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March 18, 2022

Support for Ukranians seeking to flee violence

With the situation in Ukraine escalating, there are routes to safety for Ukrainian nationals and their families and ways we can help them here in the UK. Updated: 17th March

Looking to come to the UK?

Free advice – looking to come to the UK or stay in the UK?

You can access free UK immigration advice here. It’s also available in Ukrainian.

To request advice, please contact with some details of your circumstances and what advice you need. Follow @Ukraine_Advice on Twitter for up to date information.

It is important to note that you will need a visa to enter the UK. If you have family members in the UK, you may be eligible for a special visa. For more on this, see the scheme below.

Home Office Ukraine Family Scheme

British citizens, or those with settled status in the UK, can act as sponsors for Ukrainian family members.

The list of who qualifies as an immediate or extended family member can be found here, along with more information about the scheme. It is free to apply.

If you only have a temporary residence in the UK, for example you’re on a student visa, you are not eligible for this scheme.

For help with the application, run by the Work Rights Centre, please see here.

Home Office Helpline

To ask about visas: If you have family in Ukraine and are based in the UK, you can call the Home Office helpline to ask about visas +44 808 164 8810 and select option 1 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK).

To ask about the Family Scheme: +44 808 164 8810 or +44 (0)175 390 7510.

Ukrainians on work or study routes

There are concessions to allow applications to be made without the usual documents. You can learn more about these here.

If you need a visa extension as a Ukrainian already in the UK

The Home Office have made it easier to switch to another visa so you can stay in the UK. This also means there is more flexibility on the kinds of documents you would need to provide.

You can find out more about this here.

Need more information on all of the above?

Read more

Seeking Asylum

If you are already in the UK and are at real risk of serious harm for reasons of religious, political, national, racial or as members of a particular social group can apply for asylum on Refugee Convention grounds.

If you fear serious harm as described above, but not for any of the five reasons above, you can apply for humanitarian protection.

If you’re in fear of generalised violence, you can also apply for humanitarian protection by relying on Article 15c of the EU Qualification Directive 2004.  However, this is complex.

⚠️If you are considering an asylum application, seek advice from a regulated immigration advisor first!⚠️

Homes for Ukraine Scheme

For Ukrainians…

This scheme offers a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home for at least six months.

You are eligible for the scheme if you are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.

People arriving under this scheme will be able to:

  • Live and work in the UK for up to three years
  • Access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition

However, before you are able to enter under this scheme, you must have already secured a sponsor in the UK – this person must know and have named you.

More information on this scheme is available here.

Looking to offer your home or help out?

See more information below!

Looking to support refugees fleeing violence?

Lewisham and Greenwich are both working towards being Boroughs of Sanctuary, which means being welcoming spaces for all Refugees.

Offering your home

Offering your home to someone fleeing violence is so generous, and we grateful for this support!*

*Please see updated information here

If you’re interested in opening your home, check out this helpful guide of things to consider, created by City of Sanctuary.

Any refugees in Lewisham are also able to access our services via our online referral form or by calling our office on 020 8694 0323.

Supporting with emergency supplies

Lewisham Polish Centre have been supplying vital products to Ukrainians fleeing violence. They update their Twitter feed regularly with the needs for the day, so check here for updates!

Making change!

The Borders and Nationality Bill is due to go to the House of Commons for a vote on Tuesday 22nd March. This Anti-Refugee Bill, would be devastating for people who are seeking sanctuary in the UK. Learn more about how damaging the Bill is here and here.

Help us fight the Bill by tweeting your MP using this template! 

Hi @XXXX. If you’re really serious about standing with Ukraine, you must vote against the #AntiRefugeeBill. This bill is all about punishment not protection. It’s just not right. Please do the right now and be on the side of humanity, not hostilty.

Or write to them – here are some tips.

Supporting Us

At LRMN, we work to provide emergency support, advice, and community to people seeking sanctuary in the UK. You could help us to continue doing this by donating! In doing so, you will be making a vital difference to the lives of refugees and other migrants who are trying to rebuild their lives.