New Application Form and guidance for Community Sponsor Groups
In December 2018, the Home Office announced updates to the application form and guidance for Community Sponsorship groups, all aimed at making it easier than ever for groups to welcome refugees through sponsorship.
Thanks to feedback from our partners and groups who have already been through the application process, we have worked with the Home Office to provide a new application form and guidance for groups. The new application form is supported through our new Training and Support website. Don’t worry if you’re a group working on the old application forms, you won’t need to replicate information as the Home Office will still accept the old versions for the next 6 months.
The information you are required to submit about your group and your resettlement plan is now contained in a single word document and questions are more direct - we recommend reviewing the guidance for the application form when applying, and you’ll also find guidance in our Training website.
When submitting your application, you will also need to include your:
- Letter of Consent from your Local Authority
- Safeguarding Policy
- Complaints Procedure and Policy (the Home Office have provided a standard template that you can use if it works for your group)
It’s also possible to be pre-approved by the Home Office if you have not yet found accommodation or raised all of the funds you need. Full approval will be given once you have provided the below evidence. However, if you do have these in place when you submit your application, do also include:
- Confirmation from your Finance Officer/Lead Sponsor that £9,000 is available to your sponsor group to deliver your resettlement plan
- Details of the accommodation you will provide
The Community Sponsorship application process is naturally rigorous; the information you provide in this form and accompanying documents will demonstrate the support and services that you will be offering newly resettled refugees. You should expect that the Home Office Community Sponsorship Team will have questions and clarifying points to make with you, some of which may be picked up in advance of scheduling a pre-approval visit with you and your local authority, or during this session. The new application form should help to cut down the to-ing and fro-ing in the early stages of submitting your application, but all questions asked will help the team at the Home Office to consider what you are able to offer.
"Community Sponsorship allows ordinary people to do ordinary things in order to achieve something extraordinary" Lisa Westlake, CHARIS
You will have already been on quite a journey from deciding to help to resettle refugees, forming your group, raising funds, finding accommodation, researching what your community can offer to refugees and working in partnership with statutory organisations and the point of submitting your application will be a huge milestone for your group – make sure you take the time to recognise and celebrate how far you’ve come! Community Sponsorship, as you know by now, is so much more than a merely paper exercise (even if it can feel like that at times) but don’t underestimate how useful everything you have done thus far will be when the real part of your work begins on arrival day!
New Application Form and guidance for Community Sponsor Groups is also published in Reset UK on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.