In the past few weeks, the United Kingdom has garnered massive outrage for refusing to allow as many Ukrainian war refugees to enter as some other European nations. 

What are the refugee schemes in the UK?

Family visa scheme

This scheme pertains to those Ukrainians who have a family member in the United Kingdom. Under the scheme, it is essential that their kin is of British nationality and possesses indefinite leave to remain, settled status or evidence of permanent residence.

A refugee can apply for the scheme online with a Ukrainian passport. Biometric data is provided after arriving in the UK.

Launched in March, the scheme garnered criticism for excluding some family members.   

Under this scheme, the country has issued 28,500 visas from 6,300 applications as of April 7. However, merely 10,800 refugees have touched down in the country so far under the family visa scheme.

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Sponsorship scheme

This scheme aims to offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees in the UK through a host/sponsor. It aims to benefit those who do not have family members in the country.

Put into effect on March 14, the scheme garnered over 100,000 signups on the same day. 

Under the sponsorship scheme, hosts can voluntarily offer Ukrainians a rent-free residence for a minimum of six months. Although it is not mandatory for the hosts to provide food and other living expenses, they can do so if they wish to.

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People who are willing to host a refugee are assessed by the government through security checks. 

Each household accommodating a Ukrainian refugee will be provided £350 a month for up to a period of 12 months.

Local authorities will also be offered an additional £10,500 per refugee for support services. 

While the scheme sounds like a godsend, several sponsor families have called it unnecessarily complicated. 

As of 7 April, the United Kingdom has issued 12,500 sponsorship visas from 43,600 applications. However, merely 1,200 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the UK under the scheme.