Advice for Ukrainians

Translations

To read this page in UkrainianПідтримка громадян України.

To read this page in RussianПоддержка граждан Украины.

Disclaimer: as the translations linked above are provided by Google Translate, we cannot be held responsible for their accuracy.

Once your UK visa has been issued this means you are now able to enter the UK. 

We fully appreciate you may travel to the UK and stay with your hosts before the accommodation and background checks have been completed.

If you have already arrived or you have your travel date please ask your hosts to e-mail us with your arrival date.

This is a quick guide to services you may need in your first week in the UK.

Fuller information can be found in the welcome guide.

This guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK covers what you need to know in your first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.

Adults and children coming to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme qualify for a £200 per person welcome payment. This is in the form of a payment card and you can collect it from reception in the Council Offices in Oxted.

You and your Ukrainian family members will need to come to the Council Offices to collect each card. Please bring your passports and visas for everyone.

Our office opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8.30am-5pm and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm. 

The first thing to do when you arrive at your new home is to make sure you are comfortable in your accommodation and setup with the basics. Please ask your hosts for help.

The welcome guide has lots of information. You can get help from public services:

Benefits

As a Ukrainian arriving in the UK you can claim Universal Credit immediately. You may also be eligible for:

  • Child benefit. Anyone coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine scheme is entitled to claim child benefit immediately.
  • Housing benefit.
  • Pension credit.
  • Personal independence payment.
  • Child disability living allowance.
  • Carers allowance.
  • Attendance allowance.

Employment

You can access jobs support immediately. The Department for Works and Pensions is putting together support through the Jobcentres to help people:

  • Find work.
  • Provide advice on benefit eligibility.
  • Claim benefits.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

A BRP is a card with your immigration status on it. You can use it to prove your right to study and claim any benefits you're eligible for.

Your permission letter will tell you if you need to collect your BRP and where to get it when you arrive in the UK.

You need to get your BRP within 10 days of arriving or by the expiry date on your visa, whichever is later.

Fill in the online form to start the process of providing your biometric information.

Getting a National Insurance number

You might already have a National Insurance number if you applied for any benefits or have one on your BRP.

If you do not have one, you need to apply for a National Insurance number to work in the UK.

Rail operators will provide Ukrainian guests with a single onward journey via national rail free of charge on arrival in Great Britain to their final destination.

You have 48 hours to make your onward journey. You only need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours.

All the information is on National Rail Enquiries.

The Government is working with the wider transport industry to see what else can be offered for evacuees arriving in the country.

Bus passes valid for three months are available, for free, for Ukrainians who have arrived in Surrey on the Homes for Ukraine scheme if they travel with one of these bus operators:

  • Compass Travel
  • Metrobus
  • Stagecoach
  • Falcon Coaches

You will need to provide the following to apply for a Homes for Ukraine temporary bus pass:

  • Your name.
  • Your Surrey address.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your e-mail address.

For more information, visit Surrey County Council’s website.

You can use your Ukrainian driving licence for the first 12 months after you arrive. You’ll then need to exchange it for a British licence.

Check what requirements your vehicle needs to meet in the UK.

We recommend you register with a GP which will mean you get access to the vaccine.

You can also get the vaccine at walk-in vaccination centres or request to book a vaccination appointment as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

You do not need to have an NHS number or be registered with a GP to receive this vaccine. The Covid-19 vaccines are free.

More information can be found on the Surrey County Council website.

The Ukraine Extension Scheme which opens on Tuesday 3 May will allow Ukrainians already in the UK on temporary visas to extend their leave here.

All three govenment schemes (Ukraine Family Scheme, Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Extension Scheme) allow Ukrainian nationals and their family members who are granted a visa, can stay in the UK for three years', as well as full access to work, rent, education and public funds.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick license approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays.

The government will also be covering their vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising many individuals from Ukraine will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pet on arrival.

Before arrival, people leaving the Ukraine or their carrier should e-mail the Animal and Plant Health Agency, or call +44 3000 200 301 option 2.

There is more information and guidance on the GOV.uk website.