Campaigns on Issues affecting Ukrainian Refugees
We are seeing several issues emerging for refugees under the current Government policies and processes. If you want us to publicise a campaign you have created regarding an issue, please contact us to discuss.
Family Visa Scheme Disadvantages
Ukrainians who are settled in the UK have the right to apply for Family visas for their immediate and extended family.
If you need to bring over your parents, a sibling and the sibling’s young children, you may easily be bringing over 5 or 6 people. Unfortunately, the Government has made no provision whatsoever to support you in this case. Compared to the Homes For Ukraine scheme:
- There is no rent-free accommodation on offer; you are meant to house all these additional people in your own home or privately rent for them. It’s unlikely that anyone has so many spare rooms, and elderly parents and young children cannot earn to support themselves. If you are renting yourself (a common situation) landlords may not accept you as a guarantor so you cannot rent housing for others
- The council does not receive additional £10000 funding per refugee from the Government to help them provide services
- There is no £200 ‘welcome’ payment given on arrival to the Ukrainian refugee
- There is no additional payment made to a Ukrainian family member to cover the costs of hosting, unlike the Homes for Ukraine scheme, where a host receives £350 a month to cover their increased costs
- If you live alone in your house and qualify for a 25% council tax reduction, you lose this concession if your Family visa relatives move in, unlike the Homes for Ukraine scheme, where you are not impacted
The lack of free initial housing in particular means that people who are eligible to come here and even have valid visas, are not actually able to come here from a pragmatic perspective. Meanwhile, sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme have to look for their own matches and make their own visa applications, when they could have been taking in people who already have Family visas and who need accommodation. However, it is not possible to enable this because you cannot switch from the Family visa scheme to the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
We have created a petition for the Government to equalise the support for these two schemes. Please sign it and share it!
Bringing a car from Ukraine
Ukrainians who bring a vehicle over from Ukraine can drive it for 6 months before they need to register and tax it in the UK. However, the process of doing so is long, complicated and potentially expensive, and means that they also need to re-register their vehicles and pay import duties when returning to Ukraine. See Driving for more details.
This petition has been created to ask for Ukrainian refugees to be able to drive their vehicles for the full 3 years that their BRP is valid for, using the same process that applies to other temporary residents such as overseas students and workers here on a fixed term contract basis.