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Visa changes on the way for fleeing Ukrainians with family in Guernsey

Visa changes on the way for fleeing Ukrainians with family in Guernsey

Sunday 27 February 2022

Visa changes on the way for fleeing Ukrainians with family in Guernsey

Sunday 27 February 2022

Guernsey has been given the green light to join a fast track scheme to welcome Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country if they have a close family member already living in the island.

In Jersey, an announcement of the scheme stated that family members fleeing the war would initially be provided with six-month visas.

Express understands that the Policy & Resources Committee's lead for External Relations, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, received confirmation from the UK Government on Friday evening that all Crown Dependencies - Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man - could run the scheme.   

The States are expected to announce full details of the scheme on Monday.

Deputy Le Tocq has consistently advocated that Guernsey should be open to welcoming a proportionate number of refugees fleeing conflict and danger in warzones around the world.

The scheme announced in Jersey allows visas to be issued free of charge within 24 hours of an application from any application centre and allows any Ukrainian in Jersey on a work study or visiting visa to have their stay temporarily extended if they wish.

On Friday, the authorities in Jersey said they had already received ten queries from people living in the island who would like to accommodate close family members temporarily.

Deputy Chris Blin

Pictured: Deputy Chris Blin is representing the Bailiwick at British-Irish Parliamentary Association meetings. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Chris Blin headed to the UK on Sunday to represent the Bailiwick at meetings of the British-Irish Parliamentary Association which will include an additional session to discuss responses to the conflict in Ukraine.

And the Vice-President of Guernsey's Policy & Resources Committee, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, said the States were working hard "to examin[e] various issues that could impact us as a result of current events" in Eastern Europe.

Deputy Soulsby said: "What is happening in Ukraine is deeply concerning. We are aligned with the UK in standing with Ukraine as this harrowing situation unfolds. Our thoughts go out to all those impacted, including Guernsey residents with friends and family in the country.

"Guernsey follows the UK’s sanctions regime and UK foreign policy and will continue to do so. Some of the announced measures will apply automatically and this has already been communicated to industry. Some of the other sanctions announced [on Thursday] may require new legislation in the UK and, if so, the States will move in step with the UK to ensure that all new sanctions will apply and be enforced uniformly.

"Separately, senior officers within the States have been examining various issues that could impact us as a result of current events to ensure we are as prepared as possible. This includes engaging with stakeholders and partners across supply lines, the finance sector and cyber security. While no immediate risks have been identified, we will continue to work on our preparedness and monitor events on a daily basis as they evolve."

Pictured (top): Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, the Policy & Resources Committee's Lead for External Relations. 

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