Connect with us


Home Office asks woman scammed over visa scheme to leave UK



A young woman from Ukraine who sought sanctuary in the UK has been asked by the Home Office to separate from her parents who are living here and return to her war-torn home country.

Anastasiia Drevynytska, 20, came to the UK in December 2023 from her home in western Ukraine to join her mother, Svitlana, and father, Volodymyr, who had already arrived after finding sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Drevynytska had searched for a sponsor so that she could join them under the same scheme. A Ukrainian man offered to sort out the paperwork for her application if she paid him, allowing her to travel to the UK to join her parents. But when she arrived, she found that the paperwork the man had given her was incorrect and that she had been scammed.

The Home Office granted her six months’ temporary leave, which runs out on 19 June. She has received a letter from the Home Office asking her to return to Ukraine, although it is not government policy to forcibly return refugees to active war zones.

“I’m so scared of being returned to Ukraine, where missiles arrive at any time,” she said. “My parents were so worried about me while I was in Ukraine – every time an air raid warning went off. They wanted to make sure I always went into the bomb shelter.”

The Home Office letter states that Drevynytska does not meet the requirements of the Homes for Ukraine scheme and so her application has been refused. It says she did not apply for entry clearance before arriving in the UK. She said she was unaware that her paperwork was incorrect when she arrived.

See also  OMPAN Felicitates Kalu at 53

The letter states that there is no right of appeal or administrative review against the decision to refuse her application. It adds that she can make a new application under the scheme, but “if your circumstances have not changed or you are unable to provide new information, it is likely your application will be refused again”.

It warns of the consequences of staying in the UK unlawfully, which may include being fined, imprisoned, removed and banned from returning.

She said she had tried everything she could to sort out her situation since arriving in the UK and discovering that her paperwork was incorrect, including seeking help from the Home Office, her local council and an immigration adviser. All had been unable to offer any solution.

“I didn’t try to hide anything with my paperwork and didn’t realise I had done anything wrong when I arrived here,” she said. “I wanted to do everything in a legal way and now I’m so worried I will be sent back to a war zone.”

Luke Piper, the head of immigration at the Work Rights Centre, which is supporting Drevynytska, said: “It’s deeply concerning that the Home Office is inviting people to return to a war zone, despite the UK’s commitment to Ukraine and the establishment of various schemes to protect the civilian population.

“It’s indicative of an increasing trend we are seeing of the UK government stepping away from its unwavering support for the people of Ukraine and prioritising bringing down migrant numbers by any means necessary.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on individual cases.”

See also  State CID, Abia attacked by gunmen
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *