Ukrainian refugees: UK visa rules for those fleeing Russia’s invasion and how they compare to other countries

Ukrainian refugees: UK visa rules for those fleeing Russia's invasion and how they compare to other countries

UK pressured to bounce back visa requirements For Ukrainian fleeing the Russian invasion.

While some countries, including Ireland, have completely waived the visa requirement for Ukrainians, the government is insisting that people cannot come to the UK directly from Ukraine without documents and must apply for a visa . Travel to a “safe” country.

Interior Minister Priti Patel dismissed those pushing for an immediate change, arguing that the criticisms were “false”.

What are the rules for Ukrainians trying to immigrate to the UK?

Currently, citizens of Ukraine must have a valid visa to enter the UK and risk not being able to board flights, trains or ferries without one.

No specific rehabilitation program has been announced fleeing ukraineWhich means people will have to apply for a regular travel visa, even though the Interior Ministry says “visa routes are under constant review”.

However, the evacuation of the British Embassy in Kiev has meant that almost all visa applications from within Ukraine have been suspended, even those for those who meet the requirements.

A temporary consulate in Lviv, Western Ukraine issues only visas close family members of British citizens who normally reside in the country,

Everyone else in the UK, including Ukrainian relatives, has been told that they must first travel to another country, such as Poland, Hungary or Romania, where they can apply through a “visa application centre” at consulates. British.

What concessions have been given?

Home Minister Priti Patel temporarily waived application fees for those eligible for the family migration route, allowed entry for 12 months to others who didn’t meet the requirements, and offered a 24/7 line of support. Visa through.

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However, it has yet to make global changes to the visa-obtaining process and the interior ministry insists that “any change in visa policy will not compromise border security”.

Ms Patel has made changes to allow Ukrainians already in the UK to stay longer, meaning they will not have to deal with expulsion in the meantime. Under the changes, Ukrainian citizens who already live in or travel to the UK can extend their leave and “apply for further leave according to the family path without meeting the immigration status requirement”. .

Their UK leave on temporary visas for agricultural workers, heavy goods drivers and pork butchers will be extended until 31 December 2022.

Home Minister Priti Patel said: “I immediately ordered a change in our visa policy to provide certainty to our Ukrainian friends and colleagues living, working and studying in the UK.”

What are other countries doing?

Many highlighted the example of Ireland, which on Saturday moved to eliminate the visa requirement for Ukrainians entering the country.

Irish Justice Minister Helen McEnty said the emergency measure would support the rapid evacuation of Ukrainian family members of Irish citizens and families of Ukrainians living in Ireland.

Ukrainians entering Ireland have 90 days after arrival to be asked to “regulate their position”.

Ms McEnty said: “I am immediately removing the visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland.

“This will apply to all Ukrainians who wish to travel to Ireland. It will help Irish citizens and their families in Ukraine, as well as families of members of the Ukrainian community here in Ireland who wish to leave Ukraine.

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“This measure will be kept under control and the government will also work with allies at the EU level on possible further measures that may help those fleeing Ukraine.”

What do critics say?

Opposition figures and leaders in Scotland and Wales have called for sweeping changes to allow Ukrainians to seek asylum in Britain without first applying.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked the Ministry of the Interior to lift visa requirements for those arriving from Ukraine and promised that the Scottish government was “ready to play and assist our full role in the restoration effort”.

Wales’ Prime Minister Mark Drakeford also said the UK would have to move beyond its current visa regime for those fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

Labor’s shadow foreign minister David Lamy said the visa ban for those seeking asylum in the UK from Ukraine is “totally unacceptable”.

talking to the sky Trevor Phillips on SundayHe said the process was “bureaucratic” with “a lot of bureaucracy” and added: “He insists that people prove salaries, that they have family ties in this country.

“People run away with their children in their arms. Why do you ask people how rich they are to enter our country? Of course, there are some people who don’t have family ties but want to come to this country.”

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