Ukraine refugees: Bringing my mother to the UK

Marianne Kay from Yorkshire traveled to Rzeszow in Poland to help her 79-year-old mother Antonina Kolodii to safety in the UK, using the UK Home Office’s Ukraine Family Scheme.

Now, back in the UK, they both reflect on their experiences and the difficulties of dealing with the visa application process.

The Home Office says there have been 4,600 successful visa applications under the scheme.

MPs have criticized the Home Office for a slow response to the flight of almost three million people from Ukraine, saying those seeking sanctuary are being held up by bureaucracy or turned away. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described the visa program as “huge and very generous”, adding it could eventually help “hundreds of thousands” of refugees enter the UK.

In a statement to the BBC the Home Office says: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and the changes we’ve made to the visa process are making it quicker and simpler for Ukrainians to come here, as well as ensuring those already here can stay.”

Watch Marianne and Antonina’s story.

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