LONDON – A new visa program will allow Ukrainians who have fled the war without relatives in the UK to work in the UK and have full access to state benefits for up to three years.
Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, Community Secretary Michael Gove said that under Project “Houses for Ukraine”Due to Friday’s launch, anyone in the UK with at least six months of leave left will be allowed to sponsor a Ukrainian citizen or resident.
Sponsors will have to go through a “light touch” verification process and provide accommodation for at least half a year. In return for their support, they will be paid £350 a month by the government, with these payments tax-free and with no impact on benefits or council tax status.
Gove said there will be no cap on visas issued under this program, which will initially allow funding “between people with a known relationship”. It will then be expanded “in phases” to allow churches, community groups and charities to fund Ukrainians in need, but there is no date set for that expansion yet. he added.
Local governments that host Ukrainians will receive additional funding to secure places to study, Gove said.
The British government has faced criticism for the low number of Ukrainians granted visas to move to Britain since Russia’s invasion of the country when compared to other European nations. Ministers have touted the new scheme as a game changer that will boost the number of Ukrainians moving to Britain.
Labour’s Shadow Community Secretary Lisa Nandy welcomed the funding plan after weeks of delays, but warned that “a press release is not a plan and we are deeply concerned about the lack of urgency.”
Gove insists the government is “moving as quickly as possible” to launch the plan in partnership with NGOs and local governments.
https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-unveils-new-visa-scheme-for-ukrainians-fleeing-war/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication UK announces new visa scheme for Ukrainians fleeing war - POLITICO