Visas: Refugees

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd March 2022.

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Photo of Nadia Whittome Nadia Whittome Labour, Nottingham East

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to change the family reunion rules for all refugees to those her Department has put in place for Ukrainian refugees in response to the crisis in that country.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Due to recent events in Ukraine, the Government has established a bespoke scheme to provide an immediate pathway for people from Ukraine to join family already in the UK. The Ukraine Family Scheme is designed to allow as many people as possible to come to the UK in these exceptional circumstances.

The Government’s refugee family reunion policy is one of many generous safe and legal routes which supports refugees to have family re-join them, if they formed part of the immediate family unit before the sponsor fled the country.

Our policy makes clear that there is discretion to grant visas outside the Immigration Rules, which caters for extended family members in exceptional circumstances – including young adult sons or daughters who are dependent on family here and living in dangerous situations.

There are separate provisions in the Rules to allow extended family to sponsor children to come here where there are serious and compelling circumstances.

Refugees can also sponsor adult dependent relatives living overseas to join them where, due to age, illness or disability, that person requires long-term personal care that can only be provided by relatives in the UK.

To strengthen our existing policy, we have also committed to providing additional clarity in the Immigration Rules on the exceptional circumstances where we would grant leave to a child seeking to join a relative in the UK.

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