The UK launched its Ukrainian Family Scheme on 4th March 2022 to support the Ukrainian nationals coming to the UK to meet their families. Home Secretary Priti Patel visited the Polish border as the country launched this scheme meant to reunite many Ukrainians with their UK-based families. She firmly pledged to stand side-by-side with the Ukrainians as she met refugees at the border.

Priti Patel, Home Secretary, Visited a Ukrainian Refugee Reception Centre

Priti Patel visited a Ukrainian refugee reception centre in Medyka, one of the significant border crossings between Ukraine and Poland. She was accompanied by Bartosz Grodecki, Poland’s Deputy Interior Minister. Patel met with refugee children, women, and families who will potentially apply to join their families in the United Kingdom.

She reiterated the government’s firm support of the refugees and spoke about its Ukraine Family Scheme, which will effectively allow immediate ad extended family members of British nationals and individuals settled in the UK to come to the country and visit them.

She also announced that those individuals joining their families through the scheme would be granted a leave for three years, which will ensure their future in the country.

After Patel’s visit to the centre, expert Home Office staff have travelled to Poland to offer their advice to Ukrainian refugees regarding visa processing. They will ensure a rapid visa service to help manage the flow of people coming through the Ukrainian border.

More Details about the Ukrainian Family Scheme

According to Patel, it was heart-breaking to have met the refugee families and children who were forced from their homes due to Russia’s senseless invasion. She expressed how wonderful it was to see the first few people apply to the expanded Ukraine Family Scheme.

While the end goal is certainly to help people return to their homeland at the end of this monstrous invasion, giving thousands of refugees a safe route to the UK is the only proper thing to do.

Patel insisted that the entire country is united in its condemnation of Russia’s barbarous and cruel actions. Moreover, the government is doing everything in its power to ensure that the humanitarian support it offers is in Ukraine’s best interest.

This new Ukraine Family Scheme includes routes developed in close consultation with Ukrainian leaders and other leaders in the region to ensure that the measures taken answer their needs. Bartosz Grodecki also reiterated the UK’s continued support in the region.

Additionally, the Home Office has raised the capacity to other countries, including Poland, Hungary, and Moldova. It has set up a new pop-up Visa Application Centre in Rzeszow, Poland, to increase the total number of appointments and help more and more people learn about the scheme. It’s part of the UK’s broader attempt to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

The new Ukrainian Family Scheme comes on the heels of the Prime Minister announcing that the government is working to establish a local sponsorship scheme for Ukrainians with no ties to the UK to seek refuge here. It will involve communities or local authorities to help bring people to the UK.