Cambridge graduate Kat Karpenko, 25, arrived from Kyiv 10 years ago after winning a scholarship for a top sixth form. Her dad Oleksandr, 61, and mum Vira, 60, refused to leave their home in Irpin outside Kyiv until their hospital and home were bombed by Russian forces. They packed one small suitcase into their car in 15 minutes and drove to Krakow in Poland where they were met by their daughter. Kat, who lives in London, said: “Whilst driving, they saw cars leaving Irpin being shot at by the Russian army.
“My grandmother is also too weak to cross the border and doesn’t want to leave. My sister is looking after her.
“My parents left with her son Nikita who is 19 and has a disability.” From Krakow, Kat decided to apply for visas for her family and discovered the fastest way to upload her family’s biometric data was to travel from Poland to Paris.
She said: “We set off straight away and drove for 22 hours.
“We applied for the UK Family Scheme visa on March 9 and submitted biometrics in Paris on March 11. There has been no update on the application since.
“My parents and nephew also submitted their passports alongside their application, so they cannot travel or show any formal proof of identity.
“They are staying with friends and people they know but don’t want to be a burden and are moving on every few days. Paris is very pricey to stay in and they will not be able to do this for too much longer.”
Kat’s MP, Labour’s Florence Eshalomi, has been trying to find out from the Home Office what the problem is with no response.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are continuing to speed up visa processing, including boosting caseworkers and simplifying the forms.”