December 2, 2023

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Ukraine Extension Scheme: caseworker guidance (accessible)

About this guidance

This guidance tells decision makers how to decide applications for permission to stay under the Ukraine Extension Scheme.


If you have any questions about the guidance and your line manager or senior caseworker cannot help you or you think that the guidance has factual errors then email the Family policy team.

If you notice any formatting errors in this guidance (broken links, spelling mistakes and so on) or have any comments about the layout or navigability of the guidance then you can email the Guidance Rules and Forms team.


Below is information on when this version of the guidance was published:

Changes from last version of this guidance

This is new guidance.


This section tells you about use of this guidance in considering a person’s right to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Extension Scheme where they are a Ukrainian national or their close family member is a Ukrainian national, and had immigration permission in the UK on 18 March 2022 or where their immigration permission ended on or after 1 January 2022.

Use of this guidance

This guidance must be used for all decisions made under the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

Other information about this guidance

Within this guidance there are links to the Migration and Borders Guidance platform that are shown as an ‘internal link’. Otherwise links are to the same guidance published on GOV.UK for external access.


On 1 March 2022 the Home Secretary made a statement to Parliament introducing the Ukraine Scheme as a concession allowing Ukrainian nationals and their family members to apply to come to or stay in the UK where they had family in the UK and were resident in Ukraine before 1 January 2022.

On 29 March 2022 the Ukraine Extension Scheme was announced to Parliament, as part of a series of changes to the Immigration Rules and became one of the 3 Ukraine Schemes included in Appendix Ukraine Scheme, alongside the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

The Ukraine Extension Scheme enables Ukrainian nationals already in the UK with permission by 18 March 2022 (or where they held permission which expired on or after 1 January 2022) to continue their stay in the UK. The Scheme began on 3 May 2022.

Applications made under Ukraine fee waiver concession

Applications that have already been made under the Ukraine fee-free concession from 14 February 2022 but have not yet been decided must now be considered under Appendix Ukraine Scheme.

Applications made under both the Ukraine Extension Scheme and Ukraine Family Scheme

Where the customer applies to both the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Extension Scheme, you should consider the more recent application, unless there is

any evidence to indicate this is not the applicant’s preference. Where the more recent application does not meet the requirements under that scheme, you must go on the consider the application under the alternative scheme.

Assessing an application under the alternative scheme

Assessing an application under the alternative scheme:

1. Review the original application and any supporting evidence and if you are satisfied the application will meet the requirements, or might with additional supporting evidence, you must contact the customer to confirm that they wish to have their application considered in the alternative route.

2. Run security checks on any sponsors where you consider it necessary, in line with OPI 1227 (internal).

You can find further information on how to consider an alternative application in the Ukraine Family Scheme guidance (internal).

Burden and standard of proof

The burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate they qualify under the Ukraine Extension Scheme. The standard of proof is the balance of probabilities (I.e. it is more likely than not). When considering applications, the current situation in the Ukraine and the approach to supporting evidence set out below should be taken into account.

Supporting evidence

There are very few documentary requirements under the Scheme. The requirements for an applicant to establish identity and nationality, demonstrate they meet the relevant residence requirements, have relevant permission in the UK, or to demonstrate they are an eligible family member, will generally need to be met by documentary evidence. However, due to the particular circumstances in Ukraine a more flexible approach should be applied when assessing an application.

You must be mindful of the difficulties that people may face in providing documentary evidence to demonstrate they meet the requirements of the rules. Those fleeing conflict zones or dangerous situations may not have had time to collect documents and may not have realised they would be required. Similarly, applicants in the UK may not be able to access documents that are in their home country or relevant institutions that could provide required documentation may not be operating.

Your starting position should be that the applicant has given honest answers in their application, and that you should consider requesting more information only where you have concerns, and only after reference to asenior caseworker (SCW).

