It comes despite 1.7 million people fleeing Ukraine and growing anger against families in Calais. Overall, so far, the UK has only issued a total of 300 Ukrainian family visas
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The UK is currently only giving 100 visa appointments this week to Ukrainian refugees at the application center in Paris, it appeared this evening.
The revelation comes as the Home Office announced 300 Ukrainians had been granted visas to join the UK family out of the 17,700 applications that started – and 1.7 million refugees.
It is likely to lead to renewed anger after Priti Patel was hit by criticism of the families that ended up in Calais.
Hundreds of frightened Ukrainians have begun arriving in French ports – but they must apply for a visa if they have family in the UK.
Currently, this involves a direct trip to Paris – currently the UK’s only visa hub in France – or Brussels to provide fingerprints and other information.
Refugees arriving at a center today were met with the message: “NO VISAS ALLOWED IN CALAIS.”
The Interior Minister caused chaos today when he announced Ukrainians would also be able to apply for a visa near Calais – but not yet.
The Home Secretary told MPs “we have set up” a visa application center “in advance” “on the way” to the port.
But minutes later, she claims that she never said it – and in fact the Home Office is still “setting up” the center. Officials are currently determining the date it could launch.
Until it happens, it is understood that there are 400 appointments available at the UK’s Paris Visa Application Centers this week and 100 protected appointments for Ukrainians.
Walking appointments are also available at the Visa Application Center in Brussels but only from Wednesday to Friday.
Charlie Varley / varleypix.com)
Charlie Varley / varleypix.com)
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper told the Commons: “The Home Office website still advises people to go to Paris. Journalists are in Calais and looking for any hubs that might be there still can’t find anything.
“All they could find were a few Home Office employees in a building with a clear operating apparatus but no visas.
“A family there this afternoon who have been there for five days have been informed that they cannot get an appointment in Paris until March 15.
“What the hell is going on?”
Ms. Patel denied families were unable to get appointments for a week. Interior ministry sources claim capacity at centers across Europe.
Tonight the Home Office confirmed 300 visas have been issued so far – updated the number 50 at 10am yesterday, which the Home Office issued but Ms Patel said was “totally incorrect”.
Overall, 17,700 Ukraine Family Scheme applications were started.
Of the 8,900 applications submitted, 4,300 attended the Visa Application Center and 640 were confirmed.
It happened as a desperate builder spoke of his devastation after saving his wife and children from Ukraine but was banned from bringing them into the UK.
Vitalie Turetska has lived and worked in north London for the past three years.
When Russia started bombing his country, he jumped in his car and drove to the Ukraine/Romania border to marry his wife, Helena, and son Danya, 6 and 2, Mapk.
They are just some of the 1.5 million refugees who have fled persecution in their homeland.
But now they are stranded in Calais after British authorities refused to let them pass through the English Channel.
Vitalie said he has been told he is allowed to return but that he will have to leave his wife and children in France because, in his words, “they don’t have the correct paperwork”.
A full family visa program for Ukrainians opened on Friday allowing applications from direct family; Big family; and immediate family members of the extended family.
Immediate family is a spouse or civil partner, an unmarried partner in a domestic relationship of two years or more, a child under the age of 18, a parent if their child is in the UK under the age of 18 or proposed fiancé or civil partner.
The extended family includes adult children or parents, grandparents, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the spouse, and their siblings.
Interior Ministry guidance recommends that people apply for a visa “in a neighboring country” to Ukraine after fleeing across the border – naming Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Romania.
People are required to complete an online application, visit a visa center to provide details such as fingerprints, and then remain in the area until their application is processed.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/uk-reserves-just-100-visa-26410108 UK only gives 100 visa appointments a week to Ukrainian refugees in France