Thursday 24 March 2022
The Ukraine Family Visa Scheme has so far resulted in five Island residents seeking to bring relatives from Ukraine to the Bailiwick.
A total of nine Ukrainians have applied for a visa under the scheme and are coming to the Island as a result.
The Ukraine Family Visa Scheme means any Ukrainian national who ordinarily lives in Ukraine and is an extended family member of a locally-resident British citizen can now apply for a visa free of charge through the UK Family Visa Scheme and come to the Bailiwick. Similarly, any nationality who has settled status in the Bailiwick can apply for their extended family in Ukraine to come to the Bailiwick. Extended family means parents, grandparents, adult children, siblings and immediate family members (spouse and dependent children). Further information about the UK Ukraine Family Visa Scheme is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
Please note that this scheme, which is already in place to support Ukrainian nationals with family links to the Bailiwick, is separate to discussions currently taking place around a potential Ukrainian refugee sponsorship scheme.
The States of Guernsey last week announced that it is seeking expressions of interest from any householder in Guernsey, Alderney or Sark who believes they might be in a position to support Ukrainian refugees. So far, 204 householders have completed the online form, which can be accessed at Bailiwick response to the war in Ukraine - States of Guernsey (gov.gg), to express an interest.
Seeking expressions of interest is an important step to inform the cross-committee work looking at the range of support needed if the Bailiwick were to adopt, in full or part, the UK's Ukrainian refugee sponsorship scheme, 'Homes for Ukraine', which is about residents offering to host refugees with whom they do not have any prior connection. Any refugees arriving in the Bailiwick will potentially need access to specific support delivered across States committees, such as education, healthcare, immigration and social security.
The number of expressions of interest further highlights the strength of feeling from the community about the shocking events in Ukraine, and Islanders' willingness to help. It is important to note that not everyone expressing an interest would necessarily be matched with refugees should such a scheme be adopted.
We have also been approached by a range of service providers and third sector organisations with the kind offer of wider support. This is very much appreciated and if there are specific areas that either the third sector or the business or wider community can help with in due course, we will liaise with relevant stakeholders at that time.
The States is working closely with the UK Government to understand how its 'Home for Ukraine' will operate, in particular in terms of matching refugees with interested households. The UK Government launched a website earlier this week seeking expressions of interest and the States is now seeking the same information from Guernsey, Alderney and Sark residents.
We would again ask that anyone who has already expressed an interest in helping through with the UK's website to also complete the online form via Bailiwick response to the war in Ukraine - States of Guernsey (gov.gg) as the UK's scheme is for UK residents only.