Russell-Cooke's immigration team has recently been able to assist some Ukrainian nationals seeking to come to the UK.
Helping Ukrainian family members to come to the UK
The team has been advising a UK-based Ukrainian national on how she can sponsor her parents, her cousin and her cousin’s daughter, from Kyiv, to come to the UK.
The cousin and her daughter, aged eight, successfully fled to Poland to take refuge at the end of February but initially did not have a viable way of travelling onwards to the UK to take refuge. However, whilst taking refuge in Poland the UK Government announced (in the second week of March) that the Ukraine Family Scheme would be expanded to include extended family members such as cousins. As a result, the immigration team quickly advised our client on the process of applying in Poland, on supporting document requirements and on related matters. A complication was that the cousin was unable to take all of her documents with her when she fled Ukraine. As a result, the team advised on using exceptional circumstances based grounds to apply in the absence of the core documents she had left behind in Ukraine.
The immediate family members of our client, including her mother, are able to take advantage of the simplified process of applying online using a passport copy, which means they are not required to attend a biometric appointment in Poland or elsewhere. Accordingly, their applications will be prioritised by the Home Office and a decision is expected within days of submission.
Our client’s father will not be applying to join his family in the UK at this stage as he has been called up to join the Ukrainian army.
Helping Ukrainian employees to come to the UK
Our immigration team was also approached to provide support to a business that required urgent advice on how to relocate numerous key Ukrainian personnel from Ukraine to work in the UK.
Within a matter of hours of being approached to assist with this case, the immigration team set out a variety of potential UK immigration options and related considerations to assist the business with making an informed decision. These options included utilising the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, the Ukraine Family Scheme and/or the sponsor licence regime.
In both of these cases, the immigration team was asked to assist by lawyer contacts working in large international law firms. Senior associate Nisha Patel and associate Bhavneeta Limbachia assisted on a pro bono basis.