Coming to the UK
Below you can find out about the processes for when Ukrainian guests arrive in the UK to stay with a sponsor, or when guests move to a new host within the UK.
Homes for Ukraine
The team matches Ukrainian nationals with their British sponsors, completing the protracted visa application process (including the particularly confusing Animal and Plant Health Agency license applications for pets), arranging temporary accommodation in Poland where required and then onward travel to the UK — all at the charity’s own cost.
Once Ukrainian nationals have arrived, it provides UK sim cards, assists with setting-up UK bank accounts and local GP registration, arranges English language tutoring, completes National Insurance applications and helps with kindergarten/school places, and much more.
Charities such as Reset, Opora, UK accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, Sunflower Sisters Ukraine-UK, Cambridge 4 Ukraine, and Homes 4 Ukraine are helping to match sponsors with those fleeing Ukraine. If you want to host Ukrainians who are already in the UK, please contact HFUliaison@scambs.gov.uk.
The Government’s website contains lots of useful information if you are considering becoming a host or sponsor for people coming from Ukraine, a section on how to meet the accommodation needs of guests, and what Ukrainian guests need to do before they travel to the UK and what to do after they arrive.
Biometric Residence Permit
A biometric residence permit (BRP) can be used to confirm your:
- right to study
- right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to
You can apply for a BRP once you have arrived in the UK.
When we will contact you
We are contacting hosts directly within a couple of days of being given your contact information by the Home Office. We are only provided with host contact information once hosts have been successfully 'matched' with guests. When you receive this information from us, please do not share it with anyone else.
This initial welcome email will provide you with information to start the process of getting a Disclosure and Barring Service check for every eligible member of your household. We will also be able to start organising your accommodation check where someone from our team will visit your property to check it is OK for receiving guests. These can both happen before your guests arrive.
We will then need you to notify us once your guests have arrived by contacting. This triggers the initial £350 payment to your guests You will also be contacted by the Welfare Officer within a couple of weeks of your guests arrival to arrange a visit. They will spend time with hosts and guests to see how everything is going. Once completed, the finance department will be able to start your monthly payment of £500. This is paid in arrears, starting the last week of the month of your welfare check.
Should your guests stay with you for longer than 6 months, we will be in contact to do a brief welfare visit at that point.
Information about how to notify us about all of the above will be sent to hosts direct by email.
When your guest arrives
Payments to Hosts
Payments are available to help with the cost of hosting guests in your home.
Nationwide, in line with Government policy, hosts receive thank you payments of £350 per month to help with the costs of hosting, which is increased to £500 after the first 12 months.
However, in South Cambridgeshire, in response to the cost of living, we are paying £500 per month to all hosts from the very start of their hosting arrangements, once all essential safeguarding and accommodation checks have been undertaken. This payment is made automatically – there is no need to apply or opt-in to receive it.
The thank you payment is available for a maximum of up to 2 years after the guest arrives.
It is worth remembering that people have different cultural norms, and sharing your home will not only provide lovely opportunities to learn about another culture, but also some possible challenges.
Some things you may want to bear in mind are that people may have different diets (some preferred items may be found in Polish shops locally). They may only be used to drinking bottled water, may not be comfortable with 'small talk' such as about the weather, and they may not know about local recycling and waste.
We suggest asking your guests (while being mindful that people may have recently experienced significant trauma and, even if not, may not be comfortable being too open with a stranger) whether there is anything they need, and regularly checking back in with them about their comfort and needs.
A company called Thrive LDN provides a useful guidance document to help guests look after their own well-being as they arrive.
Welfare visit and ongoing support
Once Ukrainians guests arrive with their hosts, one of our Welfare Visitors will be in touch within the first 2 or 3 weeks to arrange to visit. This is to check-in, take any questions you may have, and chat through anything about hosting or arriving in the UK. Welfare visitors will spend time with hosts and guests separately to enable free conversation if needed.
Welfare Visitors will be able to point you towards places you can get support, local community groups and share common experiences of host/guest situations within South Cambridgeshire.
At around 6 months, the welfare visitors will contact you again to arrange another visit to check-in, and think about your future plans.
In the meantime, if you do have any questions, or need support or information from the welfare visitors, please feel free to contact them via email@example.com