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UK closes one of two programmes for entry of Ukrainian refugees

Monday, 19 February 2024, 22:30
UK closes one of two programmes for entry of Ukrainian refugees
UK flag. Stock photo: Getty Images

The Ukraine Family Scheme, one of the two UK programmes for the legal entry of Ukrainians fleeing Russia's full-scale invasion, was closed on 19 February.

Source: European Pravda

Details: According to the UK government's website, applications for the Ukraine Family Scheme were closed on Monday at 15:00 (London time). This programme allowed Ukrainians to enter the UK, provided they had relatives living here, and to study, work and receive benefits for the next three years.

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After the end of the Ukraine Family Scheme, its participants are offered to apply for another sponsorship programme, Homes for Ukraine, under which citizens take in Ukrainians in exchange for government support.

The first visas issued to Ukrainians will expire in March 2025, meaning that by then they must find an alternative way to legally stay in the UK.

The UK government's decision to close the Ukraine Family Scheme had been criticised by some British lawyers. Some pointed out that in some cases, other schemes do not work, for example, when it comes to the elderly or disabled, and British sponsors will not be able to take care of them.

A spokesperson for the UK Home Office, quoted by The Guardian, explained that the government continues to "adapt and develop visa routes to ensure they remain as effective and sustainable as possible".

According to official data, since March 2022, more than 200,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK on visas under the two mentioned schemes.

At the end of last year, it was reported that cases of visa fraud involving Ukrainian refugees were being recorded in the UK.

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