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York’s statement of support for the people of Ukraine

The Russian military invasion of Ukraine in the past week is deeply concerning, with shocking images of civilian casualties and people fleeing for the borders. We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis in Europe that is escalating by the day. 

The UK Government has announced that close family members of Ukrainians settled here will be allowed to come to the UK without meeting the normal entry requirements. In addition, it has announced (1 March) the establishment of a ‘Ukrainian Family Scheme’ for wider family members. Although we welcome these initiatives, visa restrictions should be waived for all Ukrainians fleeing war not just the few. We need a sanctuary route that will allow the people of Ukraine to come to the UK with ease and speed.

York is proud to be a Human Rights City and a City of Sanctuary, and we stand together to offer our support to the Ukrainian people and welcome those who need our help in these terrible times.


  • York City of Sanctuary
  • Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central
  • Cllr Darryl Smalley, on behalf of City of York Council
  • York St John University
  • Michael Smith, Acting Dean, York Minster
  • Dr Naseralla Jasim, President, York mosque
  • Refugee Action York
  • York Human Rights City Network
  • Amnesty International York
  • York for Europe

There is a petition to waive the visa here