Please confirm that you are willing to act as a sponsor for a Ukrainian individual or family committed to hosting them for 6 months and to apply for the visa on their behalf. Refugees at Home are now able to match self referring Ukrainian guests with our hosts who are willing to act as sponsors. Below is more information on how this will work and some of the things to expect.
How will the visa sponsorship scheme work?
This is the link to the visa application on the UK government website and it explains how the visa process works. Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) You will need to apply for visa on behalf of your guest(s). Refugees at Home cannot advise on this process. We are not immigration advisors and so it would not be appropriate for us to provide this support.
What level of support will I need to provide my guest?
The government’s visa support scheme requests that the sponsor provides:
- A minimum of 6 months of hosting
- Assist the Ukrainian guest to arrive safely in the UK –
- Your own passport details so that DBS and/or Enhanced DBS checks can be carried out against your name.
- The Local Authority will visit your home to assess its suitability (separate to any checks done by RAH)
What will my guest be entitled to?
The visa will allow the individual to stay in the UK for 3 years. They will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.
They will also be able to access wraparound support from the Local Authority.
I want to be matched with a guest as a sponsor. What will happen next?
- Our team will assess the self referred guest in line with our standard guest assessment procedures.
- After this, we will approach potential hosts in the normal manner and share the guests information for consideration.
- Once a host has agreed to host and act as sponsor we would introduce host and guest.
- From this point, the host must liaise with the guest to make the visa application. The host will need to request the relevant information for the visa application from the guest. Please be aware that guests are likely in an unstable situation and internet connectivity might be an issue. For this reason, we ask that hosts are the ones responsible for actually submitting the application.
- Once the visa application(s) have been submitted, hosts should keep in touch with their guest so that they know when the visa is granted and can together make travel arrangements. A copy of the visa approval will need to be shared with Refugees at Home.
- Please copy Refugees at Home into these arrangements so that we can support accordingly.
- When the guest(s) arrive in the UK, the placement will be supported according to our normal standards. We will check in regularly with both host and guest and be there to provide support and address concerns as they arise.
What if the placement breaks down?
So that we can best support the host and guest, please inform your assigned Home Visitor or Placement Coordinator as soon as issues arise.
In the event that issues arise which cannot be resolved with RAH support and a placement must end. RAH will support the guest to leave. Whether we can offer further hosting with a different host will be considered on a case by case basis. Please be aware that currently sponsorship visas cannot be cancelled or transferred and so the host/sponsor’s name will be attached to that individuals visa for its duration.
Specific issues and obstacles Ukrainian guests might encounter:
Like our other guests also fleeing war and persecution, Ukrainian guests may face the same issues such as language barriers, different cultural practices, different tastes in food and so on. Please do refer to the hosting section of our website and read through our guest resources for more information on this. Resources – Refugees At Home
However, it is important to note that the situation of our Ukrainian guests will differ from that of our average guest in several ways:
- Ukrainian guests are coming directly to hosting from a traumatic and precarious situation with no time buffer such as a long journey to the UK or time in the UK asylum system which is the case for most of our guests. As the war is on-going, it is likely that guests will continue to process trauma while they are being hosted.
- They may lose family members or friends during the 6 month period. All of which will impact on mental health and how the guest interacts with the host family. Please be aware of this and if you have any concerns or worries, reach out to your placement coordinator straight away.
- Ukrainian guests, unlike those who have received Refugee status, are not eligible for housing support. They will need to find work and accommodation independently and this will be difficult for some especially if balancing care of their children/if they are older and processing trauma. Local Authorities should help with finding work and Refugees at Home will be checking in directly with the guest to assess whether further support to moving on is needed.
- Things to be aware of in your home:
- Watching and listening to the news when your guest is present
- Signs of trauma or the need for mental health support (please alert RAH)
- Need for rest and personal space to process
- Parenting styles will differ
Will I receive the £350 p/month?
Yes, hosts in this specific set up will be able to access the £350 p/month from their Local Authority. Please note that all of the above conditions must be adhered to. This is completely separate from Refugees at Home and so any issues around this should be taken up with the hosts Local Authority.