Posted: Tue 15th Mar 2022

Homes for Ukraine: More than 88,000 people in UK offer to take in refugees

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 15th, 2022

As the Russian attack on Ukraine enters its third week, the United Nations estimates that over 2.8 million people have fled the country in what has become the become Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War Two.

On Monday the UK government launched the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ sponsorship scheme, with the British public asked to open their homes to those fleeing the war.

Within the first five hours of its launch, more 43,000 people had offered to take in refugees, Foreign Office minister James Cleverly has said the number signing up hit 88,000 this morning.

The scheme offers a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home.

It will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members, forced to escape their homeland.

People will be expected to sign up to host a Ukrainian for a minimum of six months and will receive £350 for every month they house a refugee or family.

Someone is eligible for the scheme if they are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.

Ukrainians given a visa under the scheme will be allowed to remain and work in the UK for up to three years and will have full access and unrestricted access to benefits, health care, employment and other support.

Welsh Government responds to the scheme 

First minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has said he “welcomes the steps the UK Government has taken over recent days to make it easier for those fleeing the violence in Ukraine to apply for visas or sponsorship to come to the UK.”

He said: “We will work closely with the UK Government as the details of this scheme develop and are finalised to ensure we are ready to receive refugees from this weekend when the first visas and matches under the new scheme are issued.”

“In the meantime, we are working closely with Wales’ 22 local authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association, the WCVA, the Wales Strategic Migration Partnership and wider partners to make preparations to welcome refugees to Wales.”

“We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and there will be a warm welcome to all those who come to Wales.” He said.

How to register?

The website – homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk – allows people to register their interest in hosting a refugee.

If you have a named person who you wish to sponsor you should get in contact with them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application with all their details and yours. The visa application will go live on Friday 18 March.

If you don’t know anyone who 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.

You can also record your interest as an individual or as an organisation (eg. charity, business, community group). Please read the rest of this form and FAQs first before recording your offer of support, and we will keep in touch with you with updates as the scheme opens and develops.

What sort of accommodation are you expected to provide?

If you have a residential spare room or separate self-contained accommodation that is unoccupied then please come forward.  The accommodation must be available for at least six months, fit for people to live in, and suitable for the number of people to be accommodated.

Further details on types of accommodation suitable can be found in our FAQs.

Do you need to provide meals or just accommodation?

Just accommodation. 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).

After recording your interest, what happens next

You will be kept updated. In the first phase of the scheme, sponsors will be able to bring named Ukrainians and their immediate family members to the UK. This will launch later this week, and if you have a named family or individual you wish to support you will be able to fill in a form requesting to sponsor them.

See further FAQs for those interested in becoming a sponsor.

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