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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-07896
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 the application process for Ukrainian refugees seeking to come to Scotland, and who apply for a visa through the Ukraine Family Scheme, proceeds in a timely manner.

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 grant 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.

Many of these challenges are a direct consequence of the decision to use the immigration and visa system rather than properly fund a humanitarian resettlement scheme. The UK Government must put people, not processes, first.