On 25 February 2022, the Home Office published new guidance for Ukrainian nationals studying in the UK and their dependants, as a result of the developing situation in Ukraine.
The guidance provides the following two concessions to the Immigration Rules:
- To allow Ukrainian nationals and their dependants to switch in the UK from temporary routes (such as the Visitor route), to a number of other immigration routes (including the Student route) where this would not normally be possible.
- To waive the requirement to submit documentary evidence with a permission to stay application in a number of immigration routes (including the Student route) in the UK.
Under the guidance, Visitors and Short-term students for example will now be permitted to switch into the Student, Start-up and Investor routes as the main applicant.
In order to benefit from either concession, the Ukrainian national and their dependant(s) must have lawfully entered the UK prior to 24 February 2022, or made an entry clearance application prior to this date, and arrived in the UK following 24 February 2022.
We have provided further detail concerning these concessions on our Making a Student Route application in the UK webpage.
While these concessions are a positive first step, it should be noted that those wishing to switch into an alternative immigration category as permitted by the guidance, will still need to meet the normal requirements of the new route. The rules concerning academic progress, the financial requirements and the 28-day gap rule of the Student route, have not been waived and remain in force for example.
For further details on the work we at UKCISA are doing to support Ukrainian students and members, please refer to the latest CEO update on Ukraine.