Less than five Ukrainians seek refuge in Hartlepool

Fewer than five visas have been issued for Ukrainian refugees to stay with Hartlepool residents, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Monday, 11th April 2022, 5:08 pm
Hartlepool refugee figures.
Hartlepool refugee figures.

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme – also known as Homes for Ukraine – was announced in February, allowing citizens to volunteer to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Sponsors agree to offer accommodation for at least six months, with those receiving sponsorship allowed to live, work and study in the UK for up to three years.

Provisional data from the Government shows that fewer than five visas had been issued for refugees staying with hosts based in Hartlepool, as of Wednesday, April 6.

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Exact figures are only available for areas with more than five successful applications.

Nationally, 12,500 sponsorship visas had been issued by Thursday, April 7 – though just 1,200 refugees had arrived in the UK through the scheme by April 5.

In addition, 28,500 visas have been issued through the Ukraine Family Scheme – which allows Ukrainian nationals to join family members in the UK – of which 10,800 had arrived by April 5.

Local data on this scheme has not yet been made available.

The Government has been criticised for not doing enough to help Ukrainian refugees compared to other European countries, with logistical difficulties causing a backlog in visa applications.

The Home Secretary apologised for delays in processing visas, but added that the Government has to ensure they are "protected and safeguarded".

The Local Government Association praised the “extraordinary” generosity of people across the country, but warned councils need information on arrivals and those supporting them as quickly as possible.