Ukrainian grandmother who fled war to be with family in UK REJECTED

Ukrainian grandmother, 72, who fled war to be with family in UK has application to stay REJECTED by Home Office despite paying £4,000 in visa fees

  • Alla Yuzhakova was forced to leave Mykolayiv in Ukraine after it was bombed  
  • She endured a ‘hellish’ journey to be reunited with her daughter Irina in Dorset 
  • Mrs Wilson, 41, and husband Luke Wilson had to borrow £4,000 to pay visa fees 

A Ukrainian grandmother who fled her war-torn country to be with family in the UK has had her application to stay here rejected despite paying £3,380 in visa fees.   

Alla Yuzhakova, 72, was forced to leave the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv after it came under shelling by the Russian invaders.

She was driven by a stranger within four miles of the Moldovan border where she had to get out and walk through freezing snow and rain.

She eventually arrived in Bucharest, Romania, on March 4 where she was reunited with her daughter, Irina Wilson, who lives in Weymouth, Dorset.

Alla Yuzhakova, 72, (Left to right: Alla Yuzhakova, daughter Irina Wilson, and granddaughters Zarena, 15, and Audrey, four )was forced to leave the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv after it came under shelling by the Russian invaders

Left to right: Alla Yuzhakova, son-in-law Luke Wilson, daughter Irina Wilson and granddaughters Audrey, four, and Zarena, 15

After surviving the ‘hellish’ journey, Miss Yuzhakova made an Adult Dependent Relative application which entitles somebody to stay indefinitely in the UK but costs £3,380.

Mrs Wilson, 41, and husband Luke Wilson had to borrow £4,000 to pay the administrative fees for the visa application.

But on March 8 the family received an email telling Miss Yuzhakova that her application had been rejected without an explanation.

When she asked the Home Office why her mother had been rejected, Mrs Wilson said they could not give her a reason.

She said they assured her they would revisit Miss Yuzhakova’s application – but that she was ‘not a priority’.

Mrs Wilson, who has put herself in debt to pay the fees, said: ‘The Home Office has refused my mum’s entry as a resident elderly dependant relative.

Pictured: Irina Wilson and Alla Yuzhakova

Pictured: Devastation in the city of Mykolayiv, Ukraine

‘It’s so shocking and upsetting because we have submitted all the documents, made a £4,000 payment, which has put our family in debt and there was no reason for refusal.

‘My mum was never refused anything before. We applied for her residency before the war started.

‘I had a phone call from the Home Office – they said they would look at my mum’s story again but she was not a priority because they had so many refugees.

‘They couldn’t tell me which criteria she did not meet. It is shocking that at the end of her journey when mum is quite poorly and she wants to spend the time she has left with her family she has been turned away.

‘It is so bureaucratic – there is no heart in any application.’

Miss Yuzhakova has made regular trips to the UK from Ukraine before to visit her grandchildren, Zarena, 15, and Audrey, four.

Miss Yuzhakova has made regular trips to the UK from Ukraine (devastation in Mykolayiv)  before to visit her grandchildren, Zarena, 15, and Audrey, four

After surviving the ‘hellish’ journey, Miss Yuzhakova made an Adult Dependent Relative application which entitles somebody to stay indefinitely in the UK but costs £3,380. Pictured: Devastation in the city of Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Mrs Wilson, who has put herself in debt to pay the fees, said: ‘The Home Office has refused my mum’s entry as a resident elderly dependant relative’

Mrs Wilson said she suspected her mother had been turned away now because she owes the NHS £16,000 after she had emergency treatment to remove a cancerous growth from her shoulder during a visit last October.

She said her mother, who is still has growths which are at high risk of turning cancerous, has been given a ‘death warrant.’

Without permanent residency, she said they cannot afford to pay for life-saving treatment.

Miss Yuzhakova has a family visit visa which means she can only stay for six months at a time and is not entitled to free NHS treatment.

Mrs Wilson added: ‘Mum came for her visit with us in October – suddenly a lump on her shoulder appeared again, but this time it was stage three sarcoma cancer, deadly if not removed immediately.

Mrs Wilson said she suspected her mother had been turned away now because she owes the NHS £16,000 after she had emergency treatment to remove a cancerous growth from her shoulder during a visit last October. Pictured: Devastation in the city of Mykolayiv, Ukraine

The email sent by the Home Office to Mrs Yuzhakova said she ‘did not meet the requirements’ to be an adult dependant relative. Pictured: Devastation in the city of Mykolayiv, Ukraine

A Government spokesman Mrs Yuzhakova can apply for the Ukraine Family Scheme which has been set up for refugees fleeing the war. Pictured: Devastation in the city of Mykolayiv, Ukraine

‘They sent us to Royal Marsden Hospital in London. On December 22 last year, mum had surgery to remove the sarcoma and a reconstruction of her shoulder. We knew mum couldn’t be on her own any more.

‘We found out that because she isn’t a resident of the UK she isn’t entitled to free NHS treatment. The doctor who performed the surgery called the Royal Marsden finance department and said it was an emergency life-saving procedure and it shouldn’t be charged.

‘In February, we received a bill of £16,100. We are currently awaiting to hear from Marsden about this and see if it could free us from this bill.

‘We suspect that the reason mum’s residency application was refused is because she has an outstanding bill with NHS. It is like a death warrant.’

The email sent by the Home Office to Mrs Yuzhakova said she ‘did not meet the requirements’ to be an adult dependant relative.

Pictured: Alla Yuzhakova (centre) with daughter Irina Wilson and son-in-law Luke Wilson

Pictured: Luke, Irina and Audrey Wilson

A Government spokesman Mrs Yuzhakova can apply for the Ukraine Family Scheme which has been set up for refugees fleeing the war.

He said: ‘Last week we announced a new sponsorship route which will allow Ukrainians with no family ties to the UK to be sponsored to come to the UK.

‘This is alongside our Ukraine Family Scheme, which has already seen thousands of people apply, as well as changes to visas so that people can stay in the UK safely.

‘We’re protecting appointments for Ukrainians at all our Visa Application Centres, with a 24/7 helpline in place and deployed additional staff across the EU to help speed up the process further.

‘The routes we have put in place follow extensive engagement with Ukrainian partners. This is a rapidly moving and complex picture and as the situation develops we will continue to keep our support under constant review.’

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