Help for displaced people from Ukraine
Information and support for displaced people from Ukraine in the UK, including family migration visa and the Ukraine family scheme.
Last updated 18 August 2023
The British Red Cross is one of the charities supporting people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine who are now in the UK.
To find out how we can help, click on the link below to find your nearest Red Cross refugee service.
You can also use the information on this page to find out about services and support that might be available.
For any more information about British Red Cross, or for emotional support please call the free British Red Cross support line:
0808 196 3651 and select option 1 (Open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 10am to 8pm).
If you need a support line interpreter, call and say 'can I speak to an interpreter?'
- Якщо вам потрібен перекладач лінії підтримки, зателефонуйте і скажіть: 'can I speak to an interpreter?' (Ukrainian)
Если вам нужен переводчик линии поддержки, позвоните и скажите: 'can I speak to an interpreter?' (Russian)
- Advice for displaced people from Ukraine (English)
- Інформація для громадян України, які прибувають до Великобританії
- Информация для граждан Украины, прибывающих в Великобританию
- Refugee support service flyer
- Refugee support service flyer (Ukrainian)
- Refugee support service flyer (Russian)
Supporting people in Ukraine
I want to find out about:
Supporting Ukrainians in the UK
I want to:
Supporting non-British family members in Ukraine
Applying for a family migration visa
Family members of British nationals can apply for a family migration visa to come to the UK.
The Home Office has announced that some of the normal eligibility criteria has been removed for family members including language requirements and salary thresholds.
Is there a visa sponsorship for displaced people from Ukraine in the UK?
There are multiple sponsorship government schemes in place in the UK that allow people to take in, host, house and provide homes for displaced people from Ukraine.
The UK Homes for Ukraine scheme is a sponsorship scheme that allows people and businesses in the UK to offer homes for displaced people from Ukraine. The Homes for Ukraine application is free of charge.
The Humanitarian Sponsorship Pathway allows individuals, charities, businesses and community groups to sponsor displaced people from Ukraine including those with family ties to the UK.
This new sponsorship scheme allows displaced people from Ukraine to come to the UK and receive support. The Humanitarian Sponsorship Pathway application is free of charge.
If you're in the UK and would like to offer accommodation or housing to/for people displaced by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine in your home, find out more about the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It's a great way to offer support for people in need.
Are you a British national in Ukraine?
The Embassy is operating a limited diplomatic function from Kyiv, but does not provide in-person consular assistance. If you’re a British national in Ukraine and need consular assistance, phone +380 44 490 3660 (available 24/7).
How to contact the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK
The Ukrainian Embassy can often provide help to Ukrainian nationals within the UK. You can contact the Ukrainian Embassy in London by calling 020 7727 6312 or emailing email@example.com.
The address for the UK Ukrainian Embassy in London is 60 Holland Park, Kensington, W11 3SJ, London.
Ukraine family scheme
The Home Office has announced a Ukrainian family scheme where British Nationals and people with settled status in the UK can sponsor family members in Ukraine to come to the UK. The Ukraine Family Scheme application is free. You can find out more information about the scheme on the Home Office website.
If you need any assistance, please call the 24/7 free helpline: +44 808 164 8810 - select option 1.
If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use: +44 (0)175 390 7510.
People are strongly recommended to seek legal advice before they apply for these visas.
A group of volunteer legal professionals with immigration/asylum expertise are available to provide free UK immigration and asylum advice to Ukrainian citizens affected by the current crisis.
Settled is a charity for EU citizens in the UK which can offer legal advice to Ukrainian nationals in the UK looking to bring family members to the UK.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also get more information about legal advice by emailing: email@example.com
Humanitarian Sponsorship Pathway
The Home Office has also announced a Humanitarian Sponsorship Pathway led by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).
The Ukraine Humanitarian Sponsorship scheme allows individuals, charities, businesses and community groups to sponsor displaced people from Ukraine, including those with family ties to the UK.
Support for Ukrainian family members arriving in Wales
The British Red Cross offers specialist post-arrival integration support to Ukrainian family members arriving in Wales through the Ukraine Family Scheme.
The project is supported by the Welsh government, and we are working closely with local authorities, statutory and voluntary services to provide holistic support for Ukrainian families in Wales.
We can help with:
- advice and support on rights and entitlements:
- access to housing services
- access to health services
- financial support and employment
- access to education
- support with social integration
- support to open a bank account
- GP registration
- school registration
- signposting to local activities
Please contact us via email: RSWalesUkraine@redcross.org.uk or phone - 01633 720 00, option 3.
- Find out more - Homes for Ukraine: Guidance for guests GOV. UK
- Find a list of organisations that have signed up to the scheme
Extend your permission to be in the UK
Where an application is made outside the UK for entry clearance under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, then in certain circumstances the applicant can travel to the UK on a “permission to travel” letter.
This is issued prior to entry to the UK, before providing biometrics and before the entry clearance application is decided.
The applicant will be granted six months leave to enter at the border. Before the end of the six months, the applicant must complete complete Ukraine Scheme Status to extend permission to stay in the UK.
This process is only open to a Ukrainian national with a valid international passport.
