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11 Apr. 2023

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How to get asylum in Scotland: entry rules and necessary information for Ukrainians

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How to get asylum in Scotland: entry rules and necessary information for Ukrainians

Scotland welcomes Ukrainian refugees and provides them with the necessary assistance. Find out more about the rules for entering the country, what assistance the government offers to refugees and useful contacts

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
BUY


The full-scale war scattered Ukrainians all over the world. Even countries far away from us have opened their doors to refugees. Scotland is no exception, so we are sharing important information for those who want to find refuge in this country.


How can Ukrainians get to Scotland?


To enter the country legally, a citizen of Ukraine must have a valid visa. There was a sponsorship program for Ukrainians in Scotland, but it was closed in order to provide quality support to those already in the country.


We would like to add that there are still several sponsorship programs in the UK: Ukraine Family Scheme, the "Home for Ukraine" program, and the Ukraine Extension Scheme.


Important! You can apply for a visa free of charge.


The decision to grant a visa is made by the UK Visa and Migration Service. It will pass the information to the Scottish Government, which will inform you of the decision via SMS or email. If you get a positive answer, you will be granted either a visa or an official letter of permission.


A refugee who wants to come to Scotland from England or Wales can use trains for free. To do this, you need to show a passport of a citizen of Ukraine and a boarding pass for the last 48 hours.


Ukrainians of certain categories can get permission to travel by public transport for free or at a reduced rate. It should be noted that this program is managed by Transport Scotland - find all the information on the official website.


Providing advice to Ukrainians


You can get more information about coming to the country and other issues at the following organizations:

• Ukraine Advice Scotland by phone + 44 (0) 800 995 6045 or email [email protected];

• Scottish Refugee Council on 0 808 196 72 74;

• International Organization for Migration at 527 and 0 800 505 501.


It is important for every Ukrainian to have the phone numbers and addresses of the embassy and consular offices at hand, so we recommend writing them out:

• Embassy of Ukraine in the UK. Address: 60 Holland Park, London, UK. Phone: +44 20 7727 6312;

• Consulate of Ukraine in Scotland. Address: 8 Windsor Street, Edinburgh. Phone: +44 0 131 556 0023.


What should I do upon arrival in Scotland?


In the largest cities of the country, Edinburgh, Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway, there are "welcome centers". Employees are happy to meet refugees and provide immediate support, including food, drinks and basic necessities. Information support is equally important, as you will be told about help with finding a job, cash benefits, access to education and healthcare.


You can also go to the refugee reception center in Edinburgh at RBS Gogarburn House (175 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, EH12 1HQ). The center is open on weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00 and on weekends from 9:00 to 16:00. A similar facility is also available in Glasgow at the Holiday Inn, Paisley PA3 2TE; Best Western Argyle Hotel, 27 Washington St, Glasgow G3 8AZ on weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00.


Obtaining a biometric residence permit and opening a bank account


Please note: These are the first and most important steps to fully reside in the country.


A biometric residence permit (BRP) is a document that confirms your identity, type and duration of visa, and rights in the UK. Children also need to obtain a BRP.

It should be added that this document confirms the refugee's right to work, study and enjoy benefits in Scotland.


You can start the process of obtaining a permit online by filling out the appropriate application form.


A bank account is also required, in particular to receive payments. Some banks have shared information on opening accounts for Ukrainians:

• Royal Bank of Scotland;

• Bank of Scotland;

• Lloyds Bank;

• HSBC.


 Financial assistance for Ukrainians in Scotland


Refugees can receive up to £200 of financial assistance. The payment is made by the local council of your settlement, so you need to contact this institution.


It is important to note that refugees can receive financial assistance through the social security system. Depending on your situation and needs, choose an institution and apply to it: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or Scottish Social Security. They will be able to provide you with details of the assistance programs available.


Access to the medical system


All Ukrainians can receive free medical care and prescription drugs from the National Health Service (NHS). Before visiting a doctor, you need to register at the polyclinic at your place of residence - look for a medical institution here.


Important! You can get an emergency consultation with a doctor if your polyclinic is closed - call 111.


Employment and education


Ukrainians with a residence permit have access to the labor market. Look for offers on special websites:


• myjobscotland

• S1jobs;

• ScotCareers;

• Scot Jobs Net;

• Jobs North;

• Indeed.


Be sure to pay attention to your salary: if it is less than the established minimum, it is considered exploitation. Find out the minimum wage in Scotland here.


Pre-school and school education is free of charge. Your local council will provide you with all the information and help you with enrollment.


Renting a house


Refugees from Ukraine who have found asylum in Scotland have the right to rent accommodation. Certain programs have been developed for this purpose.


For more information on how to rent private housing in Scotland and its cost, read our article here.




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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