Letter from Rod Coppock, Pitton

YOUR article ‘Bureaucracy Bottleneck for Refugees’ barely touches on the failure of the UK to enable Ukrainian refugees to enter this country.

I am sponsoring a mother whose husband is in the Ukrainian navy and her four-month old child via a visa application made on April 26.

Nowhere did the ‘Homes For Ukraine’ system tell me that the infant needed to visit a Visa Centre (VAC) for biometric data to be taken, despite the fact that she is able to travel across international borders because her identity is defined on her mother’s passport.

After the fifth telephone call to the ‘helpdesk’ (now there’s a contradiction in terms), someone eventually gave me this vital piece of information.

But it meant that mother and baby had to make a 24-hour round trip to their nearest VAC.

This was expensive, stressful and unnecessary. The result was an instruction to wait at home for the permission to travel to be posted to them.

They don’t have a home address, they are Ukrainian refugees! Apparently, email is not used by the VAC, they only deal in paper (which will have had to make a journey to London and back again). The child is now five-months-old and there is no sign yet of a visa for her.

This whole process is overly complicated and time consuming with delays built in.

The UK is making it difficult for Ukrainians to enter the country despite promises of welcoming them.

Our assistance to Ukraine refugees is all about paperwork rather than people and compassion. It is an embarrassment of which the Government should be ashamed.