The British administration on Tuesday eased immigration requirements for Ukrainians with family ties to Britain who fled the Russian invasion after being criticized for not doing enough to welcome these refugees.
Interior Minister Priti Patel has promised that about 100,000 Ukrainians will be able to enter the country in 12 months as a result of changes in the criteria for close relatives.
“There is no limit to the number of people who can choose to do this,” Patel told parliament, adding that newcomers can “get public funds and work.”
These activities include language requirements and salary limits, as well as extension for beneficiaries of grandparents, children over 18 and siblings of “any person established in the UK”.
However, he said all applicants must pass the security tests.
Patel called the relaxation a “very generous, comprehensive and unprecedented package” and rejected the visa waiver, arguing that “Russian troops are trying to infiltrate and unite with Ukrainian forces.”
“We have a collective duty to keep the British people safe and that approach is based on strong security advice,” he added.
The Minister also outlined measures to allow Ukrainians without family ties to travel to the UK through sponsorship of individuals, charities, businesses and communities.
He added that his residence permit will be issued for 12 months and there is no number limit.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Poland on Tuesday, suggested that “more than 200,000” Ukrainians could benefit from the program.