for Ukrainians to take advantage of the Homes for Ukraine program, they need to find an approved sponsor and apply via the appropriate link. The application is free of charge.

Extension of stay for Ukrainians in the UK


The scheme of extension of stay for Ukrainians, known as the Ukraine Extension Scheme, will remain active until May 16, 2024. Thus, Ukrainians have the opportunity to apply under this scheme, but only if they:


- have a residence permit for the period from March 18, 2022 to November 16, 2023, but it does not have to cover the entire period;

- have a residence permit that expired on or after January 1, 2022.


It is also possible to apply for your child who was born in the UK after March 18, 2022, if you meet one of these conditions:


- you have permission to stay in the UK granted under one of the Ukrainian schemes (including the Family Assistance Program for Families from Ukraine),

- meet the criteria for the Extended Stay Scheme for Ukrainians.

Under the terms of this scheme, a UK sponsor is not required.


After May 16, 2024, the Ukrainians' Extended Stay Scheme will remain open to children born in the UK.

Please note! To ensure a safe stay abroad, you should take care of reliable health insurance in advance, which will not only help you maintain your health, but also protect you from unforeseen expenses. You can take out an insurance policy that covers emergency medical care in case of illnesses and accidents, as well as inpatient and outpatient care around the world on the Visit Ukraine website. In addition, on our portal, you can immediately apply for car insurance - the Green Card, which is mandatory in 50 countries, including the EU.


As a reminder, the Czech Republic has taken decisive measures to improve living conditions for Ukrainian refugees by doubling housing payments from the beginning of 2024. These changes apply to Ukrainians who are under temporary protection in the country. Find out more about the amount of payments according to the innovations.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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