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21 Mär. 2024

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Homes for Ukraine: how can Ukrainians go to the UK in 2024?

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Homes for Ukraine: how can Ukrainians go to the UK in 2024?

Currently, refugees can go to the UK exclusively under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme. The Ukraine Family Scheme program was canceled on February 19, 2024. We tell you all about the new rules and conditions for obtaining temporary protection in the UK for Ukrainian migrants

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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The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) was first announced on March 18, 2022. It is designed for Ukrainians who do not have relatives in the UK and want to go there because of the war. 


At the same time, the Ukraine Family Scheme program, which previously allowed relatives of those already residing here to come to the UK, was canceled on February 19, 2024. Currently, only those who applied for a residence permit before February 19 this year can obtain a residence permit under this program. The rest of the Ukrainians can obtain temporary protection only through the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship program.


What is provided under the Homes for Ukraine program?


In general, the program is free of charge and allows Ukrainians who have found a sponsor to obtain

– the right to stay legally in the UK for 18 months (one and a half years);

– the right to housing provided by a sponsor for at least 6 months

– the right to work;

– access to the National Health Service;

– access to certain social benefits;

– access to schools.


Who is eligible for a visa under the program?


Ukrainians and direct relatives of Ukrainian citizens who

– are at least 18 years old at the time of application;

– children under 18 years of age who apply for the program with their parents or guardian, or go to the VB to join the latter.


In order to obtain a visa under the program, these categories of persons must

– certify that they were residing in Ukraine as of January 1, 2022 or shortly before;

– be outside the WB;

– have a sponsor who meets the requirements and is ready to provide you with accommodation.


What are the steps to apply for the program?


The main condition for filling out an application and obtaining a visa is having a sponsor. Unfortunately, Ukrainians wishing to go to the WB will have to find a sponsor on their own. A sponsor can be either a person you already know and who is ready to provide you with accommodation, or a stranger.


The UK government itself does not connect Ukrainians with British people who are ready to sponsor them. That is why volunteer organizations are currently performing the function of connecting asylum seekers with hosts. The government portal only has links for sponsors themselves, who can declare their willingness to shelter you.


However, the government forwards these applications to the same volunteer organizations that are already looking for Ukrainian guests to sponsor. That is, the government may receive an application from the host, but will not contact you in any way. Whereas the task of finding a sponsor is mandatory - without mentioning a specific sponsor in your visa application, you simply will not be issued a visa.


In this case, the sponsor must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or Ireland or have permanent resident status in the United Kingdom (the right to permanent residence), and be able to provide accommodation for at least 6 months.


If you do not know a sponsor:


Submit an application on a volunteer site (e.g. Reset) to have volunteers help you find a sponsor. Once a sponsor is found, you will receive a confirmation letter. The last step is to fill out a visa application together with your sponsor.


If you have a sponsor you know:


For sponsors who you already know and who are willing to host you, you do not need to fill out anything on the government website apart from your visa form. It is enough to fill out the visa form with the contacts of the sponsor and the person in need of asylum. One application is submitted per person. 


All sponsors will be required to undergo an inspection by government authorized persons, including showing the house to ensure that it meets safety standards and can accommodate you and your family.


The application is submitted online. We recommend that you fill it out together with your sponsor. Remember that if you are not active on the site for 25 minutes, you will be automatically logged out. Therefore, it is better to prepare all documents and scans in advance.




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How do I prove my identity and what documents do I need?


During the application process, you should make an appointment at the visa application centre to have your photo taken and your fingerprints (biometric data) collected.


During your visit to the visa application centre, you will need to prove your identity and provide a valid passport. If you do not have a valid passport, you can use any of the following documents


• a recently expired passport;

• a valid or recently expired internal passport of a citizen of Ukraine (in the form of an ID card);

• several official documents confirming your identity and citizenship, for example, a driver's licence with a photo + birth certificate;

• an emergency certificate issued by a Ukrainian authority after March 2022.


Also, if you have a sponsor, you must provide documents confirming their identity.


These can be:


• British or Irish passport or Irish passport card;

• a valid biometric residence permit or biometric resident card;

• the person's access code and date of birth so that you can check their identity and status online;

• a photo driving licence issued in the UK, Ireland or the Crown Dependencies, and a birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, Ireland or the Crown Dependencies with relevant personal details.


The documents can be uploaded via the mobile application of our commercial partner, TLS or VFS, depending on the country in which you are applying. The application can be downloaded from the TLS or VFS website at the time of application. If you need assistance with uploading document images, you can make an appointment at the visa centre.


Visa centers for biometrics


Currently, the visa center in Ukraine in Kyiv is already operating. There is a temporary center in Rzeszow, Poland. Online application is required for admission to the center in Rzeszów.


In other European countries, visa centers can be found in:


– Budapest, Hungary

– Chisinau, Moldova

– Warsaw, Poland

– Bucharest, Romania

– Paris, France


Once your application has been approved, the visa center will contact you for collecting a visa.


Hotlines


If you are Ukrainian and need help, call the free 24-hour hotline +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 in the UK).

If you cannot call British numbers 0808, call +44 (0) 175 390 7510.


There is also a useful website Ukrainian Sponsorship Path UK, which has free support on all issues related to the sponsorship program for Ukrainians.


We remind you! The USA continues to accept Ukrainians and provide them with protection under the Uniting for Ukraine programme. At the same time, Ukrainians who are already in the country can extend the terms of previously issued humanitarian passwords. All about the current rules of entry and stay in the United States in 2024, tell us here.


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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