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Ukrainian Nationals: Visas and Support

Volume 725: debated on Monday 19 December 2022

Applications for the UK’s three bespoke Ukraine schemes are online, have no fee and no salary or language requirements. Nearly 150,000 visas have been issued to Ukrainians since the start of Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion. The UK Visas and Immigration service aims to decide those applications within five days, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Generally, we are now meeting that standard.

Ukrainian MPs who have met colleagues here have repeatedly asked for improvements to UK visit visa processes. Visitors from Ukraine must either go to Poland twice—first for biometrics and then to collect the visa—or wait there for several weeks. Will the Minister look at what can be done to make it simpler for those brave politicians and other Ukrainian citizens visiting their families here to access the necessary visa?

I am in contact with a number of Ukrainian politicians who have raised exactly that point with me and, indeed, the issue of those serving in the Ukrainian armed forces who might wish to visit relatives here while on a short period of leave. I am giving that further consideration.