The Home Secretary has announced changes to the Ukraine Family Scheme visa. From Tuesday, Ukrainians with passports will no longer need to go to a visa application centre to give their biometrics before they come to the UK. Instead, once their application has been considered and the appropriate checks completed, they will receive direct notification that they are eligible for the scheme and can come to the UK.
During an Urgent Question on this subject on Thursday, Gedling’s Conservative Member of Parliament Tom Randall said: “I welcome today’s announcement, which I am sure will also be welcomed by the many Gedling residents who also want a generous approach.”
Tom went on to ask the Home Secretary for an update on the processing of visas for those Ukrainian refugees currently in northern France.
The Home Secretary, Rt Hon. Priti Patel MP, replied: “We have surged our visa application centre capacity across the region. There are sites in France, with work in Calais and in Lille, and we are looking to expand our capacity in France based on working with the French Government, who are effectively identifying, right now, the various routes that people are using to travel through France to the United Kingdom.”
Speaking after questions to the Home Office about refugees from Ukraine, Tom said, “The UK Government has pledged almost £400,000,000 in aid to help the Ukrainian people, which includes £220 million in aid for basic necessities like medical supplies, as well as £74 million through the World Bank to support the Ukrainian Government directly and a £100 million economic package to support Ukraine financially.
“The Home Secretary’s announcement means that Ukrainians with passports will be able to get permission to come here fully online from wherever they are and will be able to give their biometrics once they are in Britain. That will mean that visa application centres across Europe can focus their efforts on helping Ukrainians without passports and, like many Gedling residents, I am pleased the UK has surged our visa application centre capacity in Calais and in Lille.”
“While I welcome this extension of this Ukraine Family Scheme visa scheme, I look forward to the urgent introduction of further measures to support Ukrainians.”