500 visas issued to Ukrainians coming to the West Midlands

500 visas issued to Ukrainians coming to the West Midlands
Evgeniy, on the right, waves as he arrives with his wife and four children from Mariupol to a refugee center in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, after fleeing the Russian attacks. (AP Photo / Leo Correa).

Government figures show that 510 visas have been issued through the Homes for Ukraine scheme in the region, with Birmingham being the largest in the area with 232 completed.

However, the true number of refugees fleeing their country and arriving in the region is likely to be higher, as the figures do not take into account the other visa applications.

A spokesman for the Wolverhampton Council said: “Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, four people have arrived in the city of Wolverhampton. They are all individuals, not family groups. A family of five is also expected to arrive in the city after 6 May.

“There is a separate family visa scheme, but under that scheme, families make their own individual arrangements.”

People are allowed to join family members who are already in the UK – and those here can extend their stay in the midst of Russia’s invasion – through the Ukraine Family Scheme.

Figures show that 39 visas have been approved for sponsors in Wolverhampton, with 31 in Dudley, 16 in Walsall, 24 in Sandwell and the highest of 232 in Birmingham.

Meanwhile, there were a further 42 in Stafford, 14 in Cannock, 59 in Lichfield, 25 in South Staffordshire and a further 28 in Wyre Forest – including Kidderminster.

Elsewhere, a further 189 were approved for sponsors living in Shropshire, along with a further 68 for those living in Telford and Wrekin, the figures showed up to Tuesday.

Wolverhampton Council chiefs have previously revealed that four people have arrived in the city under the scheme – all individuals – while a family of five is expected to arrive after 6 May.

Chiefs of Staffordshire County Council said they expected around 500 refugees would arrive in the county after being matched with sponsors through the government scheme.

Balvinder Heran, Deputy CEO of Dudley Council, added: “We have received a number of applications from people throughout the district who would like to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. We are working on all applicants and carry out the necessary property and security checks as soon as possible.

“So far, seven pubs have been approved and one refugee has already joined their host. We expect more arrivals in the coming days and weeks.”

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