Given the recent tragic events taking place in the European arena that has swept the world off its feet, the UK Home Office has made special provisions allowing for Ukrainian nationals and their family members to relocate to the United Kingdom by applying to the new Ukraine Family Scheme. The scheme bears similarities to the EU Settlement Scheme and is free to apply. The application is also open to those already in the United Kingdom on the condition that they meet the necessary criteria.
In order to be eligible, the candidate must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national applying. Furthermore, the applicant must have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022. Lastly, the applicant must be applying to join a UK-based family member. Submitting evidence of your relationship to the UK-based family member is advised in order to avoid delays.
Whilst the Home Office have stated they are prioritising Ukraine Family Scheme visa applications, there have been numerous complaints that the application process is too long-winded given the current state of affairs. However, if granted, the visa allows the applicant to stay in the United Kingdom for up to three years and provides them with the opportunity to live, work, study and claim public funds.
The response of the Home Office, whilst apt, undoubtedly shows the disparity between European refugees fleeing the Russian invasion with the Middle Eastern refugees fleeing their war-torn homes. It is important to note that no similar response was given by the UK Government to the refugees of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and others. The horrific incidents taking place now in Ukraine, are too taking place around the world but the United Kingdom seems not to show the same level of sympathy to all.