Q: I’m interested, where do I register?
A: There is a short form on Homes for Ukraine. You will be kept updated after recording your interest. https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/ 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 is live from 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.
Q: I’m part of an organisation what role can I play?
A: You can in the first instance record your interest. https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/ 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.
Q: When will sponsors and Ukrainians be able to apply for the sponsorship scheme?
A: Phase One of the scheme opened on Friday 18th March for visa applications from Ukrainians who have named people willing to sponsor them. People or organisations wanting to be sponsors who do not know anyone personally fleeing Ukraine were able to register their interest in being a sponsor from Monday 14th March. They will then be kept updated as the scheme develops. Our charities, faith groups and universities will have extensive networks with communities and individuals across Europe. The Government will work closely with all of them to ensure people who want to help are matched to people from Ukraine
Q: How many Ukrainians are expected to be helped under the sponsorship scheme route?
A: There will be no limit or cap on the sponsorship route. The UK will welcome as many Ukrainians, as well as 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
Q: How do people wishing to come to the UK apply?
A: 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. Children do not need a passport. If you do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport you will need to book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre. https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre It is free of charge to apply.
Q: How is the scheme going to be delivered?
A: 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. Those wishing to register for sponsorship will need to be able to offer accommodation for a minimum period of 6-months. Alongside the generous offer of accommodation sponsors will be making, the Government 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.
Q: Can I offer my room out?
A: 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. In Phase One of the scheme, 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.
Q: Will the person I am supporting be eligible for benefits and/or to work?
A: 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
Q: Will I be able to state any preferences?
A: 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.
Q: Will I be paid rent?
A: 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. This payment will be made in arrears. Eligibility checks will be carried out which may include a visit to your home.
Q: Am I expected to provide meals too or just accommodation?
A: 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 if you are able).
Q: Will I be expected to provide any other support?
A: 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.
Q: If I am on benefits can I register to sponsor, and would my benefits be affected?
A: Yes you can register to sponsor. No your benefits will not be affected.
Q: Would sponsoring affect my council tax status?
A: No, sponsoring via the Homes for Ukraine scheme will not affect your council tax status
Q: What checks need to be done?
A: Those arriving will have met standard security checks. Sponsors will also be subject to checks. Those in the sponsoring households will also be subject to security checks and may be subject to safeguarding checks too. Checks may be carried out on a rolling basis. Your council will want to check that the accommodation you are offering is appropriate in the circumstances.
Q: How far in advance would I be notified of arrival and get the details of those staying with me if I do not already know them?
A: Anyone registering online for Homes for Ukraine will be kept updated promptly. Guidance will be directly communicated once registered to include information on security checks, status of the arrangement and the role of your local council in providing wider support. All sponsors will be provided with a sponsor support pack which will signpost relevant services and where you can get guidance and assistance. Once a sponsor has matched with a family, they will go through this process together. The focus will be on arrival as soon as possible, however, within registration sponsor will be able to confirm availability.
Q: What happens if my circumstances change within the minimum 6-month period?
A: If the relationship breaks down, or you become unable to fulfil the 6 month period an independent matching services will work to find another sponsor. In the event that another sponsor is not found, the local authority will come into play. However, the Homes for Ukraine scheme does ask that sponsor registering are prepared and able to offer a minimum of 6 months. As such registration should be done with confirmation that 6 months can be provided at the time of registering.
Q: Is there a cap of the number of refugees I can offer accommodation to?
A: No. As long as the accommodation offered is suitable in terms of space and standard for the number you are offering to sponsor. However, the £350 per month payment is limited to £350 per residence.
Q: What happens after the minimum 6-month period has finished?
A: If the relationship breaks down or you become unable to continue you offer of sponsorship, an independent matching services will work to find another sponsor. In the event that another sponsor is not found, the local authority will come into play.
Q: Does offering a spare room within a property I rent from a landlord count as subletting?
A: No. Those you sponsor are guests, not tenants.
Q: Will refugees be given a ‘starter kit’ including essentials such as clothing, toothbrush etc prior to their arrival at my home or do I need to provide initial items?
A: Yes. Although if you wish to provide additional items you are free to do so.
Q: What immigration status, right to work and access to public services and benefits will those arriving in the UK get?
A: 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), employment support and English language tuition.
Q: What security checks will need to happen?
A: 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.
Q: Will there be a tenancy agreement?
A: No. There will be no tenancy agreement, those you sponsor will be there as guests, not as tenants.
Q: Who pays the council tax?
A: As those you sponsor will be guests, not tenants, council tax is not affected.
Q: Who pays the utility bills?
A: The sponsor pays the utility bills, whether they are present in the property or it is an empty property they are offering. The Government will give £350 per month to sponsors. However, sponsors may have a private arrangement with their Ukrainian guests to contribute.
Q: Do I need to alter my home insurance?
A: If you are a homeowner in the UK and want to temporarily house refugees who have been displaced due to the conflict in Ukraine as non-paying guests in your home, you do not need to inform your insurer and your cover will remain the same. This applies to the first 12 months of any refugees living with you, including when your policy is due. After 12 months, if any refugees are still living with you, then you should tell your insurer when you next review your policy.
Q: Can the guests be evicted from the property/ residence offered?
A: As they are guests, eviction does not apply. However, if the relationship breaks down, independent matching services will work to find another sponsor. In the event that another sponsor is not found, the local authority will come into play.
Q: What happens if I have registered to sponsor and have been linked with more than one family – how do I choose which one?
A: As a sponsor you decide which family to choose, you then apply to the scheme together.
Q: Will additional funding be given to schools that may need to take in more students than their budget is currently allocated for?
A: Further funding for education will be paid at a rate of £3,000 per 0-4 year old, £6,580 per 5-11 year old and £8,755 per 11-18 year old.
Q: Will local authorities receive extra funding?
A: Local authorities will receive a tariff of £10,500 per beneficiary person