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Emergency visa schemes help 100,000 Ukrainians

New figures reveal how two visa schemes are helping Ukrainians start new lives in the UK.

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Visa schemes benefit thousands of Ukrainians

More than 100,000 people have benefited from the Ukraine Family Scheme and Home for Ukraine Scheme, according to new government figures.

Setup in March, the two visa schemes aim to provide support for those fleeing their home country following the war with Russia.

More than 200,000 visa applications have been received by the Home Office, with 31,300 granted under the family scheme and 72,700 under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.

Strong demand for UK support for Ukrainians

At one point, around 500 staff from the UK Immigration Service were processing the visa requests. However, the introduction of a simplified form and making it a digital application process has reduced turnaround times, with applicants now able to submit biometric details via an app.

Following the changes, the Home Office currently estimate the majority of applicants will receive a decision with 48 hours.

Once their application has been approved, Ukrainians have the right to work, study, access benefits and healthcare. Councils are also entitled to £10,500 per person to help provide support to visa holders while they establish their new life in the UK.

Lord Harrington, the UK’s Refugees Minister, thanked UK residents who have played a role in making the visa schemes a success.

“We would not be able to welcome 100,000 people from Ukraine to our shores without generous people around the country opening their doors. It is important that we recognise the selfless work of the public to help Ukrainians integrate into their communities.”

He added: “We understand families are having to make difficult decisions to leave their homes – which is why it is important we took the time to get this right to ensure we can continue offering safety to as many Ukrainians as possible.”

Government confirms visa scheme changes for children

The government recently announced a further update to the schemes due to demand. Going forward, applications from children not travelling with a parent or guardian will also be considered for visas, as long as they have parental consent

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