Ukraine schemes: visas, biometrics and passport renewals
This page has information about visa requirements for people travelling to Northern Ireland under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme - and passport renewals.
Information on how to make an application and about UKVCAS can be found at the following links:
- Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa
- UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals
- UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services
Arrival at the border
Depending on how and when you applied for a visa from the Homes for Ukraine Scheme or the Ukraine Family Scheme, you will have one of the following documents:
- a vignette which can be fixed into your passport
- a standard ‘Permission to Travel’ letter issued by UK Visas and Immigration, which tells you that you are allowed to travel to the UK
- a ‘Digital Status Permission to Travel’ letter issued by UK Visas and Immigration, which tells you that you have permission to travel, enter and stay in the UK for a period of time
If you arrive through a UK port or airport
When you arrive at the UK international border, if you have a standard ‘Permission to Travel' letter, an immigration officer will stamp your passport with a six month entry stamp.
If you have a vignette or a ‘Digital Status Permission to Travel’ letter, you do not need to get your passport stamped as you already have leave (permission) to enter the UK.
Coming to NI through port/airport in Republic of Ireland
If you have come to Northern Ireland (NI) through the Republic of Ireland and you have a standard 'Permission to Travel’ letter issued by UK Visas and Immigration, you will need to get a stamp in your passport.
This will give you six months leave (permission) to be in the UK and to work, study and access services such as benefits.
If you have come to Northern Ireland through the Republic of Ireland and you have a Vignette or a ‘Digital Status Permission to Travel’ letter, you do not need to get your passport stamped.
If you are a Ukrainian person arriving in Northern Ireland via the Republic of Ireland, but you have not applied for a visa through one of the Ukraine Schemes you will need a stamp in your passport, giving you six months leave to work, study and access services such as benefits.
You can get passport stamps from the Home Office at Drumkeen House, Belfast.
This is an appointment-based service available on every other Wednesday.
If you think you need a stamp, you should mail the Drumkeen Surgery with your name, date of birth and passport number. If a stamp is needed, you will be given an appointment time.
If you do need a stamp, you will be given a day and appointment time to go to Drumkeen House.
If you don’t need a stamp you will be given an application reference number, the start and end date for your leave to stay in the UK, and contact details for UKVI to finish your Biometric Residence Permit.
To be eligible for the passport stamp at Drumkeen House, you need to:
- be a Ukrainian person with a Ukrainian passport or ID card (with supporting paperwork)
- have arrived in Ireland since 25 February 2022
- have a Republic of Ireland landing stamp
If you need help with a VISA application you can call the Law Centre NI on:
- phone: 028 9024 4401
It is also recommended that Ukrainian arrivals go to one of the assistance centres where they can get advice on a range of services, including from the Law Centre NI.
Sponsors should not go to an assistance centre without their Ukrainian guest.
Biometric information is a photo of your face and your fingerprints.
This information will need to be given within six months of arrival in the UK so that you can extend your stay for up to three years and be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
You do not need to do this as soon as you reach Northern Ireland, but you do need to make sure that you have given your biometrics before the six months end.
You will be contacted with a link to an online form that advises how to give this Biometric Capture (fingerprint and photo) and free information at your nearest UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) Service Point.Regus, Forsyth House,
3rd Floor, Office 327,
- Find directions: Regus, Forsyth House
Opening hours at the UKVCAS Service Point are 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Once you have given your information, you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). A decision takes eight weeks for a standard application. This permit shows evidence of your right to stay in the UK and allows you to confirm your identity.
You must give biometrics (fingerprints and facial photograph) as part of this application. Applications can also be made here:
Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will include:
- your name, date and place of birth
- your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information)
- your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
- whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services
It is important this document is kept safe as it is evidence of your legal status in the UK and shows how long you may stay in the UK.
If you travel outside of the UK, you should make sure that you carry your Biometric Residence Permit with you.
For more information on UK Visa and Citizenship Applications visit:
Issues with your BRP
If you have any queries about your BRP you should email them to:
- email: POUKR@homeoffice.gov.uk
Renewing your passport
Your passport is an important document which may be needed for a number of reasons - for example, identification and travel outside the UK.
If you need to renew your existing passport, you do not need to travel to Ukraine to do this.
There are other ways available as follows:
You can apply at a Ukrainian Consulate Office in either London or Edinburgh.
You can apply at one of the state migration services, passport service offices in Poland (Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Wroclaw), Slovakia (Bratislava) or Czechia (Prague).
It is planned to open a further office in Germany.
You can also book an appointment via the Ukrainian Department of Foreign Affairs.
Choose your city (such as London or Edinburgh - or the relevant city in any other country). Then choose the reason for consulate services - for example, extend passport or renew passport.
Note, you can also sign up for notification of new appointments.
More information is available at the following links:
Help is available
It's important to know that you are not alone and there will be support to answer questions or give you information should you need it.
If you need to speak to someone you can contact the Department for Communities Make the Call team:
- phone: 0800 232 1271
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advisers will do their best to help you. If they are unable to answer your questions, these will be passed on to others who are offering wraparound support, who will get contact you to help you.
If you need advice or support on visa arrangements, you can contact the UK Visa Helpline:
- phone: 0808 164 8810
You can find out more about applying for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme on the following page: