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Visa options (other than Ukraine-specific schemes) & claiming asylum

Visas: apply for permission to enter or stay in the UK

Besides the UK’s visa schemes for people from Ukraine (for which please see the UK Government’s “UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals” guidance), you may be eligible to apply for other visas which are not specifically for people from Ukraine.

Work, study or seasonal worker visas

You may be eligible to apply for work, study and seasonal worker visas. You can check your eligibility for these here: Right to Remain, a UK-based charity, provides some guidance on the various visa options here.

Student Action for Refugees provides information regarding possible sources of support, including in relation to accessing education, here.

Extending or switching your existing visa in the UK

If you are already in the UK as a Ukrainian national, you may be able to extend your existing visa or switch to another visa, in some cases and if you are eligible. Please see:

Asylum: entering the UK to claim asylum or humanitarian protection

If you fear being returned to Ukraine, and you fulfil specific requirements, you may be eligible to make an application for asylum or humanitarian protection. If your application is successful, you will be granted a type of protection called refugee status or humanitarian protection status.  To be recognised as a refugee, you must show that you have: “a well founded fear of persecution in your country due to one or more of these reasons: your religion, ethnicity, nationality, social group or your political opinion, and why you would be persecuted if you were returned there”. You will have to explain what has, will, or could happen to you if you were returned to your country, and why, and try provide evidence of this” if there is any[1].

Alternatively, if you do not qualify for refugee status and therefore cannot be recognised as a refugee, you may instead be granted “humanitarian protection”. You can find out more about humanitarian protection in the UK here.

To find out more about claiming asylum or humanitarian protection, you can visit Right to Remain’s guidance here, the UK Government’s guidance here and the Refugee Council’s guidance here and here.

You should always seek legal advice from a professional and regulated immigration adviser before making an asylum application.

Where you can access immigration and other advice

The following organisations may be able to help you:

  • The Ukraine Advice Project UK: provides free legal information on UK visas and refugee rules to Ukrainian nationals and those assisting them.You can contact the project on the website or at
  • JustRight Scotland’s Ukraine Advice Scotland:  free legal advice for Ukrainians in or going to Scotland. Information available here.  
  • Asylum Aid: if you are in the UK, you can ask for advice about applying for asylum or humanitarian protection by emailing: Information available here.
  • Wilson’s Solicitors Ukraine Project: assists with visa applications under the Ukraine Family Scheme and under the Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine Scheme), and provides advice to those who do not meet the requirements of the schemes. Information available here.
  • Work Rights Centre: you can request immigration support here.
  • British Red Cross: you can contact your local Red Cross support service here. Please also see “Refugee support service flyer” and “Finding legal advice” sections here.

[1] See the Refugee Council’s Guide entitled “Welcome, Your Guide to Claiming Asylum as a Separated Child in the UK”.