Ipswich-bound Ukrainian family left in two-month visa processing limbo

Alina and her children visiting the TLScontact visa application centre in Paris

Alina and her children visiting the TLScontact visa application centre in Paris - Credit: Sergey Tyrskykh

An Ipswich-bound Ukrainian family who have been left in a two-month wait for a visa to come to the UK say they are running out of money.  

Dad Sergey Tyrskykh and children, Amira and Timur have already been granted visas letting them enter the UK. But mum Alina is still waiting to see if hers is approved.

Tyrskykh family before they fled Ukraine

Tyrskykh family before they fled Ukraine - Credit: Sergey Tyrskykh

At the end of March, the family travelled 250 miles from Frankfurt in Germany – where they were staying after fleeing Ukraine – to Brussels, where Alina had to apply for a visa in person.

Even though Alina has lived in Ukraine most of her life and has a Ukraine residency permit, she was told her Russian passport needed to be sent to Paris for additional checks.

 Timur (3) in a refugee centre

Timur, 3, in a refugee centre - Credit: Sergey Tyrskykh

The family moved to France while waiting for Alina’s application to be processed.  

They even visited the visa application centre in Paris, where the passport was supposed to have been sent. 

After the visit Sergey said: “The people who work there don’t care for the situation at all. To all our questions we were told: 'Your application is being processed. The visa is not ready. You have to wait'." 

Now the Tyrskykh family say they are running out of money. Currently, they are living on a farm in France, and are labouring in exchange for accommodation.    

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In Ipswich, Jonathan Elliot, Rachel Duncombe-Anderson and their son Noah, are ready to welcome the Tyrskykh family and have been trying to get help from the Home Office.  

Amira, aged seven, and Timur, aged three.

Amira, aged seven, and Timur, aged three. - Credit: Sergey Tyrskykh

Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, said: “I have been keenly trying to resolve this specific case, as well as to ensure that these delays are mitigated in general going forwards.

"In doing so, I have been communicating with the relevant Ministers, the Home Office and the specialised Parliamentary Ukrainian Visa Support service on an ongoing basis to urgently resolve this.   

 “While there have been some success stories of Ipswich residents sponsoring Ukrainian families through the Home Office scheme, it is clear in this case that the process hasn’t been straightforward and that this case is still under consideration. I’m doing as much as I can to support on all of the fronts possible.

"I hope we will see this specific case resolved quickly.” 

Lord Richard Harrington, Minister for Refugees, said: "In as little as two months we have issued over 102,000 visas, helping Ukrainians displaced from their home country to come to the UK to live, work, study and find stability here. 

“Our uncapped Ukraine Schemes were set up in record time and are one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history. We have been working hard to streamline the process, including simplifying the forms and boosting staff numbers, and we are rapidly moving towards reaching my aim of processing visas within 48 hours.”