The Home Office announced a new visa extension that allows Ukrainians arriving after the Russian invasion to apply for an additional 18-month stay.

Key Points:

  • Three visa schemes were created to help Ukrainians following the Russian invasion in 2022: Homes for Ukraine, the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Extension Scheme.
  • Visa holders under the three schemes were granted three years of leave in the U.K. with rights to access work, benefits, healthcare and education for the duration of their stay.
  • Sanctuary in the U.K. has been offered to more than 283,000 Ukrainians since the program’s launch.
  • Online applications will open in early 2025 and any Ukrainians holding or having held permission to remain under one of the three visa schemes are eligible to apply.
  • Eligibility also applies to Ukrainians requiring sanctuary and granted leave outside the three visa schemes.
  • Visa holders may apply within the last three months of an existing visa.

Additional Information: The Home Office said the additional extension demonstrates the U.K.’s long-term commitment to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. “This new visa extension scheme provides certainty and reassurance for Ukrainians in the U.K. on their future as this war continues, and we will continue to provide a safe haven for those fleeing the conflict,” said Tom Pursglove MP, Minister for Legal Migration and the Border.

The Home Office announcement followed shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech at the Munich Security Conference. Questions remain over whether Ukrainians will have the opportunity to apply for indefinite leave in the future. BAL will continue to monitor developments regarding the invasion of Ukraine and will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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