UK Government Announces Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukrainian Nationals
The Government has announced a new scheme to welcome Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family to the UK. The scheme will match people, charities, businesses, and community groups to Ukrainians who do not already have established family in the country, thereby allowing those who would not otherwise qualify under existing routes to come the UK.
The scheme will officially open on 18 March 2022 however those interested are now able to register their interest with the Home Office. Phase One of the scheme will allow sponsors to offer support to a Ukrainian national or Ukrainian family who they know. The Ukrainian national will need apply with theirs and their sponsor’s details.
Sponsors will be required to provide free accommodation and integration support to Ukrainians for a minimum of 6 months and will receive a monthly payment of £350. This payment will be made for maximum period of 12 months. There is no obligation on a sponsor to provide meals or cover the costs of any other living expenses, though many will wish to do so.
To qualify under this route, Ukrainian nationals must prove they were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022. If successful, a 3-year visa will be granted and applicants will be able to access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition in the UK.
Security and safeguarding checks will be carried out on all applicants and sponsors.
For further details, please see Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
In 1939 the people of the UK opened their hearts and homes to children fleeing from the Nazis and we look back on that ‘Kinder Transport’ as an act of culture-defining hospitality. With the invasion of Ukraine the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war is unfolding.
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