More Ukrainian refugees due in West Lothian and Falkirk council areas arrive in UK
More refugees due to stay with sponsors in he West Lothian and Falkirk council areas have arrived in the UK, according to new figures.
Ukrainians fleeing the conflict with Russia can apply for a visa to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.
The Family Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals to stay with relatives already living in the UK, and the Sponsorship Scheme, also known as 'Homes for Ukraine' allows individuals to host refugees for a minimum of six months.
But the schemes have been beset with delays and problems with processing visas – with some warning of safeguarding issues and mismatches between hosts and refugees.
The latest Home Office data shows 77 refugees due to stay in West Lothian under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme had arrived in the UK by June 13 – up from 64 on May 16. There has also been an increase in the number of visas issued, with 102 successful applications as of June 14, a rise on the 90 four weeks prior.
The figures shows 38 refugees due to stay in Falkirk under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme had arrived in the UK by June 13 – up from 29 on May 16. With 55 successful applications as of June 14, a rise on the 52 four weeks prior.
These numbers only cover a relatively small proportion of the number of refugees who have arrived in Scotland, as visas issued through the Scottish Government's "super sponsor" scheme do not show up in local authority figures.
As of June 14, the Government had directly issued 8,647 visas, far more than the 3,425 issued for people to stay with individual sponsors.
There have also been more than 40,000 visas issued through the Ukraine family scheme across the UK.
The new figures come amid reports that some refugees have been made homeless due to their accommodation arrangements breaking down, or not being suitable when they arrive.
Shadow levelling up and housing secretary Lisa Nandy described the situation as “shameful”.
A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said “the overwhelming majority” of people are settling in well and that only a minority of cases have seen family or sponsor relationships break down.