Ukrainians waiting at the Lviv train station (Image: AAP/Lara Hauser/SOPA/Sipa USA)
Ukrainians waiting at the Lviv train station (Image: AAP/Lara Hauser/SOPA/Sipa USA)

The snap decision of the Department of Home Affairs to terminate temporary humanitarian stay visas in less than eight days has created an impossible race against time for thousands of Ukrainians attempting to reach Australia. Getting to a plane, let alone on a plane, is a financial and logistical luxury that many Ukrainians fleeing the war cannot afford.

Australian-based Ukrainian Julia Semeniuk says that the looming July 14 deadline is barely enough time to land a flight from Europe to Australia, and that’s after making it out of Ukraine.

“For them to get from one side of Ukraine to the other, can take a week. It is near impossible to get them out of the country to meet the deadline, let alone to Australia,” she said.