Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, the British government announced on Wednesday that it had awarded 25,500 visas to Ukrainians under schemes set up to bring in refugees.
According to data from the Home Office, 22,800 visas were issued through the Ukraine family programme, which allows applicants to join family members in the UK, and 2,700 were issued via the sponsorship scheme, which allows refugees with a specified sponsor to enter the country.
On Wednesday, the statistics revealed that 28,300 people had applied for the sponsorship programme, with a total of 59,500 applications.
With nearly 4 million people fleeing the conflict, the government has been pressed to do more to help refugees.
In a statement, refugees minister Richard Harrington stated, “We are starting to see progress… we need to do more and will be making further improvements to bring people to the UK as swiftly as possible.”
Last Monday, Britain’s transport minister, Grant Shapps, said that he had arranged for a family of Ukrainian migrants to be sponsored.
To keep control over who enters the island, Britain has insisted on security checks and pre-entry visas, although the European Union, which shares land borders with Ukraine, has chosen a less restrictive approach.