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28 Apr. 2022


Homes for Ukraine: how can Ukrainians go to the UK?

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Homes for Ukraine: how can Ukrainians go to the UK?

Help our volunteers who support Ukraine and all foreigners in the country 24/7

On March 18, the United Kingdom announced a new program, Ukraine Sponsorhsip Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), for Ukrainians who have no relatives in the United Kingdom and want to go there due to the war.

The Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian citizens and their relatives to come to the UK if they have a sponsor under the program - a person who is ready to provide refugees with housing for at least 6 months. Participation in the program is free. You will be able to live, work and study in the UK, as well as receive access to public financial assistance.

🟢 Rights guaranteed to Ukrainians under the program:

- the right to stay legally for 3 years

- housing provided by the sponsor for at least 6 months

- the right to work

- access to the National Health Service

- access to some social benefits

- access to schools

📩 Who is eligible for a program visa?

Ukrainians and direct relatives of a citizen of Ukraine can apply for the program if

- that reached 18 years of age at the time of application

- Children under the age of 18 who apply to the program with their parents or guardians, or go to the UK to join the latter

To obtain a program visa, these categories must:

- certify that they lived in Ukraine as of January 1, 2022 or shortly before

- be outside the UK

- have a suitable sponsor who meets the requirements and is ready to provide you with housing

📍 Steps to apply for the program

The main condition for filling out an application and obtaining a visa is the presence of a sponsor. Unfortunately, Ukrainians wishing to go to the UK will have to look for a sponsor on their own. The sponsor can be a person you already know and who is ready to provide you with housing, as well as a stranger.

The UK government itself does not connect Ukrainians with the British, who are ready to sponsor. Therefore, now the function of connecting asylum seekers with the housing owners is performed by volunteer organizations. There are only links on the government portal for sponsors, who may declare their desire to shelter you ( for individual sponsors, and for sponsoring organizations) .

However, the government is forwarding these applications to the same volunteer organizations that are already looking for Ukrainian sponsored guests. That is, the government can get an application from the owner, but it won't link him/her to you. While the task of finding a sponsor is mandatory - without mentioning a specific sponsor in the visa application you simply will not be issued a visa.

If you have a familiar sponsor:

Those sponsors you already know, who are willing to shelter you, don't need to fill out anything on the government website other than your visa form. It is enough to fill in your visa form with you, indicating all his/her and your contacts. One application is submitted per person.

All sponsors will have to pass an inspection by government officials, including showing the house on compliance with safety standards and the capacity to accommodate you and your family.

If you do not have a familiar sponsor:

Apply on the volunteer site Reset or they will help you find a sponsor.

You will then receive a letter confirming that the sponsor has been successfully selected. Start filling in the visa application together with the sponsor.

For those who need an emergency trip or cannot find a sponsor, it is possible to apply through the sponsorship of Scotland or Wales. These two countries within the United Kingdom can sponsor without individuals themselves and provide you with housing - in the visa application, simply indicate that the sponsor is the Government of Scotland or Wales (Under the heading "Sponsoring Organization").

The application is submitted online. We advise you to fill it in together with the sponsor. Remember that if you are not active on the site for 25 minutes, you will be automatically logged out. Therefore it is better to prepare all documents, scans in advance.

✏️ If you have a valid biometric passport or expired one with a stamp of extension, you just need to fill out an online visa form. You do not need to come to the visa center to submit biometric data.

When filling out the form you will need to add a copy of the passport page where the photo is. If you are applying with an extended passport, you will need to attach a copy of the page with the stamp stating the extension of the passport.

You will also need to attach copies of your sponsor's identity documents. These can be:

- British or Irish passport or Irish passport card

- biometric residence permit or biometric residence card

- driver's license with a photo

You will also need to provide your sponsor's address. If you have difficulty attaching documents - you can contact the visa centers below.

After processing your application, you will receive an official permission letter confirming your right to travel to the UK. This letter will be essentially a visa that will need to be shown to border guards, when boarding a plane and so on. You should not go to the World Bank until you receive a permit.

Upon arrival in the UK, you will have 6 months to renew your residence permit for up to 3 years. To do this, you will need to fill out a form. It is not necessary to do this immediately upon arrival, but be sure to get a new residence permit before the end of the first 6 months of your stay in the new country.

✏️ If you do not have a valid biometric passport, you can fill in the same form stating that you do not have a valid biometric passport. After completing the application, you will need to come to the visa center to submit biometric data.

During the visit you will need one or more of the following documents:

- Ukrainian ID-card

- a combination of other documents, such as a driver's license with a photograph and a birth certificate

- identity card (apparently issued by Ukrainian embassies abroad)

You will also need to provide copies of your sponsor's documents:

- British or Irish passport or Irish passport card

- biometric residence permit or biometric residence card

- driver's license with a photo

You will also need to provide your sponsor's address.

Photos and fingerprints will be taken at your visa center. Children under 5 also need to be present, they will be photographed.

Currently, the visa center in Ukraine is closed. There is a temporary center in Rzeszow, Poland. Online application is required for admission to the center in Rzeszów.

In other European countries, visa centers can be found in:

Budapest, Hungary

Chisinau, Moldova

Warsaw, Poland

Bucharest, Romania

Paris, France

Once your application has been approved, the visa center will contact you for collecting a visa.

☎️ Hotlines:

If you are Ukrainian and need help, call the free 24-hour hotline +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 in the UK).

If you cannot call British numbers 0808, call +44 (0) 175 390 7510.

There is also a useful website Ukrainian Sponsorship Path UK, which has free support on all issues related to the sponsorship program for Ukrainians.