Wales pauses super-sponsor scheme for Ukrainian refugees after being overwhelmed with applications

The Welsh Government paused its super-sponsor scheme for Ukrainian refugees. So far 480 people have arrived in the UK or Wales through the scheme. A total of 2,866 have applied to come through the scheme.

When the war broke out the Welsh Government said it would sponsor 1,000 people and provide them with accommodation, support, and care in Wales. It also removes the need for applicants to be matched to a named person before they are cleared to travel to the UK through the visa system.

The Welsh Government has said it will pause applications from this week and re-evaluate at the end of June how, and if, to resume the scheme but the hope is that it will come back in. The scheme where individuals can sponsor refugees will continue.

The vast majority of those coming to Wales are arriving via English ports and airports and once a visa has been granted they are free to travel. It means not all those who have been granted visas are in Wales or the UK and if all the requirements have been completed the visa is valid for three years. No exact figures are available for how many people are in Wales but the Welsh Government say they expect the majority of those who have had visas are here. Some of those who have been granted visas are waiting for other family members or friends to be given them or are waiting to try save money before arriving.

No figures are available for how many people have moved from the welcome centre to permanent accommodation but it has been confirmed that the number of applications is increasing. The expectation had been a rush of people when the scheme first opened but the flow has taken longer and the numbers continue to grow.

The break in applications will, the Welsh Government say, mean they can look at how many spaces in welcome centres are needed and whether any of those currently being used can be returned to their usual use.

Only the Welsh and Scottish Governments operated the super-sponsor scheme and the Scottish Government has no plans to pause its scheme.

Posted on Jun 09, 2022.

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