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Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice

First published:
6 April 2023
Last updated:

Further to questions raised by Senedd Members, this statement will provide an update about the Welcome Ticket and driving licences for Ukrainian nationals in the UK.

The Welcome Ticket, which provides free travel on rail and bus for all refugees living in Wales, including Ukrainian visa holders, evacuated Afghans and Hong Kong British National Overseas visa holders has been extended to 24 July 2023.

The Welcome Ticket web page Free bus and train travel advice for refugees has been updated with the new date. All journeys starting and ending in Wales are eligible.

Members have also asked questions about the length of time Ukrainian nationals are permitted to drive in the UK. Currently Ukrainians are permitted to drive in the UK for an initial 12 months using their Ukrainian licence. To continue driving after that period they will need to either take a UK test or surrender and exchange their Ukrainian licence.

The UK Government Department of Transport has launched a public consultation about extending the length of time Ukrainians can use their original driving licence (external link). It is proposed to extend that period to 36 months, matching the length of the Homes for Ukraine visa.

The consultation is open until 2 May 2023. We will be sharing this information with key stakeholders across Wales and encouraging them to respond.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.