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After you arrive in the UK

Although this resource focuses on what will happen once you arrive in the UK and the different services you will interact with, much of this information will be useful to know before you arrive. Whether you are waiting to come to the UK or have just arrived, read through the following information to get an idea of how to build a network of support, your rights and responsibilities, and what to do if you need help after arrival.

Finding local, community-led support

Once you have arrived in your sponsor’s home, your sponsor will do their best to make sure you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that sponsors may not be able to help you with everything and may only have limited capacity to support you outside of their home. The Local Authority in your area will be responsible for helping you sign-up for essential services when you arrive, but some Local Authorities are more hands-on than others. You may find that the Local Authority in your area is very helpful, or you may not have much contact with them. However, there are plenty of organisations, community-led support groups, and networks across the UK that can help you.  

You can start to research this before you arrive and contact some organisations who may be able to provide you with support. The best way to do this is to use Google search and type questions such as ‘Ukrainian support in (name of town/village)’. You can also use your county name, which you can find by typing in your town/village and then ‘county’. Often, the organisation’s information will be translated into Ukrainian, but this is not always the case.  

You can also ask your sponsor if they know of any local groups who could support you in the area. There could be WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, or a small community-led group working in the area who can support you with anything from accessing English classes, opening a bank account, finding a job, and enrolling your children in school. 

Understanding your rights and responsibilities

It is important that you know your rights and responsibilities when you arrive in the UK, including workers’ rights, healthcare rights, and property rights.

If things go wrong

Immigration Status

As of 3pm 19th February, all successful visa applicants will be given 18 months Leave to Remain. Leave to Remain means that the UK government will support you in healthcare, employment opportunities, access to education, and benefits. The UK Government has introduced the Ukraine Permission Extension (UPE) scheme, which will allow you to apply for a visa extension when you are in the last three months of your leave.

On receiving your visa approval, you will have 90 days to arrive in the UK. We advise you to let your hosts in the UK know when you are planning to arrive in the UK.

Rights to Benefits

When you arrive in the UK, you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and other benefits. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help you with living costs.  

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for additional benefits such as:  


If you are of State Pension age, which in the UK is the age of 66, you will receive Pension Credit and Housing Benefit.  

You will need a bank account in the UK in order to receive benefits. You can find more information about opening a UK bank account here

Workers’ Rights

With your Leave to Remain status, you can work as soon as you arrive in the UK. Your employer may ask you for information regarding your home address, bank account, or benefits status.  

With your right to work, you will be protected by UK law on workers’ rights. Please read the following Citizen’s Advice information on what your rights are and what to do if your rights are being neglected. 

Right to Healthcare

The UK NHS healthcare system is free. When you arrive in the UK, you will need to register at your local general practitioner, referred to as a GP. You can read guides provided by the  Red Cross in Ukrainian, Russian or English, or ask your sponsor if they can support you to register.

You will also need to register at your local dentist. Keep in mind many dentists will only register private patients and there are often long waiting lists for NHS/low-cost dental care.  

Your GP and hospitals will have access to interpreting services for patients who cannot speak English. However, dentists will be unlikely to provide interpretation.

Property Rights

You will be hosted by your sponsor for a minimum of six months. There is the possibility that your sponsor may choose to extend your stay beyond the initial six months, but this cannot be guaranteed. We encourage you to start finding options for your housing as soon as you feel able to in the six months of living with your sponsor, unless you have made an agreement to stay with them for longer than six months.   

You will have the right to rent a property or your own room anywhere in the UK as soon as you arrive. However, it is important to keep in mind that unless you have proof of financial stability, it can be difficult to secure a tenancy contract on a property, as many landlords will not accept tenants who are not in employment.

It is the priority of both the Government and Reset’s matching service to ensure as many sponsor/guest relationships are as sustainable and comfortable as possible. However, in a minority of cases this will not be possible. You may be a guest in a home in which you do not feel safe, or your relationship with your host may have broken down. If this happens, please contact your Local Authority immediately or call 999 in an emergency.

In urgent cases, where you need to leave your sponsor’s home immediately, your Local Authority may place you in temporary accommodation, such as a hotel, until they can help you find a longer-term solution. They may also find another sponsor for you to stay with in your area, which is what we call a re-match.

To be re-matched, you will need to go through your Local Authority, and not through Reset.

Useful support links

There are many well established organisations and charities in the UK who offer specialist support to people from Ukraine arriving in the UK. It is good to keep these in mind in case you need their support at any time.  

Barnardo’s UK  

Offering support with:  

  • Therapy with a qualified psychotherapist – delivered via the phone or online, with access to interpreters.
  • Advice on a range of issues e.g., housing, accessing key health services, education, employment and more via their trained helpline support workers.
  • Practical support – access to digital devices to ensure families stay connected to loved ones during this worrying time, as well as stimulating toys for children, vital baby items and more (subject to demand).


Offering support with: 

  • Homes for Ukrainian scheme applications and complications.
  • Their Level 3 immigration advisers will be happy to assist with complex issues.
  • Offer a private Facebook group, in Ukrainian, in which people can ask and view more general questions.

Sane Ukraine  

  • Offering daily, online trauma and resilience support.

Thrive LDN 

  • Offering wellness and mental health support.

Refugee Employment Network  

  • Support with job vacancies across the UK.
  • Training for people with a refugee background.