The Ukraine Extension Scheme

This section tells you about the main requirements and how to consider applications made under the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

Ukraine Extension Scheme requirements

Applicants must meet the validity, suitability and eligibility requirements of the Scheme

Validity requirements

The validity requirements for applications on the Ukraine Extension Scheme are that the applicant must:

  • apply online on the specified application form

  • have provided any required biometrics

  • have provided evidence of their identity and nationality

  • be in the UK

  • have had permission to enter or stay in the UK on 18 March 2022, unless:

    • they had permission to enter or stay immediately before 1 January but that permission has since expired

    • they are a child born in the UK to a parent who qualifies under this Scheme Information on each of these requirements is set out below.

Specified application form

An application under the Ukraine Extension Scheme must be made on the ‘Ukraine Scheme’ application form.

You have discretion to consider an applicant under the Ukraine Extension Scheme even if they have applied on another form such asunder Appendix FM or part 7 of the Immigration Rules. However, you should be mindful that not all eligible applicants will want to apply for leave under the Ukraine Extension Scheme, for example where extending their existing leave maintains a route to settlement, therefore this should only be done where it is apparent from information provided with the application that an applicant intended to apply to, or should be considered under, the Ukraine Extension Scheme, and with the agreement of the applicant.. Such applicants should be contacted for confirmation of the application they want to make.

If the applicant confirms they wish to be considered under the Ukraine Extension Scheme you should check whether an application on the correct form has been made. If so, and a Ukraine Extension Scheme application form is available on Atlas, you can make the correction on the system. If no application has been made on the correct Ukraine Extension Scheme form you should inform the applicant that they will need to apply to vary their application.

Fees and Immigration Health Surcharge

This Scheme is free for applicants. They are not required to pay an application fee or the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). You must not reject an application for non- payment of the fee or IHS.

Applicants who have applied on another route and paid a fee, but are instead considered under the Ukraine Extension Scheme should have their fee, and any IHS paid, refunded.

Biometrics and identity

In all cases, the applicant must satisfactorily establish their identity and nationality.


Applicants in the UK are, in most circumstances, required to attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point, where they will give their biometrics (there are very limited exceptions from the requirement to enrol biometrics contained in the policy ‘Biometric Information: Introduction

Version 8.0’ and in forthcoming updated guidance on biometric enrolment. For example amputees are excepted from the requirement to provide fingerprints). For applicants aged 5 years or over, this will be a scan of their fingerprints and a facial image – this is to get a biometric residence permit. Applicants who are under 5 are not required to provide their fingerprints but must still provide a facial image. You must refer to the Operating Mandate – Biometric information: case working (HO SharePoint and FCDO Teams) – for details of the checks you are required to undertake.

Applicant’s identity and nationality

The best evidence of identity and nationality applicants on the Ukraine Extension Scheme can provide is a valid passport.

In the absence of a valid passport, the applicant may provide one or more of the following documents as proof of identity and nationality:

  • a recently expired passport, which has not exceeded its expiry date by more than 5 years

  • Ukrainian National identity card (Passport Card)

  • UK issued biometric residence permit or card

  • a combination of other official documents containing a facial image that would enable the applicant to establish their identity and nationality, which could include a photo driving licence and a birth certificate

  • an emergency certificate issued by a Ukrainian authority since March 2022

Acceptable photographic documents are those that are recorded on a document image archive such as Council of the European Union – PRADO or EdisonTD.

If no adequate documentation

The responsibility is on the applicant to satisfy you their identity and nationality is as claimed. Where the applicant does not have any documents which establish identity and nationality, and they have not already done so, you should ask them to provide a reasonable alternative or an explanation why they are not able to provide any documents. The onus is on the applicant to provide a reasonable explanation. If you are satisfied with the reasons given, record this on the caseworking system. You can find additional guidance on acceptable evidence in the Family Reunion guidance.

Permission to enter or stay on 18 March 2022

To meet the requirements of the Ukraine Extension Scheme an applicant must have arrived in the UK on or before 18 March 2022 and held lawful immigration status on that date. Lawful status can include permission in categories which do not normally allow switching, such as visitors or seasonal workers. Permission also includes leave outside the Immigration Rules of any period.

Applicants in the UK at any time before 1 January 2022 who have held permission to enter or stay, and whose permission ended after this date may also qualify under the Extension Scheme.

