Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme


The Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme is due to open in 2025 and will allow eligible Ukrainian nationals to extend their permission to remain in the UK for a further 18 months.

In addition to providing a route to maintain legal residency, this new initiative from the UK Government permits continued access to essential services during the period of extended stay, giving much-needed safety, security and stability to those affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

In this guide to the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme, we set out the eligibility and application requirements to extend your stay in the UK under this new category. As the Home Office has yet to release the full details of the scheme, we will update the guide as new information becomes available.


Section A: Overview of the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme?


1. What is the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme?


The Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme was launched by the UK Government as the new route for Ukrainian nationals currently residing in the UK to remain in the UK for a further 18 months.

Opening in 2025, the Permission Extension Scheme will be available to Ukrainian nationals with certain existing permissions that are due to expire. This means Ukrainians who arrived in the UK at the start of the war in their country in February 2022 will be able to stay in the UK until September 2026.

Those whose permission is extended under the new scheme will be able to continue to work and access benefits, healthcare, and education, aligning with the entitlements granted under other Ukraine-related schemes.

Applications under the scheme will be free of charge.


2. Why has the Scheme Been Introduced?


With the previous Ukraine Extension Scheme closing on 16 May 2024, the primary purpose of the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme is to offer continued support and refuge to Ukrainians affected by the ongoing conflict in their home country.

This extension is crucial in providing stability and peace of mind to Ukrainians, allowing them to remain in the UK without the immediate pressure of returning to a conflict zone.


Section B: Eligibility Criteria


To qualify for the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme, you will need to meet specific requirements:


1. Applicant Requirements


You must hold current valid status in the UK, with permission to remain under either the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), Ukraine Family Scheme or Ukraine Extension Scheme.

You may also be eligible if you previously had permission to remain under a Ukraine scheme and now hold a valid visa to remain in the UK.

You must have been residing in the UK for a specific period, typically from the date your initial permission under the Ukraine schemes was granted.

In addition, you can only apply when your current permission to stay in the UK is nearing expiration, within the three months prior to its expiry. However, the extension application must also be submitted before your current permission expires.


2. Eligibility Restrictions


In addition to meeting the scheme criteria, applicants must also ensure the following conditions are satisfied.

You should not have been absent from the UK for extended periods, as this may affect your eligibility. Any absences should comply with the guidelines set out in your initial permission terms.

Eligibility is also contingent upon you adhering to UK laws during your stay. Violations or criminal offences could impact your ability to extend permission.

Also, while applying for the extension, you must not be in receipt of public funds unless exemptions apply under certain conditions of the existing Ukraine schemes.


3. Required Documentation


To prove eligibility for the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme, applicants will typically need to provide the following:


a. Current Passport or Travel Document: Showing valid entry and the stamp received upon initial entry under the Ukraine scheme.

b. Proof of Residence: Documents such as utility bills, rent agreements, or bank statements that confirm continuous residence in the UK since the grant of the initial permission.

c. Proof of Current Permission: A copy of the biometric residence permit or any official correspondence confirming the applicant’s current UK immigration status under the Ukraine schemes.

d. Additional Supporting Documents: Depending on individual circumstances, additional documents may be required, such as proof of family relationships or proof of employment, to support the application.


Section C: Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme Application Process


The application process for the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme is designed to be straightforward, although it is not yet open at this time.

The UK Government has announced that applications will be accepted starting in early 2025. This schedule allows applicants to plan accordingly and prepare the necessary documentation in advance.


1. When to Apply


Applicants will generally be eligible to apply within the last three months of their existing visa. For example, if your current visa is set to expire in May 2025, you will be able to submit your application for an extension starting in March 2025. This timing ensures that there is sufficient overlap to prevent any gap in legal status, providing continuous residency rights under the extension scheme.


2. Preparing to Apply


By preparing in advance and closely following the specified timelines, you’ll be able to protect your lawful status in the UK under the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme.

Gather all necessary documentation, such as your current passport, proof of residence, and any other required supporting materials that verify your eligibility.

Regularly check the official UK immigration services website or relevant announcements for any updates regarding the application process or adjustments to the eligibility criteria.

You may consider consulting with a legal adviser or an immigration expert to ensure that your application is complete or if your circumstances are complex, to ensure you meet the requirements.


Section D: Benefits & Impact of the Extension Scheme


The Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme provides several significant benefits designed to support Ukrainian nationals residing in the UK. These benefits not only address immediate needs but also contribute to long-term stability and integration into British society.


