Russia-Ukraine crisis: UK issues 25,500 visas to Ukrainian refugees

Over 4 million people have fled the country, says UNHCR



Ukrainian evacuees stand on a bus carrying refugees, after crossing the Ukrainian border with Poland at the Medyka border crossing. (AFP)
Ukrainian evacuees stand on a bus carrying refugees, after crossing the Ukrainian border with Poland at the Medyka border crossing. (AFP)

By Reuters

Published: Wed 30 Mar 2022, 1:55 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Mar 2022, 1:59 PM

The British government said on Wednesday it had issued 25,500 visas to Ukrainians under schemes set up to bring in refugees after Russia attacked Ukraine last month.

Data from the Home Office showed that 22,800 visas had been given under the Ukraine family scheme that allows applicants to join family members in the UK, while 2,700 were offered under the sponsorship scheme which permits refugees with a named sponsor to enter.

The data on Wednesday also showed that 28,300 had applied for the sponsorship scheme, while the overall applications stood at 59,500.

With the number of people fleeing from the war currently running at over 4 million, the government has been under pressure to do more to take in refugees.

“We are starting to see progress ... we need to do more and will be making further improvements to bring people to the UK as quickly as possible,” refugees minister Richard Harrington said in a statement.

Britain’s transport minister Grant Shapps said last week he had arranged to take in a family of Ukrainian refugees through the sponsorship scheme.

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Britain has insisted on security checks and pre-entry visas to maintain control over who is entering the island, while the European Union, which shares land borders with Ukraine, has taken a less restrictive approach.


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