A 12-year-old Ukrainian refugee who had her visa application to come to the UK “terminated” due to an unknown error by the Government has now had her visa approved.
Anastasia Marunich applied to come to the UK along with five family members after they fled Cherkasy, on the banks of the Dnieper River in central Ukraine, two weeks ago.
But her application, which was aided by her cousin Vitalina Clarke and her husband Callum Clarke, was “unable to be concluded” after she provided biometric data alongside her mother, cousins and aunts at a visa centre in Rzeszow, the largest city in south-east Poland, earlier this week.
The issue has now been resolved and the entire family have been given visas to come to the UK, the PA news agency understands.
They will be able to collect them on Saturday.
A Government email sent to Mr Clarke on Friday morning, seen by PA, said: “The UK Decision Making Centre is currently assessing the application submitted by the above named. We are unable to conclude the application at this time as we require additional information.
“There has been an error on our system which has resulted in us being unable to complete Anastasia Marunich’s application. Please can you resubmit a new application so that we can fully assess her application? We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.
“When you have submitted her new application can you email her new reference number so that we can deal with her application as quickly as possible.”
By Friday evening, the family had been told each of their visas had been approved and they can now move to the UK with Mr and Mrs Clarke, who live in Reading, Berkshire.
Mr Clarke told PA: “Words can’t begin to describe the relief we are beginning to feel right now.
“This has been a moment 14 days in the waiting and a clear path towards the UK has finally emerged.
“Until we have the visas on our hands we won’t be letting ourselves get carried away but this family has finally seen a ray of light in what is an awful, awful war.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “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.
“Valid passport holders no longer have to attend in-person appointments to submit fingerprints or facial verification, and we have also expanded capacity at our visa application centres to 13,000 appointments per week across Europe to help those without their documentation.
“This week, the Government’s sponsorship route will open to allow Ukrainians with no family ties to the UK to come here and we will continue to work closely with our Ukrainian partners to deliver the measures we have put in place.”