Posted: Wed 8th Jun 2022

Welsh Government to temporarily pause new applications for “Super Sponsor” scheme for Ukrainian refugees

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 8th, 2022

The Welsh Government has announced a “temporary operational pause” on new applications for its “Super Sponsor” for Ukrainian refugees.

So far more than 2,000 visas have been issued under the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Wales.

As part of the “Super Sponsor” initiative, the Welsh Government will provide refugees with accomodation, support and care in Wales.

So far there have been 5,668 confirmed applications submitted with a sponsor in Wales, of which 2,866 have Welsh Government as a super sponsor.

Of those applicants, 4,909 visas have been issued to those with a sponsor in Wales, with 2,453 have Welsh Government as a sponsor.

But so far 1,961 people with sponsors in Wales have arrived in the UK, of which 480 have Welsh Government as a sponsor.

Today the Welsh Government have announced that there will be a temporary operational pause on new applications during June.

This is to ensure people who are arriving, and those already here in Wales, continue to receive an excellent level of care and support, the Welsh Government has said.

This temporary pause will start from Friday 10 June.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “From the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, our message has been clear – Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary and ready to welcome those fleeing war.

“Launched at the end of March, we have had a very positive response to our Homes for Ukraine Super Sponsor route. We have seen visas granted well in excess of our initial commitment to welcome people.

“This temporary pause will give us the opportunity to refine the arrangements we have put in place to support people on arrival and ensure all public services, in particular local authorities, can continue to deliver a high standard of support.

“To be clear, this operational pause will not affect any current applications and people will continue to arrive in Wales as visas are granted and travel arrangements are confirmed.”

Praising the ‘Team Wales’ approach to the crisis, the Minister continued: “The level of commitment to the people of Ukraine across all public services and wider society has been wonderful.

“I want to pay tribute to all those contributing to the ‘Team Wales’ approach to the crisis in Ukraine. The success of this scheme is due to all those individuals, organisations, businesses, local authorities and third sector partners.

“We can all be proud of the heroic effort in supporting the people of Ukraine, effectively demonstrating that Wales is truly a Nation of Sanctuary.”

However today’s announcement has been criticised by the Welsh Conservatives, who have described it as a “failure”.

Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies MS, said: “I am deeply disappointed that the Labour Government have paused their Super Sponsor scheme for Ukrainian refugees.

“Welsh Conservatives welcomed this scheme when it began, with people in Wales opening their hearts and homes to those fleeing Ukraine. With the situation in parts of Ukraine continuing to deteriorate, it is of the utmost importance that this scheme continues.

“No matter how they spin it, this is a failure. The scheme was introduced with much fanfare in April, and it’s only taken 8 weeks for Labour Ministers to backtrack. Ukrainian refugees need support, and Welsh Conservatives want to see the scheme back up and running.”

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