Travelling to the UK
Getting to the UK
Once your visa is approved you will need to start thinking about how to get to the UK. There are a couple of options depending on where you are in the world, your finances and what personal belongings you have.
The following links may become out of date as each organisation and country changes their offerings and support for refugees.
General information and guidance
The European Commission has released information about travelling through the EU and what countries are offering free train travel to Ukrainian refugees.
Travelling with pets
The UK Government has confirmed that pets will be allowed to come to the UK but may be placed in quarantine for up to four months at no cost to the owner. The government is trying to streamline the process so that you get your pet from back quarantine quicker. Quarantine may include things like vaccinating and microchipping your pet.
The easiest way to get to the UK with a pet is to travel by car and use the Eurotunnel. If you don't have a car and your host is not able to collect you from France, you should look into pet transportation services and find an alternative route to get to the UK.
Pets are allowed on some airlines, however they are usually held in cargo, and finding airlines that allow pets can be challenging.
Travelling with a car
Please note that although some airlines seem cheap or even free the price can increase by booking seats together and adding luggage to your flight.
Other organisations helping with transport
If you have used Goat Roadtrip to find a host and your visa is approved they will then issue you with a train ticket to get to the UK.
Bringing personal items
Bringing a car to the UK
If you arrive in a personal vehicle it is important that you follow official information.
You can usually use a vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it in the UK if all of the following apply:
- you’re visiting and do not plan to live here
- the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
- you only use the vehicle for up to 6 months in total - this can be a single visit, or several shorter visits over 12 months
If you intend to drive the car for more than 6 months, you must follow guidance and register your vehicle. You cannot register before you do all of the following:
- tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) you imported the vehicle and get confirmation that your NOVA application is processed
- pay VAT and duty if HMRC tells you to
- get proof of vehicle approval
You must also tax the vehicle when you register it with DVLA - it costs £55 to do this.
There are independent companies who can offer support; however, they will charge a fee. Make sure you have read their terms and conditions carefully before you ask them to start the process.
You may want to consider taking out breakdown cover for an imported car. If so, it is important that you check the terms and conditions of an individual provider. Companies like the RAC will cover imported vehicles but only if they meet specific eligibility criteria.
Children in cars
In the UK children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt. You can choose a child car seat based on your child’s height or weight.
Only EU-approved height-based child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘R129’. The Child Car Seats website has information on how to choose a seat and travel safely with children in cars.
The same rules apply for children with disabilities or medical conditions, but they can use a disabled person’s seat belt or a child restraint designed for their needs.
There are very limited exceptions to these rules; however, there are specific occasions when a child can travel without a car seat.
What to do when you arrive in the UK
Meeting your host or travelling to your hosts home
Where possible your host should meet you at your entry point and bring you back to their home. If you are unable to meet your host at your entry point you should ask them for guidance on how to reach their home. The government has confirmed that Ukrainian refugees will be eligible for a single onward journey via national rail, light rail, bus and coach, free of charge to your destination anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales.