The Home Office has apologised to an Aberdeenshire resident for sending her to Ukraine just days before war broke out.

The UK Government has issued a formal apology for instructing Boddam resident to go to Ukraine days before the Russians started their invasion.

By John A. MacInnes
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:16 pm
Natalya and Peter are now both safely at home.
Natalya and Peter are now both safely at home.

Natalya Fisher, who lives in Boddam with husband Peter, was sent back to Ukraine by the Home Office to apply for a visa document just days before Russia began the war.

Natalya was in Ukraine for two weeks during the Russian invasion. Husband, Peter Fisher, travelled to Budapest to meet his wife to cut through red tape and travel back home to Scotland together.

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast Karen Adam, who assisted Natalya and Peter with the matter, wrote a scathing letter on March 2 to Home Office Secretary Priti Patel MP expressing “deep concern over the news that the UK government’s Home Office instructed her constituent to travel to Ukraine in order to apply for a visa just days before the Russian invasion of the country.”

Ms Adam continued on in the letter to say that the UK’s immigration policy was “unfit for purpose” and “endangered lives.”

On April 28, seven weeks after Ms Adam had contacted the Home Office, the UK’s Minister for Safe & Legal Migration finally responded to say: “I note Ms Fisher was advised she must return to Ukraine to submit an application.

"I am sorry officials advised her of this. Taking into consideration the events which were unfolding at the time, this should not have been done as there was no need for her to do so.”

Commenting, Karen said: “The most important thing is that both Natalya and Peter are back at home safely in Boddam.

“Natalya should never have been made to go back to Ukraine, particularly when the UK government knew of the impending Russian invasion with the build up of Russian troops on the border.

“This ordeal has highlighted just how far removed Conservative politicians are from our values in Scotland.

"We are a welcoming country but we have an immigration policy that has been imposed on us from a UK government that does not match the character of our nation.”