Homes for Ukraine program – full details
The UK is one of the most generous nations in the world and the British public are now being asked to go one step further and open their homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
We have a long history of helping others in their hour of need and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme offers a lifeline to those forced to flee their homes.
How this works
This bespoke scheme will offer a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home. It will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members, forced to escape their homeland.
Sponsors should provide accommodation for as long as they are able, but we have a minimum expectation of 6 months.
Someone is eligible for the scheme if they are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.
We will welcome as many arrivals as possible, based on the number of sponsors.
People arriving under this scheme will be able to:
- Live and work in the UK for up to three years
- Access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition
How to register?
If you have a named person who you wish to sponsor you should get in contact with them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application with all their details and yours. The visa application will go live on Friday 18 March.
If you don’t know anyone who you wish to sponsor you may wish to get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations who are starting to make connections between individuals.
You can also record your interest as an individual or as an organisation (for example charity, business, community group) by the following link - https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/.
What sort of accommodation am I expected to provide?
If you have a residential spare room or separate self-contained accommodation that is unoccupied then please come forward. The accommodation must be available for at least 6 months, fit for people to live in, and suitable for the number of people to be accommodated.
Do I need to provide meals or just accommodation?
Just accommodation. There is nothing stopping sponsors offering meals should they wish to.
You will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses (although you may wish to offer this yourself).
I've recorded my interest, what happens now?
You will be kept updated. In the first phase of the scheme, sponsors will be able to bring named Ukrainians and their immediate family members to the UK. This will launch later this week, and if you have a named family or individual you wish to support you will be able to fill in a form requesting to sponsor them.
Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions
Questions and answers on how the Homes for Ukraine scheme will work
How many Ukrainians are expected to be helped under the sponsorship scheme route?
There will be no limit on the sponsorship route. The UK will welcome as many Ukrainians, with their immediate family members, as wish to come and for whom there are sponsors. This is a huge humanitarian crisis, and we are urging the British public to come forward and help where they can.
When will sponsors and Ukrainians be able to apply for the sponsorship scheme?
The scheme will open on Friday 18 March for visa applications from Ukrainians and immediate family members who already have named people willing to sponsor them.
People wanting to be sponsors who do not know anyone personally fleeing the Ukraine can register their interest in being a sponsor from today (Monday 14 March).
We know our charities, faith groups, universities will have extensive networks with communities and individuals across Europe. We will be working closely with all of them to ensure people who want to help are matched to people from Ukraine.
How is the scheme going to be delivered?
To make this scheme a success we need a national effort – with devolved governments, charities, faith groups, businesses, councils and communities all working together to provide much needed support to those arriving in the weeks and months ahead.
We are asking people in the UK to offer accommodation for at least 6 months – we know this is a significant ask.
Alongside the generous offer of accommodation sponsors will be making, we are providing a substantial level of funding to local authorities to enable them to provide much wider support to families to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into our communities.
Under this scheme people will have access to public services, work and benefits.
We will provide more detailed guidance in the coming days. Anyone registering online on Homes for Ukraine will be kept updated. Our guidance will include information on the checks we will be undertaking on both sponsors and people seeking to come to the UK, information around the status of the arrangement you will be entering into (including expected accommodation standards), and the role of your local council in providing wider support. We will also provide a full support pack for sponsors, with signposting to relevant services and where they can get help.
Can I offer my room out?
Anyone in the UK (of any nationality and any immigration status providing they have at least six months leave to remain in the UK) with a spare room, or separate self-contained accommodation that is unoccupied can come forward to help. Accommodation must be available for at least 6 months, be fit for people to live in, and suitable for the number of people to be accommodated.
Named individuals can offer residential rooms or unoccupied self-contained residential units to a specific person or people, and charities, NGOs may be able to help you to make contact with a named person. In the future we will work to help organisations to also sponsor individuals, but we are starting the first phase of the scheme with named individual contacts.
Will I be able to state any preferences?
In Phase One of the scheme it will be for you as a sponsor to match with a particular named person or a named family. You should consider what sort of support you are best able to provide and who you are most comfortable to support. Everyone who applies to this scheme will be subject to a range of checks, including those in the sponsoring household and those coming to the UK.
Will I be paid rent?
No. You should not charge any rent. We appreciate people’s generosity and do know that there will be costs associated with helping out, and so we are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more household (subject to the accommodation they have).
The thank you payment is limited to one payment per residential address. You will continue to receive payments for as long as you sponsor somebody for up to 12 months.
Eligibility checks will be carried out which may well include a visit to your home.
Will the person I am supporting be eligible for benefits and/or to work?
All those from Ukraine coming to the country under the scheme will be able to apply for benefits and to seek and take up employment.
Am I expected to provide meals too or just accommodation?
Just accommodation. However, there is nothing stopping sponsors offering meals should they wish to.
You will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses (although you may wish to offer this philanthropically).
Will I be expected to provide any other support?
There are other organisations who will be able to offer support on things like access to benefits, registering with a GP, school placements etc. We will provide guidance with links to such organisations so you can help to sign post. We will also be asking local councils to provide wrap-around support for your guests and are providing new funding for the councils to do so.
What checks need to be done?
Those arriving will have met standard security checks.
Sponsors and all adults in the sponsoring households will also be subject to security checks and may be subject to safeguarding checks too.
Your council will want to check that the accommodation you are offering is appropriate in the circumstances.
I’m interested, where do I register?
There is a short form on Homes for Ukraine. You will be kept updated after recording your interest.
If you already have a named contact whom you wish to sponsor you should get in touch with them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application with all of their details and yours. The visa application route will go live on Friday 18 March.
If you don’t currently know anyone whom you wish to sponsor, you may wish to get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations who are starting to make connections between individuals.
I’m part of an organisation what role can I play?
You can in the first instance record your interest.
Charities, businesses and faith and community groups will have a big role to play connecting individuals who wish to sponsor and wish to be sponsored and of course providing an excellent welcome to individuals arriving to the UK.
In future we will work to help organisations to directly sponsor individuals, but we are starting with named individual contacts.
For those arriving to the UK
The visa form will be available from Friday 18th March. We will of course provide you with information about life in the UK and what you can expect once your visa is issued.
Am I eligible for the scheme?
You are eligible if you are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.
The scheme is open for adults and children within family units.
What immigration status, right to work and access to public services and benefits will I get?
You will be granted leave to remain in the UK for 3 years. You will be able to work and access benefits and public services – including healthcare, schooling (including state schools).
How do I apply?
From Friday 18 March you can apply from outside the UK under this scheme to seek to come to the UK. Either you or your sponsor completes a single form which collects your details and the details of your sponsor. This is your application.
If you hold a valid Ukrainian international passport you will not need to attend a Visa Application Centre.
If you do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport you will need to book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre.
It is free of charge to apply.
What security checks will I have to do?
Security checks for both you and your sponsor will be undertaken as part of the visa application process. Biometric checks will be made after you arrive in the UK to avoid delays.
Posted on Mar 14, 2022.
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