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Student Advice Centre: FAQs & Support for Ukrainian Students

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The University has put together a comprehensive War in Ukraine information page involving multiple partners offering support.

We have listed below some FAQ’s which we will update as we get more information.

 

I am a Ukrainian/Russian/national of an affected area already in the UK studying and struggling for money as I no longer has access to my student funding.  What help can I get?

If Ukraine, Russia or other impacted areas is your home country and you are currently in the UK studying at Newcastle University and are struggling to access funds due to the conflict, we suggest in the first instance speak to the University Financial Support team.   They are providing a one-off non-repayable emergency bursary of £1,500 to help students at this difficult time.  Please complete this short form. You may also be eligible to apply for additional, discretionary financial support made available by the University. 

If you need help you can also book in to see the Student Advice Centre Finance Adviser.

 

I’m currently here on a student visa and my course and visa is due to end but I cannot return home.  What can I do?

The Student Advice Centre is not permitted to advise on anything immigration related.

The government has made some immigration concessions about extending or switching visa route.

This includes the implementation of a Ukraine Extension Scheme (follow this hyperlink for more information) which allows you to live, work and study in the UK if you’re Ukrainian, or the family member of someone who is Ukrainian, for up to 3 years. You can apply to this scheme if you currently hold any valid UK visa or held one that expired on or after 1 January 2022.  You should consider whether you want to keep your current visa or switch to the Ukraine Extension Scheme. This route does not currently lead to settlement – this means that you may not be able to count any time you spend in the UK with this visa as part of an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in future.

You will need to consider longer term what you want to do in terms of remaining in the UK and we urge you to see immigration advice before making any decision, from one of the services mentioned on this page. 

If you are eligible:

  • it is free to apply
  • you will need to apply online
  • you will need to provide photographic and fingerprint evidence by booking at a local UKVCAS service point. 
  • You should not be charged fees by the UKVCAS

You can get further assistance on this at UK Visas and Immigration:

  • Telephone: + 44 808 164 8810 – select option 1
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm
  • Calls are free of charge

To discuss in more detail whether these apply to you, we suggest some of the following services may be able to help advise you further. 

  • Newcastle University Visa Support Team – Immigration and visa advice and support via appointments and virtual drop in and group sessions. Book a Drop-in Appointment. They do not currently offer any face-to-face appointments. 
  • North East Law Centre (NELC) – The Immigration and Asylum system requires specialist advice and NELC have a small team of specialist, qualified advisers who offer free Immigration advice and support.  The Advice line for this type of query is open on Wednesdays 1.30-4.30pm. 0191 2304777.
  • Ukraine Advice Project UK – Free service to connect Ukrainian citizens (and others fleeing Ukraine) with free legal advice on UK immigration, visas, and asylum from qualified and regulated lawyers as well as help for Ukrainians already in the UK with help to switch or extend visa’s or claim asylum. 
  •  

I am a Ukrainian national and I want to seek asylum here in the UK?

Newcastle University Visa Support Team do not help students wishing to seek asylum.  They can however signpost you to relevant services that might be able to help.  Book a Drop-in Appointment if you would like to speak to them to find out more.

North of England Refugee Service (NERS) is an independent and charitable organisation which exists to meet the needs and promote the interests of asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived or have settled in the North of England. Drop-in Monday – Friday 9.30am – 1.30pm or call 0191 2457301.

North East Law Centre (NELC) – The Immigration and Asylum system requires specialist advice and NELC have a small team of specialist, qualified advisers who offer free Immigration advice and support.  The Advice line for this type of query is open on Wednesdays 1.30-4.30pm. 0191 2304777.

Ukraine Advice Project UK – free service to connect Ukrainian citizens (and others fleeing Ukraine) with free legal advice on UK immigration, visas, and asylum from qualified and regulated lawyers as well as help for Ukrainians already in the UK with help to switch or extend visa’s or claim asylum. 

