More than 1600 people fleeing Ukraine granted visa to come to Scotland

A total of 571 visas were issued under the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsorship Scheme.

More than 1600 people fleeing war in Ukraine granted visa to seek refuge in Scotland Joel Carillet via iStock

More than 1600 people fleeing Ukraine have been granted a visa to seek refuge in Scotland, according to the Home Office.

The figure has almost tripled in the past week following initial complaints by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the process was “unacceptably slow”.

In light of the new figures, MSP Neil Gray, Scotland’s minister for Ukrainian refugees, said: “While there has been progress in the number of visas approved by the UK Government, we need to see it continue.

“We have consistently said that the pace at which the Home Office was moving on visas was simply not good enough, and while we recognise changes have been made we will continue to press the UK Government to do all it can to speed up their approval processes.”

Statistics published by the UK Government on Thursday revealed around 94,700 applications had been made to the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

As of Wednesday, around 56,500 visas had been issued.

Of those granted under the sponsorship scheme, 1618 were for Scotland – 571 of which were via the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsorship Scheme.

Around 195 of the refugees will be heading to Edinburgh. A further 86 will be staying in Fife, while Glasgow and the Highlands will welcome 62 each.

For the full list by local authority area, click here.

Last week, 566 of the visas specifically related to Scotland.

The FM has previously pledged that Scotland “stands ready” to take in 3000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the war with Russia.

As of Monday, around 16,400 people had already arrived in the UK under the visa schemes.

Some 13,200 people have entered under the Ukraine Family Scheme and 3200 under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

Gray added: “The Scottish Government established itself as a ‘super sponsor’ to get the people of Ukraine to safety quickly, and the frustratingly slow pace has worked against that aim.

“As the brutal war in Ukraine continues, and millions have fled their homes, we will continue with the vital work of offering a warm Scots welcome to all Ukrainians who wish to find safety and sanctuary in Scotland.”