To read this page in Ukrainian, please see Google Translate: Підтримка громадян України
To read this page in Russian, please see Google Translate: Поддержка граждан Украины
Disclaimer: as the translations linked above are provided by Google Translate, Surrey County Council cannot be held responsible for their accuracy.
- If you're Ukrainian and you have family in the UK
- If you're Ukrainian and you don't have family in the UK
- Claiming benefits and getting a National Insurance number
- Entering the UK with your vehicle
- Free rail travel for refugees on arrival in Great Britain
- What to do if you are entering the UK with your pet
If you're Ukrainian and you have family in the UK
Ukraine Family Scheme
The Ukraine Family Scheme allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK.
If you're outside the UK
If you're in the UK
Guidance on how to apply from inside the UK will be available soon.
In the meantime you can call the free 24/7 helpline on +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 from within the UK) for help with any questions about the scheme.
If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.
If you're Ukrainian and you don't have family in the UK
UK sponsorship scheme (Homes for Ukraine)
If you would like to be sponsored by a UK household for six months (possibly longer), then you may be able to apply to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Find all the information you need to know on Homes for Ukraine: Guidance for guests (GOV.UK). You can also find more information on the Homes for Ukraine website.
Claiming benefits and getting a National Insurance number
The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. This welfare system allows someone to claim regular monetary payments, called "benefits or allowances." Your local Job Centre Plus will be able to help you find out which of these you may be able to claim. You can find your local Job Centre Plus by visiting the GOV.UK Contact Job Centre Plus webpage. The "benefits or allowances" include:
- Universal Credit – a payment for those of working age, to help with your living costs if you're on a low income. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work
- Pension Credit - extra money to help with your living costs if you are over the age of 66 and on a low income. Applications for Pensions is online or via telephone
- Disability benefits – extra money to help with additional costs if you have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability
- Child benefit - a universal benefit for parents or guardians that issues monthly payments equating to £21.80 per week for the eldest child and £14.45 per week for each additional child.
A link to all the different types of benefits you could receive can be found on the GOV.UK Browse Benefits webpage.
If you are living in Scotland, advice can be found on the MyGov. Scot Help with Benefits webpage.
Applying for Universal Credit
You can apply for Universal Credit online by visiting the GOV.UK Universal Credit webpage.
There is a Help to Claim service provided by Citizens Advice which is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree. You can find a link to their service on the Citizens Advice Contact us about applying for Universal Credit webpage.
If you are unable to claim online or to get help with your claim, you can call the Universal Credit helpline by calling 0800 328 5644. Calls to the Universal Credit helpline are free.
National Insurance number
You only need to apply for a National Insurance number if you're planning to work, but you can start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you have the right to work in the UK.
You can find further information on how to apply for one on the GOV.UK Get a national insurance number: Homes for Ukraine web page.
Entering the UK with your vehicle
On 10 June 2023 the Department of Transport announced that it will extend the length of time Ukrainian refugees can drive in Great Britain on their home country driving licence, from 1 year to 3, in a move that will help many continue the lives and jobs they have forged since arriving here.
If you arrive in a personal vehicle
You will not need to register or tax your vehicle in the UK if all of the following apply:
- you have arrived in the UK and are coming from Ukraine
- the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
- you only use the vehicle in the UK for no more than 6 months
When entering the UK, you can drive past a customs control point (usually a green channel marked 'nothing to declare') without speaking to a customs officer.
If your vehicle will be in the UK for more than 6 months
You can either:
- apply for your vehicle to stay longer without paying import duties, if you have a permit issued by the Home Office allowing you to stay longer than 6 months. You can find more information and apply on the GOV.UK Tell HMRC about the temporary arrival of a non-UK private motor vehicle for personal use webpage.
- apply for transfer of residence relief, which means you would pay no import duties on personal items and household goods you bring into the UK if you become resident. You can find more information and apply on the GOV.UK Transfer of residence to the UK webpage.
You must still register and tax your vehicle with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you become resident or stay longer than 6 months, which you can do on the GOV.UK Vehicle registration webpage.
Free rail travel for refugees on arrival in Great Britain
From Sunday 20 March 2022, rail operators via National Rail, will provide Ukrainian refugees with a free single onward journey upon their arrival in Great Britain to their final destination.
They have 48 hours to make their onward journey. They 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 the National Rail website and it will be translated into Ukrainian and Russian in due course.
The scheme only applies to Great Britain at present. The Government are working at pace with the wider transport industry to see what else can be offered for evacuees arriving in the country.
What to do if you are entering the UK with your pet
The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick license approvals and quarantine arrangements for Ukrainians with their pets, to avoid creating additional burdens or delays. The Government will also be covering their vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising that 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 contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency at email@example.com or call +44 3000 200 301 option 2.
Please see the following for more information: Emergency support put in place for people fleeing Ukraine and entering the UK with their pets (GOV.UK)