Once you’ve matched with a sponsor, you may be unsure what to do next. Below you’ll find our advice on how to establish and maintain a relationship with your sponsor before you arrive and the importance in researching the local area.
As part of the matching process through Reset Communities and Refugees, you will be provided with some information about your sponsor and other members of their family/people living in their household. We think it is important for you to get to know your sponsor a little more before you start to apply for your visas.
We encourage you to call your sponsor to know if they are the right fit. We know that as well as being logistically difficult to arrange, it can be daunting to talk to a stranger, especially one that you are going to live with – so we’ve included some ideas of what you could ask or talk about with them. We strongly recommend these first conversations take place as video calls and you can use the voice function on translation apps to have a simple conversation if you don’t speak the same language
On your initial call, introduce yourself and any people you may be coming with. You can tell the sponsor things like:
If you have a strong opinion, view or dislike to something (for example, you are a vegetarian and don’t like being in a home where people cook meat), we recommend you tell your sponsor in this call to make sure that you are compatible with each other.
Feel free ask your sponsor any questions you want and make sure that all your worries and concerns are addressed. Sometimes, they may not be able to answer them, so keep that in mind. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
It is really important for us at Reset that any matches we make are mutually agreed. If after the initial meeting with your sponsor you don’t feel comfortable or you feel that this isn’t going to be a good match for whatever reason, then let us know. We will never force you to live with someone, but rather we will offer you an alternative sponsor.
Once you’ve found somebody to sponsor you, you’ve had your first initial meeting, and you’ve both decided to apply for your visa together, you’ll need to do some research into your new area and start to understand what life is like in the UK.
When you’ve received an approved visa from the UK Government, you’ll need to start making travel arrangements to come to the UK. Have a look at our Travel Advice for Ukrainians resource to find tips and resources of how to travel, including free transport options and how to travel with pets.
If you’re travelling on your own, with minors, or you are an unaccompanied minor please have a look at the Red Cross Safety Tips for Travel and their Anti-Trafficking Advice, both are found on this page .
After you’ve made some initial contact with your sponsor and have decided to stay with them, you’ll need to start applying for a visa. The visa application is in English and we recommend that your sponsor is the one filling out the application. Just in case here are some visa guidelines available in Ukrainian and Russian
The visa process requires information from both you and your sponsor, so you’ll need to be talking to each other in the process of applying. We’ve heard of some cases where visas can take up to six weeks to process, others 24 hours and some a week. We recommend to not make any travel plans until you have been granted a visa from the UK Government.
After you’ve applied and are waiting for your visa to be granted, it is a good idea to stay in touch with your sponsor. They may write to you or want to know more about how they should prepare their home in order to welcome you in the best way possible. Always try to respond to them if you can, and if you have limited access to internet or means of communication, do let them know so they don’t worry if you don’t respond right away.
As soon as you’ve received your visa, you’ll have up to 90 days to arrive in the UK. You can start to make travel arrangements right away and speak with your sponsor to agree and plan when you will arrive and how to get to their home. Make sure your sponsor is aware of your travel plans if you arrange this yourself. Your sponsor may offer to pick you up at a local train station or an airport, or they may provide you with information about how to reach them on public transport – you can arrange this together.
If you do not intend to come to the UK straight away, you should discuss when you plan to arrive with your sponsor as soon as possible so they know when to expect you.
It’s a good idea to research your new local area before you arrive. Here are some ways you can do that.
Do a quick Google search about your area to find out what activities might be available (gyms, music classes, sports clubs)
You can use Google Maps to find out what cities, towns and attractions are close by to you, how long it takes to get to nearby places, as well as using the satellite option to have a photograph view of what your new area looks like.
If you use Facebook, see if there are already groups set up for other Ukrainians living there who may be able to give you their perspective on the area.