Two hundred Ukrainians get visas for NI under sponsorship scheme

Around 16,400 people had arrived in the UK under Ukraine visa schemes by Monday, according to government figures.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 15th April 2022, 7:51 am

About 13,200 had arrived under the Ukraine family scheme and 3,200 under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, provisional data shows.

The figures show 200 people have been issued with visas for Northern Ireland under the sponsorship scheme.

Some 94,700 applications have been received for both schemes and 56,500 visas had been granted by yesterday, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office said.

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Simon Coveney (centre-right) and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba (centre)

Less than half (45.1%) of visa applications made under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme have been granted, the figures show.

There has been widespread concern about the length of time it has taken for visas to be issued to refugees under this route, with Home Secretary Priti Patel apologising “with frustration” last week.

In comparison, 80.3% of applications under the family scheme have resulted in visas being issued.

There were 55,600 applications for the sponsorship scheme and 25,100 visas issued. Out of 39,100 applications for family visas, 31,400 have been granted.

Under the sponsorship scheme, 1,620 visas have been issued to people with a sponsor in Scotland and 640 for Wales.

The Scottish government is the overall sponsor for 570 refugees with visas granted, while the Welsh Government has sponsored 60.

Refugees minister Lord Harrington praised the “incredible” generosity of the UK public and said the figures demonstrate “great progress”.

He said: “With more than 3,500 visas processed per day in the last few days, we are on our way to achieving my ambition of processing cases in 48 hours.”

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has said the killing of Ukrainian civilians by Russian forces is likely to be a war crime,

Mr Coveney was speaking during a visit to Kyiv yesterday.

He was visiting areas in the Ukrainian capital directly affected by Russia’s invasion, and meeting Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

Speaking during a press conference with Mr Kuleba, Mr Coveney said it was a privilege to be with him and said he brought a strong message of solidarity from the Irish government and people.

Mr Coveney also said Ireland is pushing for a “maximalist” package of sanctions against Russia, and that he wanted to bring the “madness” of the war to an end.

He is the first foreign minister on the UN Security Council to visit Kyiv since the war began.