By Uglobal Staff
The United Kingdom has launched two separate residency programs for Ukrainians that would allow thousands of people fleeing the Russian invasion to stay in the country for up to three years, with the right to work and access to healthcare.
The British Home Office made the announcements about the programs in two separate official statements, which outlined how the "Homes for Ukraine" program and the "Ukraine Family Scheme" would work.
Residency for Ukrainians with no family in the UK
The "Homes for Ukraine" program is essentially for those Ukrainians who have no family members in the UK.
Initially Ukrainians would be allowed to enter the UK under the first phase of this program if they can show they have found British sponsors willing to take them in for at least a period of six months, according to a Home Office statement.
The sponsors can be either be individuals, or even community groups, charities, or businesses; they must be able to either spare a room or an entire home, rent free, for the entire period of stay of the Ukrainian person or family. The British government will support all such sponsors with just 350 British pounds (around $455) per month, the statement said.
All Ukrainians who come under this program will be granted a leave to remain in the UK for a period of three years during which they can find work and access all public benefits.
While the official webpage that would allow Ukrainians to apply for the program was launched on March 14, the processing of visa applications itself is expected to start on March 18.
According to the British Sanctuary Foundation, which works with various charities and churches in the UK, it has received around 19,000 pledges, as of March 14, to house Ukrainians in the UK at individual homes, churches, universities etc.
Residency for Ukrainians with family ties in the UK
Ukrainians who have close relatives in the UK will now be able to apply for a three-year residency by just submitting some documents online and without the need for visiting any visa processing center in person.
The only criteria they would have to meet is that they must have valid Ukrainian passports; also, eligible Ukrainian relatives include not just fathers or mothers or siblings, but also aunts, uncles, and in-laws in the UK.
Once they fill out an online form and provide all the necessary details, they would become eligible to enter the country immediately for an initial period of six months. During this initial stay, they would have to provide biometric details and clear security checks, after which their stay would be extended to up to three years. Just like the Home for Ukraine program, Ukrainians coming under this program would be allowed to work and access public health facilities during their entire period of stay.
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