MPs told not to 'chase' their enquiries on Ukrainian visa cases

Concerns have been raised over the application process for Ukrainians coming to the UK.

MPs told not to ‘chase’ their enquiries on Ukrainian visa cases iStock

MPs are being told by the Home Office that it will not be able to provide individual updates on Ukrainian refugee visa cases.

Its despite concerns over the application process for those fleeing Ukraine, with calls for UK entry rules to be relaxed.

As of April 7, a total of 79,800 Ukraine Scheme visa applications had been received by the Home Office.

Of those, 40,900 Ukraine scheme visas had been issued to people from Ukraine.

And according to official statistics, as of April 5, there had been 12,000 arrivals of visa-holders in the UK.

However, it has emerged that MPs are being asked not to “chase” further updates on visa applications connected to their constituents.

It is understood that the message to MPs is being conveyed via an automatic response email by the Home Office.

The email states: “Due to the volume of correspondence we are currently receiving, we will not be able to provide you with further interim updates, so we would be grateful if you do not chase your enquiry further.”

The Home Office has insisted that it is speeding up visa processes through both the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

SNP home affairs spokesperson Stuart McDonald criticised the response of the UK Government to the refugee crisis brought by the war in Ukraine, describing it as “abysmal”.

“The response from the Home Office makes clear that the UK government is still failing thousands of vulnerable people fleeing the war in Ukraine,” said McDonald.

“The reality is that the UK government’s approach to the largest movement of refugees in Europe since the second world war has been abysmal.    

“The Scottish Government is doing everything it can to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Scotland but it’s vital the Home Office lifts the barriers that are preventing people from coming to the UK.”

McDonald also said that the UK’s asylum system is “not fit for purpose” as he called for an overhaul.

He continued: “Over 100 countries – including all of our 27 former partners in the EU – allow Ukrainians to travel to them without a visa. There is simply no excuse for the UK not to join that list.

“At the very heart of this is the fact that the UK asylum system is not fit for purpose and in need of a complete overhaul.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion we have launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history.

“In just four weeks, over 40,000 visas have been issued so people can rebuild their lives in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine.

“We are continuing to speed up visa processing across both schemes, including boosting caseworkers and simplifying the forms and we expect thousands more to come through these uncapped routes.”

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