Welcome to Reset Communities and Refugees – a UK charity specialising in community-led welcome for refugees. We’re here to help you find a sponsor in the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme and make sure that you and your sponsor have access to important information as well as advice on how this scheme works, what to expect and how to prepare yourself.
The Homes for Ukraine Scheme is a programme from the UK government which allows UK citizens to sponsor somebody’s visa from Ukraine and host them for a minimum of six months.
When you apply with Homes of Ukraine, somebody in the UK will choose to sponsor your visa application and welcome you into their home for a minimum of six months. On receiving a successful visa application, you will be granted six months leave to remain, which you can extend by applying for a Biometric Residency Permit (BRP) when you arrive in the UK. Leave to remain means that the UK government will support you in healthcare, employment opportunities, access to education and benefits for a maximum of three years.
The local council (the government) in your area will be responsible for helping you to register for various services as well. Your sponsor can help you with starting up your life in the UK, and they will have gone through trainings with Reset to make sure that they are prepared to welcome you to their home. It’s important to remember that your sponsor may not be able to help with everything, so be sure to read about what to expect from your sponsor here.
Sponsors are offered £350 a month from the government for every month you stay, and up to a maximum of 12 months. They will not be able to charge you rent for your stay, but will however, be able to ask you for a contribution for bills. You will receive money from the UK government through the local authority in the area you stay. This will be a £200 cash payment when you arrive and benefits every month. You can have a look at our resource on Financial Matters to understand more.
Before you arrive, the government will carry out safety checks and home checks on every sponsor to ensure that they are providing you with a suitable and safe home. However, if you go through this system and do not feel safe or comfortable in your new home, there are systems in place to offer you support and guidance should things not go well once you arrive and you have to leave your sponsor.
To join the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, you’ll need to meet certain criteria as provided by the UK government. You can find their detailed eligibility criteria here.
You will only be eligible for the scheme if;
* Although the scheme is open to people under the age of 18, they must be sponsored by someone known to their legal guardian already. For this reason, Reset will not match unaccompanied children through our matching service.
After you’ve decided to use our services to find your sponsor, you’ll need to fill in this form in English or Ukrainian. This will give us information about you and those you are planning to travel to the UK with. We’ll ask questions like ‘how many people are you’, ‘do you have any pets’ and ‘are you smokers’. This gives us an idea of what you are looking for so that we can suggest the best sponsor for you.
The people in the UK who are offering to host you through our matching service, (referred to as sponsors or hosts), will have answered similar questions to you in a different form, and they must have attended a short training with our team to make sure this programme is appropriate for them. We look at their form and match it to yours to make sure we provide you with the best fit possible.
We always offer you a minimum of two sponsors to choose from. You’ll have five days to consider which sponsor you would like to choose. This is the time to research the area they are living in and see if it’s a right fit for you. Be sure to look at our video ‘Getting to know the UK’ if you haven’t already. You’ll also be able to see things like their age, gender, type of household and sometimes a little more information on the sponsor.
Once you’ve chosen your sponsor from the options provided, we’ll let the sponsor know that you have chosen them. If the sponsor would like to proceed, you’ll both receive an email to set up an initial meeting with each other. Here, you can ask each other questions and get to know a bit more about who you’ll potentially be sharing a house with for the next six months.
Our direct contact ends after your initial meeting with your sponsor. We’ll give you a range of information and resources on what to do after your initial meeting, but it’s up to you and your sponsor to arrange visas, travel to the UK and settle into your new home.
You can find information on the visa process and travel to the UK by clicking on the links.
You can ask us or your sponsor for more information of what to do while you wait, but for now here are some useful resources for you to read and watch.