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Monday, July 22, 2024

UK Extends Ukrainian War Victims’ Visas, Adds 18 Months Stay

On Sunday, the UK government announced an extension to its visa program for Ukrainians who sought refuge in the country amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This extension grants an additional 18 months on their existing terms. Starting early in 2025, individuals under the Ukraine visa schemes in the UK can apply for an extension, maintaining their rights to work, benefits, healthcare, and education during the extended period.

This development implies that those who initially arrived under the Ukraine visa schemes can now remain in the UK until September 2026. The visa extension initiative aims to provide certainty and assurance to Ukrainians in the UK amid the ongoing conflict, reinforcing the country’s commitment to offering a safe haven for those fleeing the war, as stated by Tom Pursglove, the UK Minister for Legal Migration and the Border.

Reflecting on the generosity of sponsors and the support extended to over 200,000 Ukrainians and their families in Britain, Pursglove emphasized the solidarity of the UK and its allies with Ukraine. The announcement comes almost two years after the commencement of the conflict.

Also Read: Defense Leaders Wary of Ukraine Failure: Sole Emphasis on Plan A

The UK introduced three visa schemes, namely Homes for Ukraine, Ukraine Family Scheme, and Ukraine Extension Scheme, in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalation in February 2022. Originally granting three years of leave to remain, the first visas were set to expire in March 2025. The Home Office clarified that the 18-month extension aligns with the government’s enduring commitment to Ukraine, coinciding with the two-year mark since Russia’s invasion.

Expressing gratitude to sponsors, UK Minister for Housing and Communities, Felicity Buchan, encouraged eligible individuals to apply to host Ukrainian refugees. The government continues to provide thank-you payments to sponsors. Since the initiation of the Ukraine schemes, the UK has offered sanctuary to over 283,000 Ukrainians.

Applicants under the extension can submit their requests within the last three months of their existing visa. The Ukraine Family Scheme enables family reunification or extended stays, the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme facilitates entry for Ukrainians with named sponsors under Homes for Ukraine, and the Ukraine Extension Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and immediate family members to seek permission to stay in the UK.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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