The situation in Ukraine threatens the lives of millions of men, women and children who, through no fault of their own, will be forced to make the heart-breaking decision to leave their homes behind in search of safety.
We are calling on the government to take urgent action to ensure people fleeing Ukraine are able to reach the UK and access the protection they need. Read our policy calls here
Refugee Council Services for Ukrainian people
Refugee Council’s Refugee Advice Project is open for referrals for Ukrainians who have a Ukraine Family Visa. We provide one-to-one casework on access to housing, welfare benefits and access to healthcare. We are based in Stratford, London and accept referrals from refugees living in London.
Community of Practice
Since the invasion of Russia and start of the Ukraine war, Refugee Council has worked tirelessly to raise funds for supporting Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK. In addition to providing wraparound support to individual Ukrainians in London on Family Visa and Homes for Ukraine in Lewisham and Lambeth, South Yorkshire and East Riding, we received funding to support Ukrainian communities across the country, by developing a Community of Practice.
This includes convening charities and community organisations supporting Ukrainians to discuss their practice in overcoming barriers to housing and regularising immigration status, sharing good practice and developing new ways of work. We are working with frontline organisations to facilitate co-designing a Community of Practice where different services can get together, identify the needs and gaps in the service, share experience, discuss issues and develop cross-sector collaboration.
As part of practice development, we also work internally to develop good practice across the organisation. We have created a Ukrainian Caseworkers Forum where all services supporting Ukrainians across the organisation meet monthly to share experience and good practice, and provide peer to peer support.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the Community of Practice, please email email@example.com
Refugees, including those fleeing Ukraine, have had their lives and families torn apart by war.
With the conflict in Ukraine adding to the record numbers of people displaced by conflict, we expect to see thousands of refugees arriving in the UK over the coming months in desperate need of a warm welcome and expert support.
We have launched an emergency appeal to help people recover from the trauma of war and to rebuild their lives here in the UK. Please donate here
Other ways to help
The government have recently announced a new scheme called ‘Homes for Ukraine’, that will allow communities, private sponsors or local authorities to sponsor people to come to the UK from Ukraine. Sponsors will be expected to provide accommodation for people arriving under the scheme for a minimum period of 6-months. The government have set up a dedicated website to allow people to register their interest in the scheme. You can find out more info and register for the scheme here. The government have also published a set of frequently asked questions that you can find here.
A charity organisation, RESET has launched a new website to register and match sponsors in the UK with people from Ukraine: https://www.homesforukraine.org.uk/.
There are a number of other ways you can support people in Ukraine please see here.
You wish to come to the UK to join your family in the UK
The UK government have announced that British nationals and people of any nationality settled in the UK will now be supported to bring their immediate family (spouse, partner or minor children) and/or their parents, grandparents, adult children and siblings from Ukraine to the UK. Normal visa requirements to meet a minimum income or language tests will be waived.
People in the region who are eligible under this route are encouraged to call the helpline on 0808 164 8810 and to go to a Visa Application Centre in a neighbouring country to enrol biometrics once they have submitted an application.
The UK government have set up a website to provide information and further updates which you can find here.
You want to come to the UK (without family in the UK)
Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine (who are not eligible under the family route) are currently unable to make visa applications to visit, work, study or join family in the UK through a Visa Application Centre in Ukraine. You will need to travel to a Visa Application Centre in Hungary, Belarus, Moldova or Poland.
The UK government have recently announced a new scheme that will allow communities, private sponsors or local authorities to sponsor people to come to the UK from Ukraine. This new scheme is called ‘Homes for Ukraine’. The government have published factsheets in English, Ukrainian and Russian, setting out how you can apply to the scheme. They have also published a set of frequently asked questions on the scheme that you can find here.
This website contains a number of resources aimed at people who have fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
You live in the UK and need to extend your stay
The UK government has agreed concessions to allow you to extend your visa. You can find the details here.
You live in the UK and would like to claim asylum
Although each person’s asylum case is assessed on its merits, the UK government currently considers that the Ukraine Government is capable of protecting its citizens. Therefore, the grounds for claiming asylum as a Ukrainian national are currently very narrow.
Read here for more information. This may change depending on how the situation unfolds over the coming days and weeks.
If you need an immigration advisor to help you understand your options, a new free service called ‘Advice-Ukraine’ may be able to help. The organisations on this list may also be able to help you access a legal representative.
If you are destitute you can contact our Infoline on 0808 196 7272 to access support services in your area. The Infoline is a live national Freephone line open Mondays and Thursdays between 9:30am and 12:30pm.
You have recently arrived from Ukraine under a visa scheme
The government have published a welcome guide to provide you with information on your rights and how to access services.
The British Red Cross have also produced translated guides to help you understand your rights and find out about services you are able to access.
Doctors of the World have produced a number of translated guides addressing common questions including how to register with a GP, COVID 19 and the vaccine.
You are unable to contact family in Ukraine
The British Red Cross provides an International Family Tracing service. If your relatives are not answering normal communications such as telephone, email or mobile, British Red Cross may be able to help.
Visit the International Family Tracing Service webpage and search for your nearest British Red Cross tracing service. Contact them and tell them you would like to contact a family member.
The government have set up a dedicated website to allow people to register their interest in the scheme. You can find out more information and register for the scheme here. This includes information specifically relating to sponsoring an unaccompanied child. The government have also published a set of frequently asked questions that you can find here.