- Find out more information about the Ukraine Scheme: process for in-country variation of entry clearance
Ukraine Extension scheme
The Ukraine Extension Scheme visa allows Ukrainian nationals to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.
Ukrainians can apply to this scheme if they:
- had a valid UK visa, or held one that expired on or after 1 January 2022
- permission to be in the UK on or between 18 March 2022 and 16 November 2023.
This route does not currently lead to settlement. This means that time spent in the UK with this visa may not support an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in future.
You may be able to extend your stay by switching to another immigration route.
Bringing a pet to the UK
Displaced people from Ukraine are welcome to bring pets to the UK. To protect the health of your pet and other pets, they will need to stay in quarantine upon arrival in the UK for up to four months, or until they meet our health requirements.
The UK government will pay for the quarantine placement, along with the transport and treatment of your pet. Please contact us about your pet before you travel to the UK or immediately upon arrival in the UK Border.
To make the necessary quarantine arrangements for your pet:
- Email the Animal and Plant Health Agency on firstname.lastname@example.org and their customer contact team will help you apply.
- Call +44 3000 200 301 and select option 2.
You can also apply online on defra.gov.uk.
While in quarantine, your pet will be assessed by a vet. If they are considered safe and well, you may be able to collect them sooner than four months.
Support for displaced people from Ukraine travelling to the UK
Several travel companies are offering free travel to get to the UK:
- The Ukrainian Displaced Persons Travel Scheme offers free rail journeys across all train operators in England, Scotland and Wales. All Ukrainians who arrive in the UK will have 48 hours from arrival to access free tickets and complete their journey. You will need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket to access this offer. You will also be able to travel for free across London using TfL's London Underground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), bus and tram services.
- Eurostar is offering free tickets to help Ukrainian nationals travel from any Eurostar station to London St Pancras International. Individuals who have been granted a valid visa to enter the UK can show this together with their Ukrainian passport to a member of the Eurostar team at Paris Nord, Brussels-Midi, Lille Europe, Rotterdam Centraal or Amsterdam Central stations, and they will issue a ticket for travel to London
Travelling from Ukraine's bordering countries to the UK
If you are looking to travel from Poland to the UK, look at the latest foreign travel advice for arriving in the UK from Poland and support provided for displaced people from Ukraine.
The UK Foreign Office have issued no change in travel advice for visiting countries to the west of Ukraine, meaning that travelling from and entering the UK from Slovakia, Poland, Romania and other specified countries bordering Ukraine is not a risk.
You also do not have to quarantine in the UK when entering the UK from any of these countries.
Is it unsafe to travel to Poland because of the Russia conflict?
Right now, it's generally safe for Ukrainian nationals to travel to Poland. The UK Foreign Office has issued no change in travel advice for visiting countries to the West of Ukraine, meaning that entering Poland and other western bordering nations is not considered a risk.
However, it's always best to check with local and foreign authorities before you travel, as these statuses can change.
If you're travelling to Poland to reunite with your family, we may be able to help you. Refer to our 'How to find missing family' section below for more information.
How to find missing family in Ukraine
If you have lost contact with your family in Ukraine during the conflict and you know they have crossed the Ukrainian border into a neighbouring country (e.g. Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania or Russia), please keep trying to contact them. It may be a temporary loss of contact as they transition to networks in other countries.
If you are unable to contact your family and you think they are still within the territory of Ukraine, we may be able to help you.
Please email email@example.com and provide us with your full name and telephone number. A team member from the International Family Tracing service will contact you as soon as possible.
Ukrainian temporary visas in the UK
The Home Office has agreed UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals in the UK unable to return to Ukraine when their existing visa expires.
These measures will help Ukrainian nationals to extend their stay in the UK without having to leave and re-apply from overseas.
If you’re in the UK and unable to return to Ukraine, you may be able to extend your visa or switch to another one even if your visa does not normally allow you to do so.
How to claim asylum in the UK as a Ukrainian
Ukrainians refugees already in the UK may be able to claim asylum.
Finding legal advice
The Home Office has recently withdrawn its country guidance on Ukraine for asylum and human rights claims. You will need to seek specialist immigration advice.
You can find a solicitor in the UK on the Law Society website. Search “Legal Issue & Changing Countries”, and enter your postcode, town or city.
You can also search for a legal representative regulated by the UK’s Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) through the ‘Find an Immigration Advisor’.
Appropriate legal representatives will be those authorised in the Asylum and Protection category at Level 2 or 3.
Some barristers provide advice directly to the public. Search the ‘Find a Barrister’ page of the Bar Council.
Safety tips for families escaping conflict
International organisation for migration (IOM)
The IOM has set up information and support hotlines for persons in Ukraine and fleeing Ukraine in different countries.
Safety tips for families
Download our posters for safety tips if you and your family are on the move.
- Поради з безпеки для сімей (Ukrainian)
- Советы по безопасности для семей (Russian)
- Safety tips for families (English)
Support for Ukrainians in the UK
Homes for Ukraine scheme UK
On Friday, 18 March 2022, the UK government launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme which allows Ukrainian nationals to stay with a sponsor in the UK for up to six months. You are eligible if you are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine before 1 January 2022.
