UK comments on number of Ukrainian refugees it will take
The UK government confirmed on Monday that Ukrainian refugees arriving in the country under the new ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme will not be limited, allowing potentially tens of thousands to use the process to flee the conflict in their home country.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there will be “no cap” on the number of people eligible for the scheme, reflecting the UK’s “very proud record of offering sanctuary to people from wars and from conflicts.”
The website for the visa scheme is set to go live later on Monday, with host families given a £350 per month payment from the government as a ‘thank you’ for assisting those seeking refuge in Britain. Applications to host refugees will be made via the online form, with both hosts and refugees vetted by the government.
The new visa process will give people in the UK the ability to nominate either an individual or family to stay with them rent-free or in another property for a minimum of six months. Javid told the BBC that refugees will be allowed to stay in the UK for “at least three years,” with access to the NHS, public services, and even schools for their children.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government have been under fire since the conflict broke out for their slow response to the refugee crisis, with the UK lagging behind European nations in the number of Ukrainians who have been granted visas.
Even members of Johnson’s own party have been critical of the Home Office and Home Secretary Priti Patel for the chaotic start, which saw Ukrainians turned away at Calais because they hadn’t secured the necessary paperwork to travel to the UK, regardless of whether they had family already living there.