European Social Fund: participant guidance

Guidance regarding employment status, barriers to employment and qualifications for participants in the European Social Fund (ESF).

This document is part of a collection

Section D: Evidence requirements to support Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainian refugees will enter the UK via:

  • the Ukraine Family Scheme –allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK
  • the Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme – allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme

When granted permission, Ukrainian individuals will receive either:

  • a UK approved Visa; or
  • a valid Ukrainian International Passport endorsed with a 6 month entry stamp from UK Border Force officials

This entry stamp is evidence of their right to work, study and claim benefits in the UK.  Lead Partners must retain a copy of the individual passport or visa as evidence of eligibility.

Please note that some Ukrainian individuals may have travelled with an expired passport but this must have a formal extension stamp issued by the Ukrainian Government. The Managing Authority will accept this passport as long as it has the extension stamp.

Ukrainian nationals can apply to extend their stay for up to 3 years and will be issued with a biometric residence permit (BRP) as evidence of immigration status. It is the Lead Partners responsibility to follow up with the individual and collect a copy of the biometric residence permit if the individual has extended their stay.

Further information on applying for visas under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) and UK visa support for Ukrainians can be found on the UK Government website.

Poverty and social inclusion

Ukrainian individuals will fall into one of the key target groups for this priority. Either workless, lone parent or low income households.

There is no requirement to evidence the whole household. Host families or sponsors should be disregarded and assessment should be made on whether the individual meets other eligibility barriers. There is no requirement for individuals to have multiple barriers to employment, however, it is expected that many of the participants will have additional barriers/disadvantages (over and above the main target groups) and this information should still be collected on registration forms and MI Systems (along with the other common indicators). 

Participants should be registered and entered on EUMIS on an individual basis (where appropriate).

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