Under the Ukraine sponsorship scheme, displaced people from Ukraine will be able to stay in the UK for three years. During this time, they will be able to work and access benefits and public services – including healthcare, schooling (including state schools).
Applying to the Homes for Ukraine scheme as a Ukrainian
You can apply to the Homes for Ukraine scheme here. The application is free of charge and can be completed by the prospective sponsor or the person wishing to be sponsored. There is one single application for both parties but one form is required per individual travelling under the scheme. Please note that a separate form must be completed for each person wishing to be sponsored.
The scheme is now open to unaccompanied children under 18 - the sponsor must have parental consent and permission from the local council before applying for a visa. Sponsors can apply to provide a safe home for a Ukrainian child here.
If a Ukrainian adult or child has a passport, there is no need to attend a visa application centre.
If they don't have a passport, they will need to book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre (VAC).
Here, they will have their photograph and fingerprints taken as part of their application. Children under the age of 5 who do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport will not have their fingerprints taken but will still need to book and attend a VAC appointment and have a digital photograph taken.
Security checks for both Ukrainians and the UK sponsor will be undertaken as part of the visa application process.
Biometric checks will be made after Ukrainians arrive in the UK to avoid delays.
- Find out more information about the number of visas issued and arrivals under the UK Home for Ukraine scheme
- Find out how to provide emotional and practical support when hosting a Ukrainian guest
Accommodation for displaced people from Ukraine in the UK
- You can contact the local authority where you are living regarding accommodation and specialist needs.
- Learn more about British Red Cross services provided for Ukrainian refugees in the UK, and search for your local office.
- There are also a number of Ukrainian organisations and charities in the UK helping and supporting displaced people from Ukraine in the UK, including the Association of Ukrainians of Great Britain.
- You can check the rules about bringing family members from Ukraine to the UK on the Citizens Advice website. Citizens Advice are a charity providing free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of topics, including housing and immigration.
Borrowing a wheelchair
If you know somebody in need of a wheelchair or mobility equipment, the Red Cross hires out equipment for short-term use. The service is free to Ukrainian refugees.
Call 0300 456 1914, or visit redcross.org.uk/wheelchair
Потрібне крісло-коляска? Служба допоміжних засобів пересування Британського Червоного
Хреста надає обладнання в оренду для короткострокового використання. Відвідайте сайт redcross.org.uk/wheelchair (Ukrainian)
Нужно кресло-коляска? Служба вспомогательных средств передвижения Британского общества Красного Креста предоставляет оборудование в аренду для краткосрочного использования. Посетите сайт redcross.org.uk/wheelchair (Russian)
What I need to know about life in the UK
Our short videos, written guides and presentations will provide you with useful information including:
- basic facts about life in the UK
- accessing services online and staying safe
- parenting children in the UK
- getting help from different services in the UK
- women's health and the right to protection.
Read a welcome guide for Ukrainian children under 18 in the UK goverment website (available in English, Ukrainian and Russian).
Completing a Self Assessment tax return in the UK
If you earn money in the UK, you may need to pay tax on it. Self Assessment is the name for the process when you declare and pay any tax owed to the government.
If you are employed, then your employer will deduct any tax owed (Income Tax and National Insurance) before they pay you. If you are self employed or earn money that doesn't come from your main job, you may need to do a Self Assessment tax return.
Video resources in Ukrainian
Як отримати необхідну мені допомогу у Великій Британії?
How can I get the help I need in the UK?
Що потрібно знати про життя моєї дитини у Великій Британії?
What do I need to know about having my child in the UK?
Що потрібно знати про життя у Великій Британії?
What do I need to know about life in the UK?
Video resources in Russian
Как я могу получить необходимую помощь в Великобритании?
How can I get the help I need in the UK?
What do I need to know about having my child in the UK?
Что мне нужно знать о жизни в Великобритании?
What do I need to know about life in the UK?
It is common to feel a lot of different emotions after leaving your homeland and your wellbeing and mental health may well suffer as a result of your experience. You can use our wellbeing resources (available in English and Ukrainian) to manage feelings like anxiety, stress and worry.
Help when you feel at your worst
If you are feeling very distressed, call The Samaritans on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call our support line
For information about all support available for Ukrainian refugees in the UK, you can call the British Red Cross support line and speak to a volunteer.
Call us on 0808 196 3651 and press 1 for information related to Ukraine. You can also ask for an interpreter if you need one.
The support line is open Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm and Wednesday 10am to 8pm
Download our wellbeing resources
- Благополуччя для українських сімей, які прибувають до Великобританії (Ukrainian)
- Як говорити з дітьми про війну (Ukrainian)
- A wellbeing guide to reducing stress and building inner resilience (Ukrainian)
- Coping with trauma - adults (Ukrainian)
- Coping with trauma - children (Ukrainian)
- Coping with a personal crisis (Ukrainian)
- Благополучие для украинских семей, прибывающих в Великобританию (Russian)
- A wellbeing guide to reducing stress and building inner resilience (Russian)
- Coping with trauma - adults (Russian)
- Coping with trauma - children (Russian)
- Coping with a personal crisis (Russian)