Free UK immigration advice for people fleeing Ukraine
This website can connect you with qualified lawyers, led by law firm DLA Piper who are providing free legal information on UK visas and refugee rules.
- Legal information is only available in English. If you do not speak English, you will need to ask a friend or family member to translate for you.
- Our volunteer lawyers are NOT experts on how to travel out of Ukraine or around Europe.
You need permission to travel
If you have a Ukrainian passport, you need a visa or permission to travel letter to travel to the UK. You are almost certain to be refused entry without one.
There is a UK government immigration helpline for Ukrainians who want to ask about visas: call +44 808 164 8810 or +44 175 390 7510 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK).
If you have family in the UK
There are special visa arrangements in place allowing any British person or immigrant who is settled in the UK to sponsor Ukrainian family members to come to the UK, including parents, siblings, adult children, in-laws and cousins. This “Ukraine Family Scheme” opened for online applications on 4 March 2022.
Unfortunately, Ukrainian citizens with only temporary permission to live in the UK, such as a Skilled Worker or Student visa, cannot sponsor relatives under the Ukraine Family Scheme.
If someone else will let you live with them
Ukrainian citizens can still come to the UK even if they don’t qualify for the Family Scheme, so long as they can find someone who will agree to let them stay for at least six months. This “Homes for Ukraine” scheme opened on 18 March 2022.
If you already know someone willing to sponsor you, either you or the sponsor can apply online for a Homes for Ukraine visa. The sponsor can be British or an immigrant, so long as they have immigration permission to be in the UK that lasts at least six months.
We can’t help you find a sponsor if you don’t already know someone, but some people in the UK are willing to sponsor strangers. You might be able to find a sponsor by giving your details to a charity like Rooms for Refugees or Reset Communities and Refugees which are running “matching” services, although demand is very high.
Work or study visas
If you don’t have a British sponsor but might qualify for a normal UK work or study visa, these can also be granted without providing the usual documents.
You can apply for a visa to enter the UK as a visitor and include “clear compelling or compassionate reasons for your visit”. You must intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit – a maximum of six months.
You cannot apply for asylum from outside the UK.