Ukrainians in Wales will be able to access a free immigration advice scheme led by a Cardiff University academic.
Immigration and asylum lawyer Jennifer Morgan, who is a law lecturer in the University’s School of Law and Politics, has set up Ukraine Project Cymru in partnership with Asylum Justice, with funding from Welsh Government.
It is expected enquiries will be wide-ranging and involve work across a broad range of immigration and asylum law categories including work, student and family routes and specific Home Office immigration schemes.
Around 25 law students have been recruited to the initiative, with the team providing advice initially to any Ukrainian in need in Wales.
Jennifer, who has worked in the field for nearly 20 years, said: "Many Ukrainians have come to the UK or been able to stay here since the start of the war via a number of schemes that were set up in response to the crisis. But as support linked to some of these schemes comes to an end, many Ukrainians now need advice on what happens next.
"Due to the status they have been given, Ukrainians are not formally recognised as refugees and do not qualify for state-funded legal aid. I therefore expect that we are going to get many queries from families needing assistance in navigating our complex immigration system."
Ukraine Project Cymru is one of a number of pro-bono schemes run by academics at the Law School, which give students first-hand experience of casework, while providing a vital service to those who need it.
Prior to becoming a lecturer, Jennifer spent her career in the charity and legal aid sectors including working for national charities such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Immigration Advisory Service. She is a trustee at Welsh Refugee Council and a member of the Women in Refugee Law Network (WiRL).
She added: "The urgency of this work cannot be overstated. Ukrainians who have come to Wales are only just beginning their journey and it is vital that the appropriate support is available to those who need it."
Katherine Carter, a second-year Law student, said: "Refugees’ flea their home countries with little to no belongings and arrive in foreign countries knowing very little about their new home. Through the Ukraine Project Cymru, it is our job to help make them feel welcome and support them as they rebuild their lives."
Dr Bernadette Rainey, Senior Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University and Chair of Trustees at Asylum Justice said: "With funding from the Welsh Government through the Wales Sanctuary Services Programme, Asylum Justice is proud to be able to host the Ukraine Project Cymru run by the award-winning Pro Bono Unit in Cardiff’s School of Law and Politics.
"Asylum Justice is the only charity in Wales that provides the full range of free legal advice to refugees and vulnerable migrants and the partnership with the Pro Bono Unit allows Asylum Justice to effectively increase its capacity, supporting a dedicated project that addresses the specific legal advice needs of Ukrainians in Wales."
Ukrainians wishing to access the service should
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