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How to help people by supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme

The invasion of Ukraine has forced millions of people to flee – many without a permanent place to live.

The new Homes for Ukraine scheme brings individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those who have no family here.

Phase One will allow UK sponsors to nominate a named Ukrainian or family group to stay with them for at least six months, subject to security checks.

Many people have already done their part by registering their interest in becoming a sponsor. Ukrainians on the scheme will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum of three years.

Here are answers to common questions about how the scheme works:

How can I help you?
There are two ways you can help through the Homes for Ukraine scheme. If you know someone in Ukraine who would like to bring you to the UK, work with them to complete the dedicated visa application.

If you do not know anyone, you can fill in an expression of interest. More information is available at ukstandswithukraine.campaign.gov.uk

When can sponsors and Ukrainians apply for the Homes for Ukraine scheme?

If you know a Ukrainian you would like to sponsor, contact them now and get ready to complete a visa application.

If you do not know any Ukrainian who needs help, you can register your interest in becoming a sponsor. You will be kept updated as the schedule develops.

Which Ukrainians are eligible?

Houses for Ukraine is open to Ukrainian citizens residing in the country before January 1, 2022, as well as to their immediate family. They can apply from Ukraine as another third country.

There is no limit to numbers – the UK will welcome as many Ukrainians as they like and for whom there are sponsors.

What kind of space can I offer?

Accommodation can be anything from an empty room to an unoccupied house, as long as it is safe, heated, free from health hazards and gives your guests adequate access to bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Will I be paid here?

No, but the government can provide an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £ 350 per month for a maximum of one year. This is limited to one payment per address, and is subject to eligibility checks including a home visit. It will not affect municipal tax rebates.

Will the person I support be able to work or claim benefits?

Yes, all those who come from Ukraine to the country under the scheme will be able to get a job or apply for benefits.

Am I required to cover my guests’ bills or provide food?

No, you are simply asked to provide the accommodation. However, there is nothing stopping you from offering food if you want to.

Will I be expected to provide support?

Organizations can provide support on issues such as access to benefits, registration of GPs and schooling.

Will checks be carried out to protect my family and my guests?

Yes, the local council will complete checks on the accommodation and accommodation arrangements. Security checks will also take place, which will vary depending on circumstances. More information is available at ukstandswithukraine.campaign.gov.uk

I do not know the person I sponsor – we met online – should I give her my passport details?

Whether to share your personal information is your decision. But if you are worried, you may want to fill out the visa application form on behalf of the people you are sponsoring after asking them for their details.

Do I have to tell my landlord when I rent?

If you rent, you must ask your landlord for permission.

What about my mortgage and home insurance?

In some cases, you should check with your freeholder, mortgage lender, and insurance company about whether they have policies that you should consider. It is important that you consider all the possible consequences for your hair, mortgage, lease and insurance before your guest arrives.

Insurers do not expect homeowners participating in Homes for Ukraine to contact them, although you should if you are a landlord or tenant. The website of the Association of British Insurers has more details. Mortgage holders should contact their lender.

How long do I have to provide accommodation?

We ask people to provide stable accommodation for at least six months, but you can extend this if you and your guest (s) so wish.

What happens at the end of the six month sponsorship period?

You can choose to continue after the six-month period if you and your guest (s) so wish.

If you do not want this, you need to let your guest know in time so that they can make other arrangements.

Ukrainians on this scheme have access to public funds over the three years they have been allowed to stay in the UK and can work. At the end of their sponsorship, they can rent.

What if my circumstances change and I can not continue sponsoring?

If you need to end the arrangement early, you should tell your local council as soon as possible so that they can help guests find alternative accommodation.

How should my guest (s) reach me?

You need to give your guests instructions on the best ways to get to your home.

If you are unable to meet your guest, you will need to give them instructions on how to reach you from the chosen point of arrival.

Your guests are eligible for a single further journey via national rail, light rail, bus and coach, free of charge to your destination anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales. They only need to show their Ukrainian passport and boarding pass or ticket showing arrival in the country within the previous 48 hours. For more information, visit nationalrail.co.uk/ukraine

Can people bring their pets?

A new process will help people bringing pets from Ukraine, with the Animal and Plant Health Agency providing fast approvals and free quarantine. Ukrainians traveling to the United Kingdom should contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency before their departure.

‘I am inspired by the generosity of people’

Productivity coach Juliet Landau-Pope, 58, looked to the developing Russian invasion of Ukraine, a way to help.

Julia Landau-paus

Her grandfather, Hyman Poberevsky, fled Kiev to London in 1907 at the age of 18 to escape anti-Jewish persecution, leaving her feeling a special connection to the country.

Juliet set up a free service that offers advice and practical help to people who want to free up space to host a Ukrainian refugee.

‘I’m a member of the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organizers, so I posted on our Facebook group and there it snowed in the snow,’ she says.

‘I have collected the contact details of the volunteers on a spreadsheet, and divided the list into those who visit homes and those who provide online advice.’ Juliet is unable to host a refugee herself for practical reasons, so he feels happy that she can help in another way.

“Within three days, there are now more than 50 organizers on the list and the number continues to grow,” she says. “I’m also inspired by seeing so much positivity and generosity.”

Find out how you can help
today at
ukstandswithukraine.campaign.gov.uk

FAMILY MEMBER IN UKRAINE?

The Ukraine Family Scheme provides a route for Ukrainians with family in the UK to get here. Family members of British nationals or Ukrainians with permanent status are eligible. The scheme is free and Ukrainian citizens will receive a three-year visa to the United Kingdom.

To apply, follow this step-by-step process:

1 Go to gov.uk/UFS to start an online application form.

2 Upload a scan of your passport as part of your application.

3 UK teams carry out security and safety checks.

4 An email will be sent confirming permission to come to the UK.

5 You will receive a six-month entry stamp proving your right to work, study and claim benefits in the United Kingdom. Once in the UK, you must apply to extend your stay for a maximum of 36 months.

■ This article is part of a paid partnership with the UK Government



How to help people by supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme

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