He said that since last Friday, the Home Office had received a total of 8,900 applications under the program, with appointments scheduled at visa application centers for nearly half of these cases and 340 undergoing security checks.
Dwyer Cummins said the government’s Ukraine Family Scheme “will help tens of thousands of people join their family members in the UK”.
However, immigration advocates said the British government should forgo the program entirely and allow Ukrainians to seek asylum in the UK regardless of whether they have family links to Britain.
With Moldova already accepting more than 82,000 people who have fled Ukraine, Sonia Siats of the refugee charity Freedom from Torture has condemned the UK for “insisting on these visa-based schemes”, calling their efforts a “cruel farce”.
Sceats said that the “bottom line” of 1951 Refugee Conventionthe UN treaty that established protection measures for refugees, “was supposed to put an end to these kinds of barriers and establish the principle that if you’re fleeing for your life… you’re allowed to come and seek asylum on arrival,” he said.
Concerns raised in Calais
So far, the majority of those fleeing have crossed into Ukraine’s neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania, while thousands more have made their way to countries further afield, including Germany, France and Ireland.
With France already in an ongoing dispute with Britain over the country’s immigration policies, the French Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin has accused the British government of showing a “lack of humanity” after he said dozens of Ukrainian refugees were turned away at Calais border crossings and asked to visit visa offices outside the port city, the British newspaper reported. Watchman I mentioned on Sunday.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel denied the French minister’s account, telling the media: “Let me correct what the French government said. The British government does not turn anyone over or turn anyone back at all.”
Claire Mosley, founder of refugee charity Care4Calais, which supports refugees and asylum seekers in Calais, said it was true that those seeking entry to the UK had been refused. She said her team was helping Ukrainians with visa applications, but she said many were struggling to book visa application appointments online.
Mosley said the UK’s handling of the situation “wasn’t really surprising”. “This is more generous than their usual approach.”
In addition to the UK’s handling of the situation, immigration advocates have also targeted the British government for trying to introduce new rules under the proposed Citizenship and Borders Act, which would criminalize asylum seekers arriving in the UK via routes not subject to government sanction, including crossing the English Channel by boat. small.
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