Ukrainian refugees will be able to apply for UK visas entirely online, as long as they have a passport, after a U-turn from Priti Patel
From Tuesday, Ukrainians applying to join their family members will no longer need to attend in-person appointments at Visa Application Centres (VACs) to complete security checks.
The VACs have been a source of frustration for families trying to reunite, with a pop-up centre in Rzeszow, Poland, turning many away due to a lack of staff, and a planned centre in Lille coming under fire for its distance from Calais.
Patel told the Commons on Thursday: “Ukrainians with passports will be able to get permission to come here fully online from wherever they are and will be able to give their biometrics once in Britain.
“This will mean that visa application centres across Europe can focus their efforts on helping Ukrainians without passports.”
Those seeking UK visas under the Ukraine Family Scheme must currently book an appointment at one of a handful of centres in Europe, after Patel said security fears meant visa requirements could not be waived.