Permission explained

Permission to enter is the status given to entrants by a Border Force official when arriving at a port with permission granted by entry clearance (usually issued by an Entry Clearance Officer overseas).

A visa granting non-lapsing permission (more than 6 months) is automatically ‘activated’ on first arrival in the UK, whether or not the holder’s passport is stamped, and permission does not lapse when the person leaves the UK (strictly the Common Travel Area) unless it expires or they are outside the UK for more than 2 years. The permission granted by a visitor visa lapses each time the person leaves the UK (again, strictly the Common Travel Area) and is reactivated only if they arrive in the UK again.

Border Force officials can also grant permission to enter outside the Rules where the individual should have had an entry clearance, for example to Ukraine nationals who have applied under the Ukraine Family Scheme and have deferred the biometric process.

Permission to stay is the status granted to those already in the UK extending or varying their stay.

Applicants should be able to provide a copy of a biometric resident permit or visa vignette in a passport to demonstrate when they entered the UK and what immigration permission they have most recently held. If these details are not provided you should check Home Office systems to confirm status.

You should be aware, however, that where an applicant was granted permission to enter at the primary arrivals control at port, they may not be recorded on a Home Office system. However, those who have made an entry clearance application under the Ukraine Family Scheme using the biometric deferral process, and granted 6 months leave outside the Rules on arrival should be. Further information about this scheme can be found in OPI 1228.

If no evidence of permission to enter or stay

Where an applicant is not able to provide their passport showing their date of arrival, you should first check available Home Systems for records of the validity of any permissions granted. Where this is not available or not apparent, you should contact the applicant to ask for an explanation and request any additional evidence of their date of arrival.

If, after these checks, there is still no evidence of the applicant holding permission to enter or stay in the UK the application should be referred to a SCW and considered for refusal.

If the validity requirements are met the application can be considered.

Suitability requirements

As per paragraph UKR 22.1. of the Immigration Rules, only the following grounds for refusal under Part 9 of the Immigration Rules should be considered when assessing applications under the Ukraine Extension Scheme:

  • exclusion and deportation (paragraph 9.2.1 to 9.2.2)

  • non conducive to the public good (paragraph 9.3.1 to 9.3.2)

  • criminality grounds (including sentences over 12 months, persistent offending or serious harm as well as sentences less than 12 months or non-custodial) (paragraph 9.4.1 to 9.4.5)

  • exclusion from asylum or humanitarian protection grounds (paragraph 9.5.1 to 9.5.2)

  • sham marriage or sham civil partnership (paragraph 9.6.1 to 9.6.2)

  • false representations and deception (paragraph 9.7.1 to 9.7.3)

  • admissibility to the Common Travel Area or other countries (paragraph 9.10.1 to 9.10.2)

  • grounds for refusal and cancellation on arrival (paragraphs 9.14.1 to 9.20.2 and 9.23.1 to 9.24.1)

Grounds that could normally lead to refusal on suitability grounds which do not apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme are as follows:

  • previous breach of immigration laws (Part 9 9.8.1-9.8.8)

  • failure to provide required information (Part 9 9.9.1-9.9.2)

  • debt to the NHS (Part 9 9.11.1)

  • unpaid litigation costs (Part 9 9.12.1)

  • rough sleeping (Part 9 9.21.1-9.21.2)

  • crew members (Part 9 9.22.1)

You must conduct PNC/WI checks on all applicants to support the suitability assessment. You must refer to the Operating Mandate – Biometric information: case working (HO SharePoint and FCDO Teams) – for details of the checks you are required to undertake.

You should refer to current guidance on Part 9 and refusal on suitability grounds (HO SharePoint and GOV.UK).

False documents and evidence

Applicants or sponsors who submit false documents or evidence may have their application refused. This is covered in the grounds for refusal section of this guidance.

Eligibility requirements

In summary, to be eligible for the Ukraine Extension Scheme an applicant must:

  • be Ukrainian, or a non-Ukrainian who has or last had permission to be in the UK as the partner or child of a Ukrainian.

