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10 Ukrainians so far seeking six-month visa for fleeing relatives

10 Ukrainians so far seeking six-month visa for fleeing relatives

Friday 25 February 2022

10 Ukrainians so far seeking six-month visa for fleeing relatives

Friday 25 February 2022

Close family members of Ukrainians living in Jersey who are fleeing their country will be initially offered six-month visas, the Government has said.

So far, it has received 10 queries from people living in the island who would like to accommodate close family members temporarily.

There is already a system where a close family member of a Ukrainian resident can join them in the UK and Jersey, which will be fast-tracked so visas can be issued free of charge within 24 hours of a visa application from any application centre.

Any Ukrainians in Jersey on a work study or visiting visa will have their stays temporarily extended, if requested.

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said: “Each one of those ten queries is an individual case. Some family members need the support of the British Consulate out there. Most of them have said that they can travel by road or rail to Poland, but the issue is they don’t have a visa to enter the UK, and therefore Jersey. 

“The message is, they should contact the email address we have given out [] and we will deal with each one on an individual basis. Each case will be slightly different for all sorts of reasons.”

The Government said that a visa for a relation coming from Ukraine would initially be for six months. This could be extended, depending on the situation at the time, and each application would be looked at on a case-by-case basis. 

The island would, however, follow visa rules set by the UK because Jersey is within the Common Travel Area. 

Ukraine Map.jpg

Pictured: Most Ukrainians choosing to heading for its border with Poland.

Senator Gorst added that while a visa gave someone the right to come to the island, it did not override Jersey’s own laws around work, housing and the right to health and social security. 

The Government has also emphasised that the international condemnation of the invasion is not aimed at the Russian people.

Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham, who has stepped up while the Chief Minister is on a half-term family holiday, said: “This is not a war of the Russian people but a war of the Kremlin and Putin.

"As we have seen by demonstrations in Moscow, not all Russian citizens are in favour of Putin’s actions and we do have Russian nationals living with us in Jersey, too. We have a duty of care them, and we are keen to avoid any anti-Russian rhetoric because not everything that is Russian is bad.”

The Government is confident that is prepared to face the two likely threats to the island: cyber-attack, and money or assets owned by individuals or companies that come under UK and international sanctions being identified in Jersey.

Senator Gorst said: “It is important to remember that the whole of Europe has Russian individuals living right across it; they have been partnering with it for decades. 

“The whole of Europe will also have Russian-owned assets and Russian companies where there is a Russian beneficial owner. Jersey will play its part and sanction individuals and companies aligned with the UK and international community.

“We are, of course, mindful of our international reputation, which will be enhanced if we play our part alongside the international community. That is exactly what we intend to do; it would be the reverse if we didn’t.

“If there are monies, assets or individuals here that are connected in ways that others’ intelligence agencies tell us they are, we want them to be subject to these package of measures in an appropriate way.”

He said financial services firms had a legal responsibility to inform the Government if a sanction applied to a customer or structure. 

Meanwhile, the Government’s Cyber Emergency Response Team said that it was not aware of any specific cyber threat to Jersey organisations or infrastructure in relation to the Russian invasion.

However, it said that there was an increased risk of attack as well as a general rise in malicious cyber activity in response to, or in support of, the invasion.

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