The Homes for Ukraine scheme has been launched by the UK Government. Below is the latest information on the scheme – and I’ll continue to update the scheme as more information becomes available.
This scheme will allow people seeking sanctuary with no family ties to the UK to be sponsored by individuals or organisations who can offer them a home, such as a spare room or unoccupied residential self-contained unit. The scheme will be uncapped, open to Ukrainian nationals (and immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals). Those arriving through this scheme will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years and also access benefits, healthcare, and other support.
Sponsors can be of any nationality, with any immigration status, provided they have at least six months’ leave to remain within the UK. In the first phase of the scheme, sponsors will need to have a named person who they wish to sponsor. This could be a friend, or friend of friend, someone they are already connected with, or it could be someone they have been linked with by a charity, faith group or other organisation. The visa application route will go live on Friday 18 March.
The Government are asking that sponsors provide accommodation for a minimum of six months. We appreciate people’s generosity and know there will be costs associated with helping out – so the Government are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people for up to 12 months. This thank you payment is limited to one payment per residential address. Sponsors should not charge rent. They will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses, although they may wish to offer this philanthropically.
Those arriving will need to meet standard security checks. Those living in the sponsoring households will also be subject to security checks and may be subject to safeguarding checks too.
The Welsh Government have confirmed that they will act as a ‘super sponsor’ for an initial 1000 people in the first phase of the scheme – and expect to build on this as the scheme develops. More information on this will be published soon, but you can read the initial announcement here:
Launch of Expression of Interest Webpage
Any individual, charity, community group and business across the country can record their interest on this webpage – www.gov.uk/homes-for-ukraine. They will receive updates and more information on how to apply once the scheme launches.
Then on Friday 18 March, Phase One of the visa application route will open for sponsors and named contacts to apply to the scheme.
Over time, the Government expect to see the scheme develop further to allow charities, faith groups, community groups and other organisations to act as sponsors.