Newcastle City Council provides information on organisations welcoming those seeking sanctuary and helping to rebuild lives.

 

What is the Homes for Ukraine Scheme?

People in the UK can register to become a ‘sponsor’ to people fleeing Ukraine by offering a room in their own house or a separate property. They can register their interest via this link.  If you want to know more about this scheme and who can apply to be a sponsor and whom the scheme applies to you can read the Government Homes for Ukraine FAQ’s here.  In addition, local authorities will be providing wrap around support and people will have access to public services, work, and benefits. 

 

Will council tax need to be paid on a separate self-contained property a sponsor has offered?

A sponsor’s council tax discount will not be affected if a room is given out in their own home.   Sponsors offering out empty, or second homes should speak to their local council tax department as occupants can be liable in some cases for 50% but might be entitled to council tax support.  However full time students are exempt. 

 

I am a Ukrainian and I am in a tenancy agreement that is due to end and my course is due to end.  Can I switch onto the Homes for Ukraine Scheme with my current landlord?

You cannot switch onto the Homes For Ukraine Scheme as this is an entry clearance scheme only.  You may be able to switch your VISA to an alternative VISA through the Ukrainian Extension Scheme.  please refer to our FAQ above and seek advice from the VISA support team about the immigration changes and the Student Advice Centre on your housing as soon as possible. 

 

I’m currently here on a student visa and my course and visa is due to end but I cannot return home.  What can I do?

Changes to Immigration status take time to implement so you will need to prepare are much in advance as possible.  Please see our FAQ above as the same answer applies here. Please seek advice from the VISA support team about the immigration changes.

 

I am renting and have a spare room - can I offer this under Homes for Ukraine? Do I need to ask my Landlord?

Definitely.  If you rent, you may have something in your tenancy agreement that says you should get the permission of your landlord before you host a guest. Any terms in your tenancy agreement that refer to not taking in lodgers or subtenants will also apply to these sponsorship arrangements. Therefore, you should seek written permission from your landlord as this could put you in breach of your Tenancy Agreement.  You also need to consider how long is left on your tenancy and whether there is enough time left to offer the minimum 6 months. 

If you own your own home, but have a mortgage, and want to offer out a room you should check with your mortgage lender first. 

 

Wellbeing Support for Students

Newcastle University Student Health and Wellbeing Team (SHWS) have been reaching out to all students who have declared Ukraine, Russia or other impacted areas as their home country or that of their loved ones.

As always, any students needing support can access 24/7 support from Talk Campus or contact Student Health and Wellbeing during the working day on 0191 208 3333.

Specific wellbeing and emotional support is provided by Ana Sanchez who can be contacted on sanctuarysupport@newcastle.ac.uk.

 

University of Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme

The University is a University of Sanctuary with various schemes and resource to support refugees and asylum seekers.   

Specific wellbeing and emotional support is provided by Ana Sanchez who can be contacted on sanctuarysupport@newcastle.ac.uk.

 

NUSU Ukraine Support

Our Sabbatical Officers issued an initial statement, including links to wellbeing resources, immediately after the start of the war.  We have now launched our Ukraine Support page where we will continue to update how we are supporting.

 

United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

The CEO of UKCISA has given an update on Ukraine and this includes supportive links on immigration guidance, Right to Remain toolkit and wellbeing.

British Red Cross Information and support for people from Ukraine, including the family migration visa and the Ukrainian family scheme.

Work Rights Centre  If you want to help, or know someone that needs help, this guide provides some resources.

Ukraine Family Scheme Visa and Homes for Ukraine Scheme 

Ukraine Advice Project UK  Free UK immigration advice for people fleeing Ukraine

Barnardo’s Ukrainian Support Helpline 0800 148 8586 providing a holistic support service on therapy, advice and practical support. Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm & Sat 10am-3pm or email at ukrainiansupport@barnardos.org.uk   

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