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Maria Patsalos on Home Office visa processing for Afghan and Ukrainian refugees

Posted on 7 April 2022

Mishcon de Reya Partner Maria Patsalos has been interviewed by BBC Newsnight and BBC Radio 4 Today on the the very different treatment of visa applications by Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

Maria highlighted the very different visa routes available to Afghan refugees, in comparison to Ukrainian refugees and the Home Office's redirection of resources to prioritise the processing of Ukrainian refugee visa applications.

Mishcon de Reya is working with 28 Afghan judges and their families as they apply for UK visas.

Maria commented: “In our view, people have forgotten about the Afghans… they are in a very similar situation [to the Ukrainians].

The Home Office is in a very difficult position – we've got two crises back to back, however, there were many months before the Ukraine crisis came about and the Afghans were not given the same treatment as the Ukrainians. There is no such thing as an Afghan family reunion route, or an Afghan sponsorship route.

Afghan judges were absolutely instrumental in the British mission in Afghanistan… we have a moral duty to help bring them to safety."

The Newsnight segment starts at 2.12 – watch now.

The BBC Radio 4 Today segment starts at 49.49 – listen now.

Mishcon de Reya is one of the founding members of the Ukraine Justice Alliance, a coalition of lawyers, law firms and NGOs that have formed an alliance to support Ukrainians in response to the catastrophic invasion of their country, including providing immigration assistance. Find out more.

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