Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
The UK Government has today published the latest figures for the number of people from Ukraine who have been issued with visas to come to Wales under its Homes for Ukraine scheme.
They show 1,500 visas have been issued to date where the sponsor is from Wales; 1,100 have been sponsored by individuals in Wales and 390 are sponsored by the Welsh Government as a super sponsor.
The number of people who have applied to come to Wales via the Homes for Ukraine route – and via the super-sponsor route – is increasing.
I have raised the time it takes for visas to be issued and the complexity of the current system which people from Ukraine must navigate before they can come to the UK, at my regular meetings with the Minister for Refugees Lord Harrington. He has told me he expects the UK Government to expedite visa processing times to 48 hours.
People from Ukraine are being accommodated in welcome centres around Wales where they are receiving wraparound support. They are also being welcomed into homes across Wales by people acting as sponsors and by family members.
A free helpline for sponsors is available between 8am and 8pm on 0808 175 1508.
Ukrainian nationals and their families who need help and advice can call 0808 164 8810, if they are in the UK or +44 808 164 8810 if they are outside the UK.
There is a warm welcome in Wales for people from Ukraine and, as a Nation of Sanctuary, we will do everything we can to support everyone who comes to Wales.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.
I will be making a statement to Plenary on Tuesday.