MORE visas have been issued for refugees to live with sponsors in Trafford under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, figures suggest.

The scheme, also known as the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, allows UK citizens to volunteer to accommodate refugees from the war-torn nation.

Sponsors agree to offer accommodation for at least six months, while refugees are allowed to live, work and study in the UK for up to three years.

As of the start of last week, figures from the Home Office suggest 170 of these visas have been issued in Trafford – up from 25 at the start of April.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: "Trafford Council and all our partners across the borough and GM are united in wanting to do all we can to welcome refugees and support all those who have volunteered to offer them a temporary home.

"We will continue to do everything we possibly can to ensure Ukrainians arriving in Trafford can settle in swiftly and safely with all the support they need.

“Thank you to all the generous residents who have helped in providing a safe haven for all those fleeing the conflict and to those working tirelessly behind the scenes in our communities.”

Across the UK, 51,300 of these visas have been issued, almost 70 per cent of the 74,700 applications made.

However, the number of refugees to have arrived in the UK, 11,100 as of April 25, is still low in comparison.

Stephen Kinnock, South Wales MP and the Labour Party's shadow minister for immigration, criticised the Government's management of the scheme and said the visas were 'a bureaucratic nightmare'.

A Government spokesperson responded: “The changes the Home Office has made to streamline the visa system, including simplifying the forms and boosting staff numbers, are working and we are now processing visas as quickly as they come in – enabling thousands more Ukrainians to come through our uncapped routes.”

Anyone interested in the scheme is asked to use the Government's Homes for Ukraine website, rather than to contact Trafford Council directly.