I have a named Ukrainian(s) I want to sponsor
This page is about the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
If you want to bring a close family member(s) from Ukraine to the UK, you can also choose the Ukraine Family Scheme visa. This may mean you and your family member(s) cannot access the financial support available through the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We are awaiting clarification from the Government on the support available through the Ukraine Family Scheme. However, we are offering a welcome visit to guests here on a family visa to assess their needs, and to signpost to further support and local services. If you would like to take up this offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need urgent assistance outside of our opening hours, see out of hours help.
On this page
- Homes for Ukraine visa application
- The process
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
- Home assessments
- Welcome visits
- End of sponsorship arrangement and rematching
- Supporting your guests
- Out of hours help
- General support – Citizens Advice
- Sponsor event
Phase 1 of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme is open for visa applications from those who wish to travel to the UK and who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them.
You must be able to offer your home to your guest(s) for a minimum of 6 months.
Either the prospective sponsor or the person wishing to be sponsored will be able to complete the application. There is one single application for both parties but one form is required per individual travelling under the scheme. One application must be made per person coming to the UK, not one per family or household. Applications are free.
If you want to offer a home to someone fleeing Ukraine, you should follow the process below:
- Sponsor and guest find each other and agree to a match
- Either the sponsor or the guest fills out the single visa application form online using both parties’ details
- Passport numbers (alongside completion of eligibility questions and other personal details) for both guests and sponsors will be required to complete the application online. The guest will also need to upload a scan of their passport. If the guest does not possess a passport, they will be required to travel to a visa application centre to process their biometrics
- After the application is submitted, the Home Office will carry out standard security checks on the sponsor, all other adults in the sponsor’s household, and the guest
- Once both sponsor and guest have passed the Home Office's security checks, the Home Office will issue the guest with a permit to travel
- The guest can then travel to the UK and coordinate their arrival with the sponsor. Guests arriving in the country will be eligible for a single onward journey via national rail, bus, light rail, and coach. This will be free of charge to anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales
- We will carry out DBS checks and a home assessment as set out below. Please note that while we will carry out these checks as quickly as possible and ideally in advance of the guest’s arrival, these do not have to be completed before the guest travels to the UK
- When your guests arrive, please complete this arrival form. We will then contact you to arrange the welcome visit. At this visit we will carry out an initial assessment of your guests’ needs and signpost to further support and local services.
- Once the DBS checks, the home assessment visit and the welcome visit have been completed, we will initiate the £350 monthly 'thank you' payments to sponsors.
- If in due course your guest wishes to leave, either to rent privately or with another sponsor, or you as sponsor have had a change in circumstances and can no longer sponsor them, you must let us know in the first instance by emailing email@example.com. More information about this is available below.
We have a responsibility to ensure people arriving from Ukraine are safe. Once you are matched with a Ukrainian citizen or family, and the visa has been applied for, the Home Office will pass your information onto the Council.
As a first step, we are required to do a DBS check for all adults in your household aged 16 and over. This process may in some cases happen after your guest from Ukraine has arrived. Your guest does not have to wait for this check to be completed before travelling to the UK.
There are five stages to this process:
- The Council will email the lead sponsor asking them to fill in a short form providing names and email addresses for everyone aged 16 and over living in their household.
- Within four working days, everyone listed on this form will receive a system email from EmploymentCheck with login details to an online DBS application form and instructions on how to present their ID in person to verify their application.
- Once the online form is completed and submitted, individuals will then need to follow the instructions on the system email to present their ID in person at the Civic Centre. The address is 44 York Street, Twickenham TW1 3BZ. Hours are drop-in (appointments not required) between 9am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
- Once your ID has been verified, the check will be carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service. A basic check should take 2 to 3 working days, and an enhanced check (required when there is a child or vulnerable adult in the incoming group) may take up to 7 working days.
- The Council will receive an electronic notification as soon as your check is completed by the DBS and you will receive a certificate directly from the DBS by post within 5 days of your completed check.
The Government have asked us to assess whether space offered by sponsors is suitable for use in the Homes for Ukraine scheme. One of our officers will visit the property and check that taking in a guest will not lead to overcrowding and that the rooms are in a reasonable condition.
Read the Government’s FAQs about the Homes for Ukraine scheme which gives more details about the accommodation requirements.
We will carry out the home assessment as soon as possible, and ideally in advance of the guest’s arrival. However, your guest does not need to wait for this to take place before travelling to the UK.
