Ukrainians will be able to complete the visa application process in the UK instead of waiting abroad after the government reverses.
The UK’s interior minister said next week the UK would streamline a system to allow Ukrainians to enter the country, after outcry over requests for fugitives. Invasion of Russia to check biometrics before being allowed in.
The Conservative government has repeatedly said it is being “generous” to Ukrainians who want to come to the UK by offering two routes, but critics say ministers are prioritizing the bureaucracy. than the welfare of those fleeing war.
“From Tuesday I can announce that Ukrainian passport holders will no longer need to visit a Visa Application Center to provide biometrics before they arrive in the UK,” the Home Secretary said. Priti Patel told parliament on Thursday.
“Instead, once their application has been reviewed and the appropriate checks have been completed, they will receive direct notification that they are eligible for the program and may travel to the UK.” she said. Patel added that the change in policy came from the advice of security and intelligence agencies.
“In short, Ukrainians with passports will be able to be allowed to come here completely online from anywhere and will be able to take biometrics once in the UK.”
When households across Europe has forced Ukrainian families to flee their homes, the UK has required them to obtain visas in advance, with some refugees in the French port city of Calais being asked to go to Paris or Brussels to apply.
The right-wing Daily Mail reports that the “bad” visa system requires refugees to present proof that they have lived in Ukraine before January 1 and must have a birth certificate or a marriage certificate in order to be able to enter the country. showing connections to Ukrainians living in the UK.
As a result, the UK accepted far fewer Ukrainians than France and Germanyor the nearest neighbors of Ukraine, visa-free.
As of Wednesday, the UK has issued more than 950 visas to Ukrainians since the war began. By comparison, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, has hosted more than 1.2 million Ukrainians. Ireland accepted 2,500.