  • meet the requirements in Appendix Relationship with Partner if applying as a partner

  • provide a full birth certificate if applying as a child born in the UK

Keeping in mind the guidance above on supporting documents, where you are not satisfied the information provided shows an applicant meets the eligibility requirements set out in the Ukraine Extension Scheme, consider contacting the applicant or their sponsor to give them an opportunity to provide further evidence or explanation.

Nationality requirements

Applicants to the Ukraine Extension Scheme must be Ukrainian nationals or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national to qualify. This means the partner or child of the Ukrainian national where they hold or held permission to enter or stay as the family member of the Ukrainian national on 18 March 2022 or had such permission immediately before 1 January 2022 and their permission has since expired.

Children of Ukrainian nationals born in the UK to a parent who would qualify under the Scheme do not need permission to enter or stay in the UK, in order to qualify for the Scheme.

Relationship requirements

To be eligible under the Ukraine Extension Scheme a non-Ukrainian national applicant must be an eligible family member of a Ukrainian national.

Eligible family members are limited to:

of a Ukrainian national who has or last had permission to enter or stay in the UK on 18 March 2022, or

  • a child of a Ukrainian national born in the UK to parents who qualify under the Scheme

Partners must meet the requirements set out in Appendix Relationship with Partner

Children born in the UK must provide a full UK birth certificate.

Evidence of relationship

Applicants should provide evidence of their claimed relationship. The best evidence will be an appropriate certificate issued by a relevant authority, for example a marriage or civil partnership certificate for a partner or a birth or adoption certificate for a parent or child. In the absence of such evidence you should ask the applicant to provide any other official and independent evidence to demonstrate the relationship, such as tenancy agreements or joint bank statements. These can include digital versions or copies.

Where an applicant is unable to provide documentary evidence of their claimed relationship you have discretion to take into account the circumstances of the application and any reasonable explanation for a lack of evidence. The starting point should be to accept statements provided with the application unless there is reason to suspect otherwise.

You can find additional guidance on acceptable evidence of relationships in the Family Reunion guidance.

Safeguarding and vulnerable persons

You have a duty, under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to ensure that immigration, asylum, and nationality functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK.

See guidance on Section 55 and safeguarding child welfare (internal link).

Where you have safeguarding concerns for a child or vulnerable adult you should refer to a Senior Caseworker for guidance. In addition, advice can be sought from the two safeguarding advisers in the Safeguarding Advice and Children’s Champion’s office.

When making a child referral to a local authority you must, following the local authority child referrals guidance (internal link). You should be aware of the differences in legislation and local arrangements across the UK.

Granting permission to stay

You should normally grant permission to stay under the Ukraine Extension Scheme for a period of 36 months, and Atlas will pre-populate the expiry date of leave in line with this.

Applicants are only eligible for a total of 36 months under the Ukraine Schemes. Therefore, an individual will not be eligible to extend leave already granted under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

The conditions of grant are code 1A, which means access to work, study and public funds, and again Atlas pre-selects that condition.

Finally, upon granting, Atlas will also automatically select the correct notification template.

Police registration

Those granted under the Ukraine Extension Scheme are not required to register with the police.

Refusing an application

If an applicant does not meet the requirements of the Ukraine Extension Scheme, or the Ukraine Family Scheme, and it is not appropriate to apply discretion, you should refuse the application only with the agreement of a Senior Caseworker.

Refusal templates:

Appeals and administrative review

There is no right of appeal or administrative review against a refusal under the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

If an applicant asks to challenge a decision to refuse their application, they should be advised they can apply again for free under the Ukraine Extension or Family Scheme. There are no restrictions to the number of times a person can apply for either Scheme. A new application will ensure a further consideration of the applicant’s eligibility and will allow them to submit any additional evidence which was not submitted in their previous application.

If an applicant makes subsequent applications, you must consider each application afresh, noting any changes to the original or previous applications. If nothing has changed you must still write a full notice of refusal; do not simply refuse on the grounds that there has been no change in the applicant’s circumstances.