Bringing family members from Ukraine to the UK
The government have made special rules so it’s easier to bring your family members from Ukraine to the UK. This is called being a ‘sponsor’.
Because of the special rules:
- it will not cost anything to sponsor your family members
- it doesn’t matter how much you earn
- your family members don’t have to show they can speak English
- your family members don’t have to get a medical test to show they don’t have Tuberculosis (TB)
If you want to bring someone else to the UK
You can sponsor people from Ukraine to come to the UK even if they aren’t your family members. You must be able to house them for at least 6 months - for example in a spare room. This is called the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme.
Check if you can sponsor your family members
You can sponsor your family members if you:
- are a British citizen
- are an Irish citizen - you must be living or have lived in the UK
- have indefinite leave to remain
- have settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme
- have pre-settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme and you were in the UK by 31 December 2020
- are a Commonwealth citizen with right of abode - check if you have a right of abode on GOV.UK
- have refugee status or humanitarian protection
You can't sponsor your family members to come to the UK if you're living in the UK on a work, study or family visa. However if you’re in the UK on a partner visa, your partner might be able to sponsor them instead.
Check who you can sponsor
You can sponsor your partner if your relationship started before 1 January 2022 and any of the following apply:
- they’re your husband, wife or fiancé(e)
- they’re your civil partner or proposed civil partner
- you’ve lived with them for at least 2 years
You can also sponsor your other family members. The people who count as your family members are:
- your or your partner’s children or grandchildren - it doesn’t matter how old they are
- your or your partner’s parents or grandparents
- your or your partner’s brothers and sisters
- your aunts, uncles and cousins
- your nieces and nephews
- a surrogate who’s pregnant with your child - or who has given birth and will bring your child to the UK
You can only sponsor someone who was living in Ukraine by 31 December 2021. It’s worth them applying even if they weren’t living in Ukraine by 31 December 2021 - the Home Office will consider their application.
You can only sponsor someone who is either:
- a Ukrainian citizen
- the family member of a Ukrainian citizen you would be allowed to sponsor
If you sponsor someone aged under 18
They should get written permission from their parents to travel to the UK unless either:
- they’re travelling with a parent
- they’re joining a parent in the UK
If they don’t have written permission, they should be allowed to travel if there’s a good reason they can’t get permission - for example, if no-one can find their parents.
Check who your family members can bring with them
When you sponsor your family member, you can also sponsor their:
- husband, wife or civil partner, proposed civil partner or fiancé(e)
- partner who they’ve lived with for at least 2 years
- children aged under 18
- parents - if your family member is aged under 18
Those people don’t need to be directly related to you. For example, you can sponsor both your sister and her partner. They must apply at the same time as your family member - or after them.
The Home Office will also consider applications from other family members they usually live with.
Check how your family members can apply to come to the UK
Your family member should apply online to come to the UK on GOV.UK. You’ll need to give them details like your name, address and passport number.
You can also apply for your family member - you’ll need to get their permission. Try to be in contact with them while you apply so you can get all the details you need.
What they need to do depends on whether they have a Ukrainian international passport with them. It doesn’t matter if their passport has expired as long as it has an extension stamp.
If your family member has children on their passport, the children will need to follow the rules for people without a passport.
If your family member has a Ukrainian passport with them
Your family member should scan or take a photo of their passport and upload it when they apply.
They will get a confirmation email when they apply - this will let them travel to the UK and stay for up to 6 months.
When they arrive, they'll need to book an appointment to have their photograph and fingerprints taken to complete their application. When they complete their application, they’ll get permission to stay in the UK for 3 years starting from the day they arrived.
If your family member doesn’t have a Ukrainian passport with them
Your family members will need to go to a visa application centre before they travel. They can book an appointment when they apply. You can find their nearest visa application centre on GOV.UK.
The visa application centre will ask your family member to show they’re related to you - for example, using their birth certificate or marriage certificate. They will also ask for proof of your family member’s identity - for example an identity card or non-Ukrainian passport.
If possible, your family member should scan or take photos of their documents and upload them on the visa application centre’s website before their appointment.
If your family member’s documents are in Ukrainian, it’s worth them translating the documents into English - or asking someone else to translate them. They can get templates to help translate documents on the Charity Translators website. They should apply as soon as possible even if they don’t have translated documents - they can upload them later.
If your family member doesn’t have any evidence, they should explain why they don’t have any. The visa application centre should accept your family member’s application if there’s a good reason they can’t get any evidence.
The visa application centre should take your family member’s photo and fingerprints. They will usually tell your family member to come back later to pick up a visa - this will let them enter the UK.
Your family member will get permission to stay in the UK for 3 years.
Living in the UK
Your family member will have the right to:
- work or study
- claim benefits
- use the NHS
- go to school
- rent or buy somewhere to live
- go to free English language classes