Dozens of Ukrainians living in Doncaster as Boris Johnson says the UK could accept 200,000 refugees

Dozens of Ukrainians already live in Doncaster, new figures show, as the refugee crisis in the country worsens.

Friday, 4th March 2022, 12:11 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the United Kingdom could accept more than 200,000 Ukrainian refugees, with the Home Office creating a family migration visa for those with immediate family in the UK.

It means spouses or civil partners, unmarried partners who have lived together for at least two years, children, parents, grandparents and siblings of Ukrainian nationals living in the UK can enter with a visa.

In Doncaster, there are roughly 60 Ukrainian residents, Office for National Statistics figures outline.

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In Doncaster there are roughly 60 Ukrainian residents

They are among 37,530 Ukrainians living in England and Wales.

The data, from the 2021 census, has been released early by the ONS to aid local authorities in emergency response planning.

The figures also show that approximately 80 Russian nationals live in Doncaster – among 53,120 in England and Wales.

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The United Nations has said more than 1 million people have fled Ukraine, while the European Union ultimately expects to receive 4 million refugees in total, and several million more to be displaced internally.

The UK's response has been criticised by opposition parties and refugee charities, with calls to waive visas entirely.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said this would be unsafe, arguing that "security and biometric checks are a fundamental part of our visa approval process worldwide and will continue".

Instead, Ms Patel announced a humanitarian sponsorship pathway, allowing individuals, businesses and other groups to sponsor Ukrainians' entry into the country.

However, the Refugee Council has said the Government must do more to help Ukrainians fleeing war.

"We are concerned that in reality it does not go far enough and could mean that far fewer Ukrainians are actually able to reach safety in the UK than the Government claims," said Enver Solomon, the Refugee Council chief executive.

He said: "A scheme offering humanitarian visas to Ukrainian families fleeing war and coming to the UK as refugees would be a far more effective way of offering sanctuary," and said the Government must work with the UN on a resettlement scheme and provide health, education and other services for Ukrainians when they arrive.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.