1. Benefits of the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme


The primary benefit is the extension of the right to remain in the UK for an additional 18 months. This allows Ukrainians more time to stabilize their lives without the immediate worry of having to leave due to visa expiration.

Applicants also continue to have full access to crucial public services such as healthcare, education, benefits, and the ability to work. These entitlements are essential for maintaining quality of life and facilitating a smoother adaptation to life in the UK.

The extension also offers a sense of security and peace of mind to the beneficiaries and their families by providing a legal safeguard against the uncertainty of the situation in Ukraine.


2. Impact on the Lives of Ukrainians in the UK


Extended permission allows Ukrainians to seek and maintain employment, which is vital for economic stability and personal well-being.

Children and adults can continue their education with minimal disruption, which is crucial for long-term personal development and integration into British society.

Ongoing access to the NHS ensures that Ukrainians can receive necessary medical care, which is especially important for those who may have ongoing health issues stemming from the conflict or displacement.


Section F: Summary


The Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme represents a significant continuation of the UK’s commitment to supporting Ukrainian nationals during a tumultuous period.

By offering an additional 18 months of residency, this scheme provides crucial stability to those whose current permissions are nearing expiration.

Eligible participants benefit from continued access to employment, healthcare, education, and public benefits, which are essential for maintaining a quality of life and facilitating smoother integration into British society.

The extension of support to Ukrainian nationals is more than just a policy—it is a lifeline that underscores the UK’s commitment to upholding human rights and supporting those in need during critical times.


Section G: FAQs About the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme


Who is eligible for the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme?

The scheme is open to individuals currently in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme, Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (‘Homes for Ukraine’) or Ukraine Extension Scheme to apply during the last three months of their current visa.


When can I apply for the scheme?

The application process is set to open in early 2025. You can typically apply within the last three months of your existing visa. For example, if your visa expires in March 2025, you can start applying from January 2025.


What documents do I need to apply?

You will need your current passport or travel document, proof of UK residence, a copy of your existing permission or biometric residence permit, and potentially additional supporting documents, such as proof of family relationships or employment.


Is there a fee for applying to the scheme?

No, applying for the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme is free of charge.


Can I work in the UK under the extension scheme?

Yes, the extension maintains the same entitlements as your original permission, including the right to work in the UK.


Will I have access to public healthcare?

Yes, you will continue to have access to healthcare services provided by the NHS, just as under your current visa scheme.


What if my current visa expires before the application process opens?

It’s important to apply within the specified timeframe. If you believe your visa will expire before you can apply for the extension, take professional advice or contact the UK Home Office for guidance on interim measures or extensions.


Can I travel outside the UK while on the extension?

Yes, you can travel; however, it’s important to ensure that any time spent outside the UK does not exceed the limits specified in the terms of your visa, as this might affect your eligibility for future applications or extensions.


How long will the extension last?

The scheme grants an additional 18 months of permission to stay in the UK beyond the expiry of your current visa.

Where can I find the application form for the extension? – Application forms will be available on the official UK government immigration website once the application process opens in early 2025.


Section H: Glossary


Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme: A UK government initiative allowing eligible Ukrainian nationals to extend their stay in the UK for an additional 18 months under certain conditions.


Public Funds: Government-provided benefits or services, which may include jobseeker’s allowance, housing assistance, and certain disability benefits. Some visa categories restrict access to public funds.


NHS (National Health Service): The publicly funded healthcare system of the UK, which provides medical treatment and services to residents.


Legal Aid: Assistance provided to individuals who are unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. Legal aid can help cover the costs of legal advice, family mediation, and representation in a court or tribunal.


Continuous Residence: A requirement in some visa categories that the applicant must have lived in the country continuously, without long periods of absence, during the term of their current visa.


Visa Extension: The process by which a non-permanent resident’s stay in a country is legally prolonged under the existing visa terms before it expires.


Section I: Additional Resources


UK Home Office (Immigration and Visas)

This official government website provides comprehensive information on various visa schemes, including those specific to Ukrainian nationals.


Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice offers free, confidential information on rights, including detailed sections on immigration.


Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB)

The AUGB provides support and resources for Ukrainians in the UK, including advice on immigration and legal issues.


Legal Aid Agency

Provides information on eligibility and access to financial support for legal services, crucial for those who may need legal help with their applications.


The Refugee Council

Offers advice, support, and information for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, including Ukrainians, under special schemes.



Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing & Content Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

Legal disclaimer


The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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