Visa rules for Ukrainians seeking refuge in Scotland amid the Russian invasion

More than one million people are believed to have fled Ukraine following the invasion from Russia, the United Nations has said.

Many of the refugees have left for neighboring countries such as Poland, Moldova, Romania and Poland since the conflict started last week.

Chaotic scenes have been witnessed across the train and bus stations across Ukraine as people desperately try to leave the country.

Around 227 civilians are reported to have been killed and 525 injured in Ukraine from when the invasion started on February 24 until March 1.

However, the number of casualties in the war is believed to be much higher than the official figures.

Explosions have been heard across the country, including throughout the Ukraine’s major cities such as the capital of Kyiv and Kharkiv.

The Russian army is believed to have taken control of Kherson, making it the first major Ukrainian city to have failed during the conflict.

Earlier this week, the UK Government – which has control over Scotland’s immigration policy – announced what it was doing to help those seeking refuge in the UK amid the conflict.

While the Home Office has claimed that its move to help Ukrainians will ‘help’ those fleeing their homes, others have criticized the government for not doing enough.

Many people have lost their lives in Ukraine since the invasion started last week

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Here is everything you need to know about the visa rules for Ukrainians seeking to come over to the UK.

Visa rules for Ukrainians coming over to the UK

On Tuesday this week, the UK Government said that ‘thousands more’ Ukrainians will be welcomed into the UK following the Russian invasion.

This included an expansion to the ‘Ukrainian Humanitarian Route’, which will increase the number of people from Ukraine who are eligible to come to the UK.

But the policy will be limited to certain people.

In addition to immediate family members, British nationals and people with settled status in the UK will be ‘supported’ to bring parents, grandparents, adult children and siblings over here.

Normal requirements for salary and language tests will be waived, while applications will be processed ‘as soon as possible’, according to the UK Government.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK’s visa policy for Ukrainians will allow families to be reunited

Ukrainians who have no ties to the UK will also be able to come over to the country through a sponsorship scheme.

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An uncapped sponsored humanitarian visa route will allow sponsors – such as communities, private sponsors and local authorities, to bring people to the UK.

This will allow them to work and the sponsor would provide housing and integration support.

Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Putin’s war on Ukraine is monstrous and unjustified and the Government will stand with the people of Ukraine, both at home and abroad.

“Our Ukrainian Humanitarian Route will allow families to be reunited in the UK and our bespoke sponsor route will give safety to Ukrainians who have sadly been forced to flee their homes.”

Nicola Sturgeon has urged the UK Government to waive visa requirements for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict

What has the Scottish Government response been?

Nicola Sturgeon has urged the UK Government to waive all visa requirements for any Ukrainian nationals seeking refuge in the UK.

The UK Government has the final say on the policy on immigration as it is not returned in Scotland.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, the First Minister said: “It is vital that rapid, safe and legal routes be established immediately, cooperating with our international partners wherever possible.

“We must learn from the lessons from the Afghanistan resettlement schemes in order to provide rapid and appropriate support to those who need it.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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