Despite the deadly war, it is three days before British visa requirements for desperate Ukrainians come into effect

A million people are said to have fled Ukraine since Vladimir Putin’s regime launched an invasion last Thursday. The UN refugee agency expects around five million displaced persons in the crisis

Desperate Ukrainian refugees had to wait an extra three days before they could seek shelter in the UK – despite the government’s “very generous” promises.

As it stands, Brits who have elderly relatives and siblings caught up in the Ukraine crisis are still unable to get them to safety here in the UK.

Bowing to pressure on Tuesday, the Home Secretary agreed to grant “temporary visa facilitation” to Ukrainians after initially only allowing immediate family members into the UK

Downing Street confirmed that UK residents can bring “adult parents, grandparents, children over 18 and siblings” in addition to those previously allowed.

However, these measures will not come into effect until Friday 4 March.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper


Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock)

In just seven days since Vladimir Putin’s regime invaded Ukraine, a million people have fled to other countries in search of safety, the UN refugee agency claims.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “The Home Secretary announced on Tuesday that older relatives and siblings from Ukraine are welcome here.

“But the instructions now show it doesn’t start until Friday. People flee from the war in Europe. Why does the Interior Ministry still not understand the urgency of [this] Crisis?”

This comes despite a Tory minister’s claim that there was no delay in helping Ukrainian refugees.

Security Secretary Damian Hinds told Sky News this morning: “There is absolutely no indication of any delay here – people need help now.”

Asked how many visa applications had been submitted since last Wednesday, Mr Hinds said: “A relatively small number so far – I can’t give you an exact figure – but we expect it to increase rapidly.

“That’s why we’re increasing the capacity. We have a capacity of 6,000 very soon and we will be monitoring that and increasing if necessary – and only in the immediate region. Of course, there are also application centers throughout Europe.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel has claimed there is a “phased approach” to humanitarian aid to Ukraine



The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said this would extend eligibility to around 200,000 people, twice the number previously estimated

The changes came less than 24 hours after she refused to lift visa requirements for refugees, insisting it would undermine the “tightest security advice”.

Security Minister Damian Hinds said earlier this morning there was no indication of any delay in aid to Ukrainian refugees.

It comes as the Government suffered a humiliating defeat at the Lords last night.

The peers voted in favor of a clause designed to help unaccompanied refugee children to be reunited with their family members in the UK.

The Lord Dubs Amendment to the Citizenship and Borders Act will allow all unaccompanied minors from European countries safe transit.

Colleagues voted 178 to 130 in favor of the cross-party amendment in the Lords Chamber on Wednesday evening.

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