Sofii, Yuliia, Max and MatviiImage source, Family Handouts

Image caption,

Matvii’s fourth birthday last year with Max, taken in their house in Boryspil last year.

By Claire Carter & Dawn Limbu

BBC News

A Ukrainian woman will finally be able to meet her husband for the first time in eight months after her visa was extended.

Yuliia and her two children have been staying in Taunton in Somerset with Simon Hollington and his family.

Whilst waiting for their visa to be processed, they were told they could not re-enter the UK without it.

After a lengthy visa processing time, Yuliia can finally make plans to meet with her husband Max in Europe.

“It was a long wait for the visa decision to go through. It wasn’t very easy,” she said.

Image source, Family photo

Image caption,

Yuliia and Matvii have been staying in Simon Hollington’s Somerset home

Yuliia’s husband Max still lives in their hometown Boryspil, just to the south east of Kyiv.

Together they have 12-year-old daughter named Sofiia and five-year-old son named Matvii.

“I have contact with my family every day,” Yuliia added.

Image source, Family photo

Image caption,

Left to right: Anne Hollington, Yuliia, Matvii and Sofiia in their local park in Taunton

Now that the family have been granted a three-year-visa, which will allow them to re-enter the UK, they can begin making plans to meet with Max in Europe.

Before seeking refuge in Somerset, Yuliia spent two months living in Poland after the Russian invasion, before coming to Somerset.

Yuliia and her family were matched with host Simon Hollington through the Homes for Ukrainians Visa Scheme.

Mr Hollington has been supporting Yuliia through the visa extension process, and has written to MPs and the Home Office asking them to process their visa faster.

The family had their biometrics taken for their visa on 15th July and were told that the Home Office had a 48-hour visa processing target. They received their visa after a four-month wait.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: