This information should be read as correct at time of publication: 24 February 2022.

The Commons Library does not intend the information on this page to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. We have published it to support the work of MPs. You should not rely upon it as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. You should consult a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information. Read our briefing for information about sources of legal advice and help.

What’s happening in Ukraine?

For several months Russian troops have gathered on the border with Ukraine. The UK, US and EU countries have continued diplomatic efforts with Russia to calm the situation.

On 11 February, the UK Government advised all British nationals to leave Ukraine immediately and advised against all travel to the country.

The UK Embassy in Ukraine then began to operate a reduced service and, on 18 February, was moved from Kyiv to Lviv, a city 330 miles away from the capital and close to the border with Poland.

On 24 February 2022, Russia began military operations in Ukraine and Ukraine’s airspace closed. This will severely disrupt commercial routes out of the country and some roads in Ukraine could be closed too.

British nationals in Ukraine

Any remaining British nationals in Ukraine are strongly encouraged by the UK Government to register their presence to receive updates.

British Embassy staff are operating from the British Embassy office in Lviv and in-person consular services are extremely limited. The UK Government has warned its ability to provide consular assistance in Ukraine is severely affected by Russia’s military action and British nationals should not expect increased consular support or help with evacuating in these circumstances.

British nationals needing assistance to leave Ukraine should call the British Embassy Office in Lyiv on +380 44 490 3660 (open 24 hours, seven days a week) or +44 (0)1908 516666 and select the option for “consular services for British nationals.” Enquiries can also be sent via the web contact form.

Immediate family members

Immediate family members of a British national normally living in Ukraine and intending to apply for a visa to the UK under the family migration route should read the guidance on visas for immediate family members of British nationals normally living in Ukraine. They should also call +44 (0) 300 3032785 for assistance before applying. Lines are open Monday–Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am-5.30pm (UK time).

‘Immediate family members’ are defined as spouse/unmarried partner/child under the age of 18/parent if British national is child under 18/adult dependant who normally resides with the British national due to a medical condition.

Tracing relatives

The Red Cross may be able to help to trace relatives in Ukraine.

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