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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-07895
Asked by: Foysol Choudhury, Lothian, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 6 April 2022

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government to ensure that Ukrainian refugees seeking to come to Scotland and who apply for a visa through the Ukraine Family Scheme can access up-to-date information about the status of their visa application.

Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 3 May 2022


Answer

We have repeatedly called for the UK Government to waive all visa requirements but, in the absence of this, what we now need is for the Home Office to give people visas quickly and efficiently.

I have held several meetings with Lord Harrington, Minister for Refugees, on the UK response and how our governments work collaboratively. I recently met with Kevin Foster, Minister for Safe and Legal Migration, and raised my many concerns about the significant administrative issues, complex application processes, and unacceptable delays for individuals who have been forced to flee their homeland.

To alleviate confusion with the process, the UK Government should immediately implement automatic status updating for applications (on all routes) that have been outstanding for more than 5 days and an escalation process for applications that have been outstanding for more than one week.