Welcome visits are an opportunity to provide useful local information for getting guests settled in. The visits are compulsory for guests arriving via the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. When your guest has arrived, please complete this arrival form to let us know and we will then get in contact with you to arrange the visit.
Please note that this visit is in addition to the home assessment visit.
If your Ukrainian guests are all adults aged 18 or over the welcome visit will be carried out by Ruils in partnership with Richmond Council. Ruils Independent Living is a local charity that helps people to access the support they need to live independently. They work with General Practice (GPs) to link people into local services and activities.
If your Ukrainian guests include a child aged 17 or under the welcome visit will be carried out by Achieving for Children.
If your circumstances change and you can no longer continue to act as sponsor for your guests, or if the guests wish to leave your accommodation, you must let us know as soon as possible by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name and address and the names and dates of birth of your guests.
If you wish to become the new sponsor for guests already matched with another sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, please contact us directly at email@example.com to discuss this in the first instance. Include your full name and address, the names of your guests and the details of the previous sponsor. The Government’s guidance states that councils are required to undertake relevant DBS checks and accommodation checks in advance of guests moving in so it is important that you contact us as soon as possible.
If you would like to become a sponsor, please also ensure you have registered your interest in the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This means your data will be shared with us by the Government.
Hosting relationships can be rewarding for both sponsors and guest, but they can require hard work. Please take time to read this hosting guide (pdf, 103 KB).
MiD Mediation and Counselling
This service offers mediation to people in conflict, including neighbours, families and those in the workplace. If you are having communication or organisational problems with your sponsor/guest relationship, they can help you mediate and find a positive way forward. The service is available for free to all households hosting Ukrainians who have arrived due to the war. To contact MiD please call +44 (0)20 8891 6860 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit MiD Meditation or visit the main office at 114 High Street, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NT.
Refugees are likely to be vulnerable and may be traumatised by their experiences, and potential hosts should be aware of this when signing up to the scheme.
If a host has a concern about wellbeing of either the refugee family or themselves they should contact the Council's safeguarding teams:
If you or your guest requires urgent help outside of our normal working hours or over the weekend, please contact the out of hours number 020 8891 7999.
This number will be able to help with emergencies such as immediate safeguarding issues or urgent housing needs.
It cannot help if you are a victim of crime, witness or need help for a crime currently in progress, or if there is an emergency that could cause harm to people or property - in these instances call 999.
We have funded Citizens Advice Richmond to provide an information and advice service for Ukrainians. This is able to provide support to Ukrainians and sponsors on a range of topics including applying for benefits, employment, housing, money and level one immigration matters.
You can contact them via their online form or telephone by Freephone 080 82 78 78 73.
For those unable to contact via web enquiry or by telephone there is a drop in service at their offices in Hampton Hill and Sheen:
- 94-102 High Street, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NY - 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday
- Sheen Lane Centre, 74 Sheen Lane, SW14 8LP - 10am to 1pm, Monday to Thursday
Find out more about Citizens Advice Richmond's support.
We have published FAQs covering the above process, including DBS checks and what to do when your guest arrives.
The Government has created sponsor guidance and a comprehensive list of FAQs about the scheme. These include information about the eligibility for the scheme, what type of accommodation can be offered and how to make sure your home is ready to welcome Ukrainian guests and your responsibilities as a sponsor.
Please ensure you are fully aware of what is involved before you apply for the scheme.
In addition to this information, we can confirm:
- Ukrainian guests on a Homes for Ukraine visa are entitled to a one off £200 payment per person when they arrive. DBS and home assessments do not have to be completed before they can collect this. Guests can come to the Civic Centre in Twickenham between 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. The address is 44 York Street, Twickenham TW1 3BZ. Guests should bring their passport or visa as proof of ID. More details about longer-term financial support for guests is available
- The £350 per month ‘thank-you’ payment will be paid monthly, in arrears, for the duration of the time your guest(s) are living with you, up to 12 months
- You will not need to declare the ‘thank-you’ payment as income
- Taking in guests to your home and receiving the thank-you payment will not impact your single person council tax discount
- Hosting anyone from Ukraine in your home and receiving the thank-you payment will not impact your eligibility for Universal credit or other benefits
Full support information for guests is available, including details on financial support, accessing schools, health care and jobs.
Find out more about the scheme and apply. The application is free.
Please note all enquiries about the visa application process should be directed to UK Visas and Immigration.
On 26 April 2022 we hosted an event for sponsors to provide them with an opportunity to hear more about the Homes for Ukraine scheme, ask any questions to the Council, and to meet other sponsors in Richmond upon Thames.
Updated: 01 July 2022