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The right of the Ukrainians nationals to work in the UK under the Ukraine immigration schemes

The right of the Ukrainians nationals to work in the UK under the Ukraine immigration schemes.

23 March 2022

The right of the Ukrainians nationals to work in the UK under the Ukraine immigration schemes

Two different schemes are available to nationals of Ukraine and their families fleeing the war zone to join the UK. The Family Scheme is based on the applicant’s ability to establish family ties in the UK and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme is based on the sponsor’s ability to provide a suitable accommodation. Under both schemes, visa holders will be allowed to work in the UK without specific requirements; however, neither of the schemes rely on a sponsor’s ability to provide work.

The Family Scheme

The Family Scheme was launched on Friday 4 March by the UK government. The scheme is open to Ukrainians and immediate family members of Ukrainians  with a family member who is a British citizen, an individual settled in the UK, a European individual with pre-settled status, or someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK. They must have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022.

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine Scheme)

The Homes for Ukraine Scheme was launched on Friday 18 March 2022. The scheme provides a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members, residing in Ukraine on or prior to 1 January 2022. Eligible individuals can be sponsored by individuals or organisations who can offer them a suitable home or room (rent-free) for at least 6 months.

Sponsors will be offered an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more household for up to 12 months.

Are Ukrainians allowed to work under the Family Scheme or the Homes for Ukraine Scheme?

Under both schemes, successful applicants will be granted a visa for up to three years under the terms of which they can live, seek and take up employment in the UK. They can also access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education (including state schools) and other public services.

There are no specific requirements in relation to the kind of work Ukrainians eligible under the schemes can take up once they are granted a visa.

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 classic 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, the salary threshold for that role and language requirement).

How can employers offer work to people who have come to the UK from Ukraine?

Employers can offer work on a voluntary, full-time or part-time basis to people arriving from Ukraine under the Family Scheme or the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, subject to conducting the usual right to work checks.

Employers can email offers of work to, including details about their company name and contact details, how many roles they have available, their location, job description, qualifications and any support being offered. There are also a number of private or business funded initiatives and a number of large businesses have pledged to support the national effort by offering to create jobs for Ukrainians who come to the UK under one of the available schemes.

Employers who would be offering accommodation should register their interest under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. An offer of work without the provision of a suitable accommodation will not suffice to sponsor individuals under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It is not clear however how the scheme can operate for employers willing to offer relocation packages and not the direct benefit of accommodation.

What happens next after work is offered?

Employers will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Refugee Employment Network (REN).

How to apply under the schemes?

Both schemes are free and are now opened for visa applications from those eligible who wish to come to the UK from Ukraine.

From 18 March 2022, phase 1 of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme is opened to Ukrainian applicants who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them. People or organisations wanting to be sponsors who do not have a named individual to sponsor can record their interest in being a sponsor. They will then be kept updated as the scheme develops.

Other visas applications

Ukrainian nationals can still apply to visit, work, study or join family in the UK in the normal way. Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Ukraine are currently closed. Applications can be made at a VAC in any country if applicants are able to travel safely.

VACs are currently operating throughout Europe : Find a visa application centre.

Before attending a VAC, applicants must complete an online application form and have a GWF (Global Web Form) reference number.

For all enquiries about the schemes, UKVI can be contacted on the following numbers: + 44 808 164 8810 or +44 (0)175 390 7510. – select option 1. Lines are free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



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