Highgate women order judicial review of Homes for Ukraine

Published:
11:57 am May 25, 2022



Update:
15:11 May 25, 2022

Two Highgate women are crowdfunding to sue the Home Office over the failures of its visa program for Ukrainians fleeing war.

The government’s Homes for Ukraine program allows families to “sponsor” a Ukrainian and let them live in their home.

Once approved, the refugee is allowed to work in the UK and receives a small sum of money.

The scheme is run by the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities and the Home Office is responsible for visa processing.

Highgate resident Kitty Hamilton set up Vigil for Visas with her neighbor Katherine Klinger after realizing many people on her street were having trouble with the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

After Kitty expressed interest in the program, she received no further communication from the government.

“If we had left it to the government, we would all still be sitting here saying, ‘what do we do now?'” she said.

“We are trying to clarify why it takes so long to bring people fleeing war safely to this country. We have all submitted confidential information, bank statements, passport details, birth certificates, without any kind of receipt or acknowledgment,” says Kitty.


Vigil for Visas placards outside the Home Office.
– Credit: Kitty Hamilton

Vigils for Visas has obtained a license to protest and has held a vigil outside the Home Office for the past five weeks every Wednesday and Saturday from 2-4pm.

Of its five key demands, the group says “delays are deadly” and that Ukrainians waiting for a UK visa could find themselves in dangerous situations.

The group is now filing an application for judicial review in the visa process. He has raised £14,719 so far, close to his goal of £15,000.

After some individual sponsors successfully challenged why specific cases were taking so long to be approved, the group filed for judicial review under the Homes for Ukraine program, to find out why the cases were so delayed. .

Katherine explained: “The Home Office’s chaotic and inconsistent handling of visa applications is being investigated.”

A judicial review is a legal proceeding in which a judge examines the legality of a decision or action taken by a public body, challenging the way a decision was made.

Their application is being considered and the group will know in two weeks whether the case will be heard by the High Court.

The Home Office has been approached for comment.