Petition Create a Palestinian Family Visa Scheme for Palestinian people affected by war

We want the government to take action and create a Visa scheme that allows Palestinian individuals affected by war, to be allowed into the UK. Just like we did for Ukraine.

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This visa would provide them with an opportunity to seek refuge and reunite with their families safely in the UK. By implementing this visa, the government can demonstrate its commitment to compassion, inclusivity, and supporting those who have endured the hardships of war. Together, let's urge the government to enact policies that provide a lifeline for Palestinians seeking safety and a chance to rebuild their lives safely.

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Government responded

This response was given on 21 December 2023

There are no plans to introduce bespoke arrangements for people arriving from the region. Those wishing to come to the UK who currently have no visa can apply under one of the existing visa routes.

The UK Government is monitoring the situation in Israel and Gaza closely to ensure that it is able to respond appropriately.

We recognise that some people impacted by the events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories may wish to join family in the UK. The Government is working with authorities across the region to facilitate the repatriation of British citizens and their family members who already hold permission to come to the UK.

There are currently no plans to introduce bespoke arrangements for people arriving from the region who do not hold permission to come to the UK. That means that immediate family members of British citizens, and those settled in the UK, who wish to come and live in the UK and do not have a current UK visa can apply under one of the existing family visa routes. Individuals who meet these criteria should apply for a visa to enable them to enter the UK in the normal way. Fee waivers are available to those who can not afford the application fee, and exceptional circumstances may be taken into account where certain requirements are not met.

UK Visas and Immigration is working closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in supporting family members of British nationals evacuated from Gaza who require a visa, signposting the necessary steps and expediting appointments at the Visa Application Centre (VAC). VACs in the region such as Egypt, Jordan and Turkey are open and offering a full service.

Since 2015, over half a million people were offered safe and legal routes into the UK. This includes over 28,600 individuals resettled to the UK under its global UNHCR resettlement schemes, which include the UK Resettlement Scheme, Community Sponsorship and the Mandate Resettlement Scheme. However, our approach must be considered in the round, rather than on a crisis-by-crisis basis.

Home Office

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At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

MPs discuss the situation in Israel and Palestine

In the last two weeks, MPs have been regularly discussing the situation in Israel and Palestine. You can find details of relevant discussions in the House of Commons, and how to keep up to date on future business, below.

On Monday 16 October, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, made a statement in the House of Commons about Israel and Gaza.

On Wednesday 18 October the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly MP, answered an urgent question about the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.

On Monday 23 October, the Prime Minister made a further statement in the House of Commons about Israel and Gaza.

What are Ministerial statements?

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House.

What are Urgent Questions?

If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question.

The relevant Government Minister has to come to the Chamber to explain what the Government is doing on the issue raised. The Minister will then usually take questions on the subject from MPs.

Keep up to date

You can find out about upcoming business in the House of Commons, including future discussions about the situation in Israel and Palestine, using Parliament's 'What's on' page.

Find out more about the situation in Israel and Palestine

The House of Commons has published a briefing on UK and international response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The House of Commons has also published a reading list that provides links to Commons Library papers, Committee reports, parliamentary material and UK Government press releases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the current parliament. It also includes material on issues related to the current conflict, such as Iran’s influence in the Middle East and Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon. This paper will be updated regularly.

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MPs investigate the UK’s engagement with the Middle East and North Africa

A group of MPs called the Foreign Affairs Committee are looking into the UK’s engagement with the Middle East and North Africa.

The Committee is considering issues including:

  • The medium and long-term challenges facing the countries of the Middle East and North Africa

  • The main countries in which the UK should focus its efforts within the region

  • The conflict between Israel and Palestine and what can be done to engage all parties in seeking a peaceful resolution

  • How the UK should respond to the growing engagement of major powers like Russia, China, Turkey and India in the region.

The investigation was launched in July, but following recent events the Committee has confirmed that it is likely to look at viability of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and how the UK might be able to help resolve the conflict peacefully.

Read the Committee's press notice announcing this work for more information.

What happens next?

The Committee is going to conduct oral evidence sessions where they will hear from experts in the field, such as former ambassadors to the region, diplomats, academics, NGOs and charities.

The Committee will then consider all the evidence it has taken and publish a report of its findings with recommendations to the Government.

For more information about the inquiry, visit the Committee's inquiry page.

What is the Foreign Affairs Committee?

The Foreign Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that looks into the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other associated public bodies, such as the British Council.

The Foreign Affairs Committee is a select committee.

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Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

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