Home » More than two-thirds of Ukrainians who fled to Britain to escape Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion want to STAY in the UK even if the war ends – with most saying it’s because there are more jobs

More than two-thirds of Ukrainians who fled to Britain to escape Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion want to STAY in the UK even if the war ends – with most saying it’s because there are more jobs

Most Ukrainians who fled to Britain to escape Vladimir Putin‘s brutal invasion want to stay in the UK even if the war ends, according to fresh survey results.

Around seven in 10 (68 per cent) said they wanted to remain living in the UK even if they feel it might be safe to return to their home country in the future.

And more than half (60 per cent) of those who want to remain living in the UK said it was because there are more job opportunities in Britain.

After Russia launched its barbaric assault on Ukraine in early 2022, the Government unveiled a series of schemes to allow Ukrainians to seek refuge in Britain.

Around 230,000 Ukrainians have since been granted UK visas – or had their existing permission to stay in the UK extended – with regular surveys by the Office for National Statistics tracking their experience of living in Britain.

Ukrainian troops are pictured travelling along a road near the frontline in the country’s Donetsk region

Ukrainians in the UK under one of the existing visa schemes may be able to apply for a further 18 months' permission to stay in Britain under the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme

Ukrainians in the UK under one of the existing visa schemes may be able to apply for a further 18 months’ permission to stay in Britain under the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme

The survey also found, since first arriving in the UK, almost half (47 per cent) had not visited Ukraine

The survey also found, since first arriving in the UK, almost half (47 per cent) had not visited Ukraine

The latest survey, of 7,594 adults between 15 to 22 April, found – when asked to think about a future in which they feel it is safe to return to Ukraine – 68 per cent said they intend to live in the UK most of the time.

The most reported reasons for Ukrainians wanting to stay in the UK included ‘there are more work opportunities for work here’ (60 per cent); ‘I have a job here’ (52 per cent); and ‘I have a family here’ (44 per cent).

By contrast, 15 per cent said they would return to Ukraine, 1 per cent would move somewhere else and 16 per cent said they did not know.

Ukrainian arrivals given permission to be in the UK under one of the existing visa schemes may be able to apply for a further 18 months’ permission to stay in Britain under the Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme, which is due to open next year.

Most survey respondents (85 per cent) were aware of the UPE scheme, but 15 per cent were not aware.

Of those who were aware, when asked what they had been intending to do when their visa expired before the UPE scheme was announced, a third (33 per cent) reported they had intended to ‘apply for a work visa’.

The next most reported intention was to ‘apply for asylum’ (14 per cent). Around three in 10 adults (28 per cent) were unsure of their intentions.

Of those who were unaware, over a fifth (22 per cent) reported they had intended to ‘apply for a work visa’, and a further group of around a fifth said they had intended to ‘apply for a family visa’ (21 per cent). A third were unsure of their intentions (33 per cent).

Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) said they would apply for the UPE scheme, while around 11 per cent said they did not know if they would.

The survey also found, since first arriving in the UK, almost half (47 per cent) had not visited Ukraine.

Of these, 8 per cent expected to visit in the next 12 months, with a quarter (25 per cent) not knowing if they would visit in the next year.

Among the 53 per cent who had visited Ukraine since arriving in the UK, most reported their reasons were to visit friends or family (75 per cent), receive medical or dental treatment (64 per cent) or to visit their home or property (34 per cent).

Most Ukrainian adults were very or fairly satisfied with their current accommodation in the UK (88 per cent). 

Over a third (36 per cent) of all adults, including those already in employment, were actively looking for work.

Around 7 in 10 (69 per cent) are currently working. Of these, one in five (20 per cent) were working in the hospitality sector.