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Ukrainian workers already in the UK

Ukrainian nationals in the UK who have temporary visas, including work, study or visit visas are able to apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme.  The scheme is free to apply, and successful applicants will get 3 years leave to remain in the UK with the right to work, study and access public funds.

Ukrainians who had visas on or before 18 March 2022, or visas which have expired since 1 January 2022, will be able to apply.

Workers should consider whether they want to keep their current visa or switch to the Ukraine Extension Scheme. This route does not currently lead to settlement – this means that workers may not be able to count any time they spend in the UK with this visa as part of an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in future.

Example cases

Ukrainians in the UK on a Visitors Visa may stay for 6 months, but do not have the right to work or access public funds. Workers in the UK on a Seasonal Worker visa cannot usually switch to another visa, bring family to the UK or work for anyone other than their sponsor.

Switching to the Ukrainian Extension Scheme will give them up to 3 years in the UK with the right to work for an employer of their choice, access public funds and bring their immediate family to the UK.

Workers on a Skilled Worker visa are restricted to working for their sponsor, however, their visa may last for longer than the Ukrainian Extension Scheme and once they have lived in the UK for 5 years, they can apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

In addition to the opportunity to apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme, Ukrainians already in the UK with a visa which is due to expire, will be able to extend their stay by extending their visa or switching to another immigration route, where eligible, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so:

Current RouteConcession
Points-based systemCan apply to extend their leave in the UK, or apply for settlement if they meet the Immigration Rules Full details can be found in the Skilled Worker visa guidance.
Seasonal worker visaWill have their leave in the UK extended to 31 December 2022.  Must continue working in a job permitted by the route with the same scheme operator. No need to do anything – will receive a notification from the Home Office if this concession applies.
Temporary HGV jobs through the SWSWill have their leave in the UK extended to 31 December 2022.  Must continue working in the same occupation with the same scheme operator No need to do anything – will receive a notification from the Home Office if this concession applies.
Temporary pork butcher jobs through the SWSCan request a temporary extension until 31 December 2022.  May also apply through the Skilled Worker Route If a temporary extension is applied for, will receive a notification from the Home Office that the concession applies.  May also be eligible for the Skilled Worker route
Student visaCan apply to extend their leave, switch to a Graduate visa or switch to another type of visa if they meet the Immigration Rules Full details can be found in the Student Visa Guidance
VisitorCan apply to switch to another visa. Will need to meet the requirements of that immigration route.

Workers who are in the UK and need assistance, contact UKVI:

Telephone: 0808 164 8810 – select option 2
Monday to Thursday (excluding bank holidays), 9am to 4:45pm
Friday (excluding bank holidays), 9am to 4:30pm
This is a free phone number, but network charges may still apply.

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