From today, Tuesday 15 March 2022, individuals who are outside of the UK with valid Ukrainian international passports will not be required to provide their biometric information when making applications under the Ukraine Family Scheme.
Biometrics are information about an individual’s external characteristics such as facial photographs and images of fingerprints. Biometric information is used for immigration applications to ensure that individuals entering the UK have their identities checked and confirmed. This allows for a digital immigration system that is underpinned by security and efficiency, which provides real-time evidence of immigration status online.
The changes being introduced for the Ukraine Family Scheme will make it quicker and simpler for Ukrainians to come to the UK. As many Ukrainians are making a perilous journey across Europe to join family in the UK, the requirement to physically visit Visa Application Centres to provide biometric information was neither practical nor realistic. From Tuesday, passport holders will apply online and be granted 6 months’ leave to enter the UK outside the standard immigration rules. Once biometric information has been provided in the UK, they will have their leave extended to 36 months.
UK Visas and Immigration has advised that in response to the humanitarian crisis, applications made under the Ukrainian Family Scheme will now be prioritised over other UK immigration applications. Both this and the removal of Visa Application Centres from the application process should hopefully expedite the safe and secure arrival of our Ukrainian neighbours into the UK.