Give Ukrainians more chances to stay long-term in the UK, says refugee charity

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An organisation supporting Ukrainians who fled to the UK after the outbreak of war with Russia is appealing to the UK government to give them more ways to stay long-term. 

The government recently announced a visa extension programme for Ukrainians, but it only offers an extra 18 months. 

The Sanctuary Foundation, which works closely with churches to provide support for refugees, said this "falls short of the stability that Ukrainians need to rebuild their lives". 

It is asking the government to offer more long-term visas and opportunities for Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

February 24 marks the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, but there is still no end in sight to the war. 

A survey by the Sanctuary Foundation found that most Ukrainians have received a warm welcome in the UK (93%), and around two thirds said they would definitely or probably like to remain in the UK - up considerably from the 30 per cent who said the same just a year ago. 

There have been other changes too since the Sanctuary Foundation last surveyed Ukrainian refugees when two thirds were still living with host families. Now the number is below 30 per cent and many are working full time. 

The Sanctuary Foundation said the figures suggest that fewer Ukrainians are planning to return to
Ukraine as time goes by.

Krish Kandiah, founder of the Sanctuary Foundation, is calling for more long-term clarity for Ukrainians living in the UK. 

"Two years after the war began, the Ukrainian people continue to show incredible ongoing courage standing up to Russian tyranny," he said. 

"It has been inspiring to see the hospitality of the UK public towards our dear Ukrainian friends. Our survey shows just how welcome Ukrainians feel here amongst us.

"With all that is going on in the world, we must continue to support Ukrainian refugees in the UK."