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HomeNewsPriti Patel slammed for ‘bureaucratic nonsense’ preventing Ukrainian refugees entering UK

Priti Patel slammed for ‘bureaucratic nonsense’ preventing Ukrainian refugees entering UK

In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Warsaw on Sunday, Poland’s Foreign Minister took the opportunity to discuss the scale of the growing refugee crisis. Zbigniew Rau said: “Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has caused a humanitarian crisis of an unimaginable scale.

“Our priorities are organising effective aid to hundreds of thousands and soon be millions of refugees.

“Poland already received up to 700,000 refugees and will continue to do so for everyone who needs it regardless of nationality, race, or religious creed.”

Official figures show that as little as 50 visas have been issued of the 5,535 applications submitted by Sunday morning.

The visas issued represent less than one percent of all applications made to the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK stated that the process included “bureaucratic nonsense” that should be removed and that “some of the procedures can be really simplified”.

Official data shows that 13,500 applications have not been completed and a further 2,375 people have opted to submit their biometric data and application forms in person. 

The Labour Shadow Home Secretary criticised the current visa process as “too slow” and that there were “too many hoops for desperate families to have to jump through. 

Yvette Cooper said: “Home Office completely failing to understand urgency of crisis.”

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In response to the criticism, the Home Secretary noted that the scheme that was launched on Friday had only been running for a short amount of time.

Ms Patel added that she was “doing everything possible” to speed up the efforts of granting visas to desperate Ukrainians. 

On Sunday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stated that since the conflict broke out in Ukraine 10 days ago, 1.5 million Ukrainians have fled to bordering countries, notably Poland. 

The United Nations Agency warned that “in the coming days millions more lives will be uprooted, unless there is an immediate end to this senseless conflict”.

Nicola Sturgeon noted that the current process “just isn’t good enough” and that “there is a desperate need for the UK to step up – both on reuniting families and offering refuge more generally”.

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The Scottish First Minister continued: “We must let people in – as other countries are doing – and deal with paperwork afterwards.”

The European Union has announced that Ukrainian refugees can be awarded temporary residency for up to three years without completing time-consuming and complex asylum procedures. 

After Priti Patel’s upsetting visit to Poland, the Home Secretary vowed to ramp up the speed of the process.

She said: “In response to the desperations I saw with my own eyes at the Polish border two days ago, I’m urgently escalating our response to the growing humanitarian crisis.

“I am now investigating the legal options to create a humanitarian route.

“This means anyone without ties to the UK fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will have a right to come to this nation.”



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