100,000 offer homes to Ukrainian refugees on day 1

More than 100,000 Brits have signed up to host a Ukrainian refugee on the first day of the government’s new scheme.

The visa sponsorship scheme, Homes for Ukraine, will offer each household taking in a refugee a tax-free amount of £350 per month for up to 12 months.

It will offer Ukrainians the opportunity to live and work in the UK for up to three years, with healthcare, benefits employment support, education and English language tuition.

There will be a ‘light touch’ vetting of hosts but not a full DBS check.

Local authorities will receive £10,500 in extra funding per refugee and more funding will be available to ensure school places for children.

The UK’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme website said: “The UK is one of the most generous nations in the world and the British public are now being asked to go one step further and open their homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

“We have a long history of helping others in their hour of need and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme offers a lifeline to those forced to flee their homes.”

Non-Britons can sign up to the scheme, though they must have at least six months’ leave to remain in the UK.

Families can identify Ukrainians they intend to host, then make a visa application with their names.

For those that don’t have any specific Ukrainians in mind, a number of charities are requesting for people to register their interest so they can undertake the matching process.

The charities are Sanctuary Foundation, which is running online information events for hosts; Refugees at Home, which has experience connecting refugees and hosts online; Room for Refugees, which has previously settled unaccompanied child refugees; Reset, which also has a sponsorship scheme for refugees from other conflicts; and World Jewish Relief, which runs a number of projects in Ukraine.

Ukrainians will be able to fill in a visa application from the 18 March. People with a valid Ukraine passport can apply online, or they will alternatively have to use a visa centre in another country like Poland, Romania, Moldova, Belgium or France.

The scheme does not expect hosts to cover food and other necessities, which should be covered by refugees themselves.

Comments 1

  1. We don’t know for sure how many refugees will come to the UK. At the moment the refugee “lodging” scheme is housing refugees for the Government on the cheap by playing on the sympathy we all have for the Ukrainians plight.
    However unless it is actually family being housed the scheme will backfire as the virtue signalling wears off and the reality of living with strangers kicks in and the kind hosts will get fed up as the situation drags on.
    I forsee a situation in 6 months’ time when a lot of the refugees will have become genuinely homeless as they are asked to leave. What will happen then? There is insufficient social housing and the PRS is full and shrinking, but I expect the PRS will be held to blame somehow.

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