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UK travel ban for Ukrainians

UK travel ban for Ukrainians

Ukrainian Refugees Urged to Wait for Decision on Visa Applications Before Traveling to the UK

UK travel ban for Ukrainians ,

Introduction

Ukrainian refugees seeking to reunite with family members in the UK have been offered a glimmer of hope through the newly launched Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme. However, they have been advised not to travel to Britain until a decision on their visa application has been received. The scheme, which allows refugees and their sponsors to apply for visas online, aims to expedite the process of reuniting families torn apart by conflict. In this article, we will delve into the details of the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, the application process, eligibility criteria, and the concerns raised by humanitarian organizations.

1. The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme was officially launched on Friday, offering a ray of hope to Ukrainian refugees and their families living in the UK. Under this scheme, refugees can fill out an online form on Gov.uk to initiate the visa application process.

2. Travel Permission Letter

Refugees possessing valid passports, who opt to apply under the sponsorship scheme, shall be granted a permission letter by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). This letter confirms that they are allowed to travel to the UK to reunite with their family members.

3. Visa Application Process for Ukrainians without Passports

For Ukrainian refugees without valid passports, the process is slightly different. They will need to submit their biometrics at a visa application center and will receive a visa upon approval.

4. Travel Caution

The UK Government has issued a warning, advising refugees not to make their way to the UK until they have received either the permission letter or the visa. This measure is to ensure their safety and avoid any unnecessary complications during their journey.

5. Priority and Speedy Decision Making

The UK Government has assured that applications under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme will be given priority, and decisions will be made as quickly as possible to expedite the reunification process.

6. Data Sharing and Checks

By completing the online application form on Gov.uk, both the applicant and sponsor provide consent for their data and contact details to be shared for the purpose of security and safeguarding checks.

7. Biometric Exemption for Passport Holders

Ukrainian refugees holding valid passports will not need to attend an appointment at a visa application center for biometric submission. Instead, they will receive a six-month entry stamp upon arrival in the UK.

8. Extending Stay and Residence Permit

To extend their stay in the UK beyond the initial six months, refugees will need to submit their biometrics within this time frame to receive a residence permit valid for up to three years.

9. Eligibility Criteria for Family Members

Immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals living in Ukraine before January 1 of the current year are eligible to apply under the sponsorship scheme. These family members include spouses, civil partners, unmarried cohabiting partners of at least two years, fianc├ęs or proposed civil partners, children under 18, and parents of children who are under 18.

10. Security and Safeguarding Checks

Both applicants and sponsors will undergo comprehensive security and safeguarding checks as part of the visa application process.

11. Concerns Raised by Humanitarian Organizations

Enver Solomon, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, expressed concerns about the accessibility of the Ukraine sponsorship scheme to the most vulnerable refugees, such as unaccompanied children. He urged the government to prioritize the immediate needs of those whose lives have been devastated by the conflict.

12. A Call for Compassionate Response

Humanitarian organizations are urging the government to waive visas for all Ukrainians seeking safety in the UK as refugees. They emphasize the importance of matching refugees with British citizens who are willing to welcome them into their homes.

13. The Nationality and Borders Bill

Amidst the unfolding crisis, humanitarian organizations are also calling on the government to reconsider the Nationality and Borders Bill, which seeks to criminalize Ukrainians arriving in the UK without a visa.

14. Equal Protection for All Refugees

It is essential for the UK Government not to discriminate between refugees and provide equal protection to all those fleeing the brutal conflict in Ukraine.

15. Conclusion

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme offers a glimmer of hope for Ukrainian refugees seeking to reunite with their families in the UK. While the scheme aims to expedite the application process, caution has been advised, and refugees are urged not to travel until they have received a decision on their application. Humanitarian organizations are calling for a compassionate response and equal protection for all those in need of safety.

FAQs

  1. Can Ukrainian refugees apply for visas under the sponsorship scheme? Yes, Ukrainian refugees and their sponsors can apply for visas under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme through an online form on Gov.uk.
  2. What documents are required for visa application under the sponsorship scheme? Ukrainian refugees with valid passports need to apply online, while those without passports will need to submit their biometrics at a visa application center.
  3. What is the purpose of the permission letter from UKVI? The permission letter from UK Visas and Immigration confirms that refugees can travel to the UK to reunite with their family members.
  4. What happens after the initial six-month entry stamp? Refugees will need to submit their biometrics within the six-month period to extend their stay and receive a residence permit valid for up to three years.
  5. Are unaccompanied children eligible under the sponsorship scheme? Concerns have been raised about the accessibility of the scheme for vulnerable refugees, such as unaccompanied children, who may face challenges in applying.

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