Brit Emily Radford, whose wife is from Kyiv, called the visa process ‘dehumanizing’ and said loved ones trying to come to the UK, including young children, were being seen as ‘threats’
The British wife of a woman of Ukrainian origin says a 4-year-old relative was asked if they were terrorists by the UK’s “dehumanizing” visa scheme.
Emily Radford, from Sheffield, said her wife of 14 years, who did not wish to be named, was born and raised in Kyiv but has had British citizenship since 2011.
His wife has been living in Poland for more than three weeks with her cousin and her cousin’s child while they await the results of their visa application through the Ukraine Family Program.
Ms Radford, 39, is at home in Sheffield but helped the team through the application process, which states that you are eligible for a UK visa if you are joining a family member living in the UK. Great Britain.
“It’s very dehumanizing,” the official told the PA news agency.
“This is a visa program, but it is a visa program in response to a humanitarian crisis.
“Three weeks for a family visa – these are people who have a relationship… even have a family member go get them.
The group, which includes four children aged 17, 12, eight and four years old, received visa approval on Wednesday, having applied in Warsaw more than three weeks ago.
Ms Radford said: “They see what is primarily women and children as a threat first rather than those in need.
“That doesn’t mean it’s different if you’re a man – maybe yes, maybe not.
“But it’s women and children… I have to answer to a four-year-old: ‘Are you a terrorist? Have you ever been in the armed forces?”
“Why are you asking those questions? Literally it should just be: ‘Are you a kid? Who’s your mother? Okay, we’ll sort it out for you while you’re here and we are. can ask you questions later if we need to.”
They have been staying in various dormitories across Poland since Ms. Radford’s wife came to pick them up from eastern Kyiv on Friday 11 March.
“It’s just been a very long and confusing journey, the only concrete information we have come from volunteers,” Ms Radford said.
“I know they don’t have passports but we’re talking about an adult and a child… They’re not a security threat, it’s a four-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl.”
Ms. Radford also explained what the team’s experience was like waiting for the results of their visa applications.
“Last week was the worst for them, from accommodation to accommodation, not knowing how long they would be there,” she said.
“Just a simple thing, like the kids have nothing to do… It’s really hard, when you’re in one room.
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“They’re pretty disgusted with each other… I think the choice to do a visa program is bringing chaos but it’s completely taking away the humanity of everyone.”
She also talked about what her wife has been up to in the past three weeks.
“She said the Polish people were wonderful, but as soon as she was exposed to the British bureaucracy, she felt terrible, which is really hard for me to hear as an English person. .”
Ms Radford said it was “difficult to imagine” the reality of war in Ukraine.
“I think it’s hard for us Brits to imagine,” she said.
“I’ve been to Kyiv quite a few times, it’s been a few years… I can’t say there’s a place that I recognize has been bombed.
“But you know, I know what they are, I know where they are… There’s a lot of anger that it could be going on.”
Those fleeing war are leaving everything behind. They need shelter, food and water. Donation points for essentials such as clothes, blankets and sleeping bags have been set up across the UK. Check with local schools or community groups to find out what they need and how they collect. You can also donate to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) – the agency that established the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to help charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare for refugees and displaced families – at dec.org.uk
Ms Radford hopes her Ukrainian relatives will be able to fly to the UK on Friday, where they will join her and her wife to Sheffield.
More than four million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia launched the war, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
A Government spokesman said: “We are moving as quickly as possible to ensure that people who are fleeing Ukraine can find safety in the UK through the Ukraine Family Program and the House of Commons. home for Ukraine.
“We continue to accelerate visa processing across both programs, with 25,500 visas issued in the past three weeks alone and thousands more expected to arrive via untapped routes. this.
“While we have streamlined the process, simplified forms, and increased the number of cases staff, significant security checks are needed to secure our borders. and the British people from hostile state organizations from Russia, who will fraudulently take advantage of the assistance we are providing to people fleeing Ukraine.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/four-year-old-ukraine-asked-26609647 4-year-old boy from Ukraine asked if they were terrorists under UK's 'inhuman' visa scheme