Getting to Scotland: visas and travel
You must have a valid visa to enter the UK. Scotland is part of the UK. It is free to apply for a visa.
If you did not apply for a visa through the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme, there are other visa routes available for people displaced by the war against Ukraine who wish to come to the UK. These include:
Ukraine Family Scheme – for people who have family who are settled in the UK including Scotland
Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) – if you do not have family in the UK
Ukraine Extension Scheme - you can apply for this scheme if one of the following is true:
- you held permission to be in the UK on or between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023 – the permission does not need to cover the whole period
- you previously held permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022
After you apply for your visa
You will need to wait for a decision from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your application before travelling to the UK. If you have chosen the Scottish Government as your sponsor, the UK Government will tell the Scottish Government if they approve your visa application. The Scottish Government will then contact you with information about coming to Scotland.
If your application is approved, you will get either a visa or an official letter of permission to travel. You can use this to board a plane or other form of transport to the UK.
Your decision letter will tell you if you need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) when you arrive in the UK, or if you need to give your biometric information first before getting your permit.
How the Scottish Government will contact you
If you have applied for a Super Sponsor Scheme visa, Scottish Government will contact you when we know you have a valid visa. We will contact you by either:
- email (from a gov.scot address)
- text message (SMS)
The email or text will be a ‘welcome’ message. It will include a phone number you can call to:
- get travel advice
- tell us when and where you will arrive in Scotland
- find out what do to when you arrive in Scotland
- let us know if you need any extra help when you arrive
This Scottish Government welcome message is not a visa or permission to travel. The permission will be issued by UK Visas and Immigration.
Visa and immigration advice
Ukraine Advice Scotland
Scottish Refugee Council provides free, confidential legal advice and information to people seeking protection including Ukrainians and their families on legal routes for seeking safety in Scotland.
Advice services operate in English, but can provide legal advice in other languages, including Ukrainian and Russian.
You can contact Scottish Refugee Council by calling 0808 1967 274 on:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 09:00 and 17:00 (UK time)
- Wednesday between 13:00 and 17:00 (UK time)
Alternatively, you can contact Scottish Refugee Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Travelling to Scotland
You should not arrange travel to Scotland until you have a valid visa or permission to travel letter issued by UK Visas and Immigration.
Flights to Scotland
Many countries around Ukraine have direct flights to Scotland. Check airline operator websites for information and to book tickets.
Trains to Scotland
You may be entitled to free train travel. More information about eligibility is available for the following countries:
- UK – visit National Rail or call +44 3457 225 333
- Europe – visit Eurostar website or call +44 343 218 6186
- Germany – visit Deutsche Bahn website or call +49 30 311682904
- France – visit SNCF website or call +33 1 84 94 3635
Travelling with pets
You can bring your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK without it going into quarantine or isolation if it has:
- been vaccinated against rabies and had a blood test 30 days later to confirm the vaccine worked, and waited 3 months after the blood test to travel to the UK
- been microchipped
- a pet passport or health certificate issued before you left Ukraine
- had tapeworm treatment
You will need a licence to bring your pet to the UK if your pet:
- does not meet all these requirements
- meets these requirements, but you do not have proof that it does
- has been issued with an EU pet passport since leaving Ukraine
You can find out more information on bringing your pet to the UK from Ukraine.
Not all temporary welcome accommodation allows pets. Staff in Welcome Hubs will allocate you to temporary welcome accommodation that allows pets.
Help while travelling internationally
Whilst travelling, if you have any concerns, contact your nearest UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office:
Also, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has set up hotlines for people affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Ukraine: 527 (free from mobile phones), 0800 505 501 (free from landline phones), and 527 website
- Poland: +48 22 490 20 44
- Lithuania: +370 525 14352
- Slovakia: from abroad 00421 5263 0023, locally 0850 211 478, Telegram/Signal: 00421 908 767 853
- Moldova: Bureau of Migration and Asylum (BMA): 080001527 (free from Moldova) and +37322820007 (from abroad); La Strada Anti-trafficking and Safe Migration: 080077777 (free from Moldova) and +37322233309 (from abroad)
Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies and consulates
- Головна | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (mfa.gov.ua)
- In case of emergency phone: +38 (044) 238 16 57
Ukraine representation in other countries
- Ukrainian Embassy in Poland – phone: +48-226-21-39-79
- Ukrainian Embassy in Romania – phone: +40-212-30-36-60
- Ukrainian Embassy in Lithuania – phone: (+370) 6 555 01 94
- Ukrainian Embassy in London, United Kingdom – phone: (+44) 20 7727 6312
- Ukrainian Consulate in Edinburgh, Scotland – phone: (+44) 131 556 0023 or in cases of emergency or life-threatening situations (+44) 790 905 6906. Consulate of Ukraine in Edinburgh is also available on Facebook.
When you arrive
If you arrive in England or Wales, you may be entitled to free train travel to Scotland by showing your Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass dated within the previous 48 hours.
When you arrive in Scotland, the largest Scottish bus operators and Glasgow Subway (details below) are currently offering free onward travel if you need it. Show your Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass dated within the previous 48 hours.
National Rail has published information in Ukrainian on free train travel for the first 48 hours after arrival.
If you qualify, you may be able to apply for free or discounted travel in Scotland. Transport Scotland is the government agency which runs these travel schemes. You can find more information on how to apply at Transport Scotland.
- Шотландія для українців: довідник для переміщених осіб - Ukrainian version of this guide
- Программа «Шотландия для украинцев»: справочное руководство для перемещенных лиц - Russian version of this guide
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