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Visa Schemes to Support Ukrainian Nationals

Guide to Ukrainian Work Visas and Right to Work in the UK

The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has led to a large number of Ukrainian nationals looking to flee the war zone and come to the UK temporarily in order to live and work.

Two different visa schemes have been introduced to support Ukrainian nationals, and their family members, to come to the UK. The Family Scheme is based on the individual’s ability to establish family ties in the UK and the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine Scheme) is based on an individual finding a UK-based sponsor who is prepared to provide suitable accommodation, rent-free, for at least six months. Under both schemes, visa holders are able to work, rent a home and access public services, such as medical treatment and education. Full details of the schemes, along with details of how to carry out right to work checks, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide/ukrainian-nationals-and-right-to-work-checks-accessible-version.

Under both schemes above, successful applicants will be granted a visa for up to three years, under the terms of which they can live and take up employment in the UK.

There are no specific requirements in respect of the kind of work Ukrainians eligible under the schemes can take up once they are granted a visa. They can work for any employer, in any role, at any skill level, provided the role satisfies all employment regulations, such as minimum wage and working time requirements.

Ukrainians who are not eligible under one of the available schemes and relying solely on a job offer to come to the UK will need to apply for a visa under the usual immigration routes and satisfy the requirements of that route (i.e. for the skilled route: a job offer from a registered sponsor, an eligible job, meeting the salary threshold for that role and language requirement).

Ukrainian nationals in the UK with permission to enter as a visitor are not permitted to take up employment in the UK. Current visa concessions now allow Ukrainian nationals to switch their visitor visa to another type of visa which will allow them to work in the UK. However, these individuals must be granted permission under another route, which does allow them to work, before they can commence employment in the UK.

Employers wishing to register vacancies for Ukrainians coming to the UK may do so here: https://www.gov.uk/offer-work-ukraine.

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