Changes to the Ukraine Scheme: What You Need to Know

Woman with concerned expression on the phone, getting updates on changes to the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine).

The Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS), Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (HFU), and the Ukraine Extension Scheme (UES) have all undergone significant changes. This blog post will provide an overview of these changes and what they mean for applicants.

General Changes to All Ukraine Scheme Routes

One of the most notable changes that apply to all Ukraine Scheme routes is the application of general immigration rules. This means that applications can now be refused if the person applying has not provided all the required information in their application or has previously broken immigration rules.

Changes to the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

New applications can no longer be made under the UFS route. However, Ukrainian nationals outside of the UK can now apply for the HFU route instead. This requires them to have an approved sponsor who is either a British or Irish citizen or settled in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme or with Indefinite Leave to Remain. The sponsor must also provide accommodation for at least six months.

Those who do not hold one of the previously listed statuses or are not Ukrainian nationals can only come to the UK as part of the HFU if they are immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals who qualify or already hold permission as part of the HFU.

The Government has stated that these changes will be ‘more sustainable’ due to accommodation requirements and checks, as well as safeguarding checks that the UFS did not have.

Furthermore, new applicants to the HFU, including minors, will now be given 18 months’ permission to stay in the UK instead of the previous 36 months. This brings the period of time more in line with the EU Temporary Protection Directive, which lasts a year at a time.

Changes to the Ukraine Extension Scheme

The Home Office has announced that the UES will be closing to new applicants on 16 May 2024. Anyone who wants to extend their stay must apply before this date.

However, children born after 18 March 2022 to parents who hold permission to stay in the UK under any of the previously mentioned schemes will still be eligible to apply after the UES closes on 16 May. The length of stay they are given will be aligned with the parent whose permission expires last.

These changes to the Ukraine Scheme routes are significant and will impact many individuals and families. It’s important to stay informed and understand how these changes may affect you or your loved ones. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to seek advice and a free consultation from Axis Solicitors.

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