Priti Patel today announced Ukrainians who have work, study or visiting visas in the UK will have their stays extended to ensure they are not forced to go home amid the Russian invasion.
The Home Secretary said the visa concession will ‘provide certainty to our Ukrainian friends and colleagues living, working and studying in the UK’.
Ms Patel said Britain will continue to ‘stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine’ after Vladimir Putin launched military action against his neighbour.
The move means Ukrainians with a valid visa in the UK will have their visa temporarily extended or they will be able to switch onto an alternative visa route.
Ms Patel said in a statement issued this evening: ‘We stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine amid this unprovoked and antidemocratic act of Russian aggression.
‘I have immediately ordered changes to our visa policy to provide certainty to our Ukrainian friends and colleagues living, working and studying in the UK.’
The concessions mean that Ukrainian nationals on an existing points-based visa route will be able to extend their stay.
Those on an existing visitor visa will be able to switch onto a points-based route without having to leave the country.
Those on a visitor visa can also apply under the family route for further leave to remain even if they do not meet the immigration status requirement, provided they hit the threshold for exceptional circumstances.
Ukrainians on a seasonal worker visa will have their stays in the UK extended to December 31.
The Home Office move on visas comes after the Government stepped up its efforts to help British nationals and their families in Ukraine.
It has temporarily waived application fees for people who are eligible under the ‘Family Migration’ route.
Ukraine-related visa applications are also being fast-tracked through a 24/7 helpline.
Dependents of British nationals in Ukraine can apply for a visa at a temporary location in the city of Lviv.
They can also do so by visiting an application centre in the surrounding countries of Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary.
Meanwhile, passport applications from British nationals in Ukraine are being prioritised by Her Majesty.