UK Home Office overturns visa process for Ukrainian refugees – POLITICO

LONDON – Ukrainian passport holders will be able to apply for a UK visa online and provide their biometric information upon arrival in the UK to simplify a process that has been met with constant criticism for its reaction. slow response to the humanitarian crisis.

Home Secretary Priti Patel made the announcement on Thursday after being dragged to the House of Commons by an urgent question posed by her Labor counterpart Yvette Cooper.

The changes will come into effect on Tuesday, meaning Ukrainian refugees will no longer need to visit UK visa application centers elsewhere in Europe, where already struggling. with staff shortages in recent weeks. This will allow staff at these centers to focus on the most complex cases.

Earlier this week, the Home Office refused to lift biometric requirements prior to arrival in the UK citing security concerns. The ministry has issued widespread criticism of the Ukraine Family Scheme, which critics say is too bureaucratic and slow for a humanitarian crisis.

But Patel told the Commons she had received assurances she would be able to include these changes in the plan without putting British security at risk.

Cooper welcomed the changes but said the government’s response was a “total disgrace.” She highlights the case of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who was left in makeshift accommodation in Poland while her daughter struggled to get her to the UK

“This is both shameful and causes the weak to be pushed from tower to tower in the hour of need. Week in, week out, we’ve seen this happen. It’s just so wrong to leave people in this horrible state,” Cooper said. UK Home Office overturns visa process for Ukrainian refugees - POLITICO

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