Around 100,000 Ukrainian refugees who escaped Putin‘s war face being forced out of Britain after their visas expire in 2025.
Daily Mail Sir Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary under Boris Johnson, said ministers should consider giving Ukrainians a more permanent status, The Telegraph reports. Sir Robert said the ‘bespoke’ offer, designed for a ‘particularly urgent and unprecedented situation’, needs a ‘further bespoke response’.
The Homes for Ukraine Scheme and the Ukraine Family Scheme were brought in so that refugees could enter Britain following the Russian invasion, with each of the programmes granting stays of up to three years.
More than 182,100 Ukrainians have since entered the country using these programmes. As most of them entered in the first six months, around 100,000 face being thrown out by September 2025.
Homes for Ukraine has welcomed more than 124,000 Ukrainians to the UK, with almost half of working-age nationals now in employment and settled into their local areas.
Kate Brown, CEO of Reset, a charity consulted on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, said the refugees required certainty as they had ‘started to rebuild their lives here’, securing jobs, developing their English language skills and building social networks.
Stan Beneš, from the charity Opora, also noted that issuing guidance one or two months prior to the visas starting to expire ‘doesn’t really give people much space’ for long-term decision making.
Many hardworking Ukrainians have expressed that they wish to stay in Britain even if the war comes to a close before 2025.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has led to a grave humanitarian crisis, with millions of people in dire need.