Closed petition Give Ukrainians on humanitarian visas rights to extend stay and settle in the UK
Ukrainians that come to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine scheme should be able extend their stay and obtain ILR upon reaching 3 year’s stay in the UK.
These visas are currently limited to three years, and don’t lead to settlement.
It’s hard to believe that all Ukrainians that have settled in the UK under such schemes will be forced to leave the UK after 3 years. There are humanitarian reasons that are forcing us to leave our country. These visas don't give any route to permanent settlement. However, they have a lot in common with people with humanitarian protection, who do gain rights to apply for ILR.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 27 February 2023
Our schemes provide Ukrainians with three years’ temporary sanctuary in the UK, until Putin is defeated and they can safely return home. As such, they are not routes for settlement.
The UK, together with our allies and partners, stands in solidarity with Ukraine and we condemn in strongest possible terms the Russian Government’s barbaric war against Ukraine.
Following the invasion on the 24th February 2022, the UK Government established three schemes to enable Ukrainians to come to the UK, or to extend their existing leave in the UK, for protection. Under all three schemes, Ukrainians are granted three years’ permission to remain in the UK with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services.
Having launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history, as of 23 February 2023, 219,723 visas have been issued, 23,777 applications have been granted leave to remain extensions while in the UK, and 163,511 Ukrainians have so far arrived in the UK.
While we keep any future need for an extension of protection in the UK under review and in line with developments of the situation in Ukraine, we firmly believe that Ukraine will be safe again.
Therefore, and in accordance with the wishes of the Ukrainian Government, the Ukraine schemes are not a route for permanent relocation to the UK but instead allow for temporary protection until they can return home to rebuild Ukraine.
The Government’s objective throughout has been to provide a proportionate period of leave to remain in the UK through visas issued under the schemes. The leave period is purposely set at 36 months to ensure those granted leave under the schemes have enough certainty to settle into independent living, work and contribute to society during their stay and to protect Ukrainians against the need to renew permission.
Merits of extending the Homes for Ukraine Scheme debated by MPs
MPs debated the potential merits of extending the Homes for Ukraine Scheme on Tuesday 6 February in Westminster Hall. The debate was led by Pauline Latham MP. Tom Pursglove MP, Minister for Legal Migration and the Border responded to the debate on behalf of the Government.
During the debate MPs discussed the need for certainty for people in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme over whether their visas will be extended. MPs also discussed the challenges for Ukrainians who want to continue their education in the UK, but didn't know if their visa would be extended.
At the end of the debate, the Minister said that the Government was considering whether visas would be extended, and said that all Ukrainians in the UK under the Ukraine schemes will be informed of the options available to them, well in advance of their visas expiring.
What is a Westminster Hall debate?
Westminster Hall is the second chamber of the House of Commons. Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local and national issues and receive a response from a government minister. Westminster Hall debates are general debates that do not end in a vote.
Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament
Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.