About the scheme
The government has announced the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship pathway. You can register your interest in sponsoring a family on GOV.UK- Homes for Ukraine. This page gives guidance about who can become a sponsor.
If you wish to be matched to a Ukrainian individual or family, you can register here
If you have registered with GOV.UK, you can also find additional support and help with matching you as a sponsor with people coming from Ukraine from:
The Home Secretary has confirmed that Ukrainians who are on work, study or visit visas in the UK will have their visas temporarily extended or be able to switch onto different visa routes. You can find more information on visas here. There is also advice for British nationals in Ukraine on the GOV.UK website.
What to think about before you decide to sponsor
Before you commit to sponsoring, it is important that you think carefully what this will mean to you and your family.
A person, or family fleeing Ukraine will be living with you for a minimum of 6 months, needing access to a safe place to stay. You might be in a position to offer a self-contained property or a room in your home.
You should consider what having someone to stay for this length of time might mean to you and your family. It’s a huge commitment to make.
We recommend that you research the support that is available in your area; through organisations or charities, your friends and neighbours that will be useful when someone arrives. You may need to offer support to access services such as registering with a doctor or setting up a bank account as well as more specialist support.
Information about the process
Here is a quick outline of the process:
- Register your interest at www.gov.uk/homes-for-ukraine
- If you wish to be matched to Ukrainian individual or family you can register here
- The sponsor or the guest fills out the single visa application form online using both parties’ details. You can find more information here.
- Details on the location of the proposed accommodation, from the application is passed to the Council from the Home Office.
- The Home Office and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) are responsible for the vetting checks that determine the outcome of the visa application.
- While the Home Office and DLUHC carry out vetting checks, information about matched sponsors is passed to the local council.
- The council will complete local checks (DBS, and property) to make sure guests are arriving into a safe space. To help us carry out the necessary checks and to support the needs of the person or family you are sponsoring, you will need to complete an internal Somerset Form. This will be emailed to you once you have been matched.
- Our local checks will not impact someone’s ability to travel and do not speed up the visa application.
- The Home Office will issue the guest with a permit to travel. When the Home Office issues the guest(s) with a permit to travel, sponsors must support the guest to coordinate their arrival.
- The council provides welcome arrangements for guests, including things like health and school places and settling people in.
- Ukrainian guests will be contacted after their arrival and invited to a welfare check. The sponsor and guest will be asked by the welfare provider if a UK bank account has been opened. If not, the sponsor will be asked to prioritise setting this up with the guest and book a welfare check within a minimum of 3 working days to allow for the account to be opened. Sponsors will be requested to contact the welfare provider via a referral form to let them know when the bank account is live or to notify of any problems. If there is a problem in setting up an account, the subsistence payment of £200 per guest will be paid at the welfare check in cash. If a bank account has been set up the subsistence payment will be paid by a bank transfer. This welfare check will take place in a community setting by Somerset County Council’s welfare provider
Council tenants and private letting
Council tenants or shared owners should let their local Council know if they intend to sponsor someone though the scheme by contacting their housing officer. This is so that the appropriate consent can be provided (this will not be classed as subletting as described in your Tenancy Agreement), and to make sure the accommodation is appropriate, and connect people up to the right support. Tenants are also advised that they contact their home contents insurance company to notify them of any changes as some insurance policies may require this.
Please get permission from your landlord if you intend to sponsor someone through the scheme.
More information and resources
Homes for Ukraine: factsheet for Ukrainians – This factsheet explains how Ukrainians can apply to the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
Model document translations for visa applications – Visa applicants must have evidence of their UK-based family link: a copy of an official document that confirms the relationship with their UK-based family member. This can be a marriage or a birth certificate, for example.UK-based professional language associations and organisations have created model document translations for the most commonly needed documents.