Key things to know:

  • When giving consent, both Local Authorities in a two tier area must provide written consent on a letterhead for the Group to participate in Community Sponsorship.  The Home Office won’t consider an application without both consent letters in place
  • Groups are encouraged to contact their Local Authorities as soon as possible in their planning process in order to develop relationships and access services that are available in the area
  • Local Authorities will have to approve the refugee family allocated to the Community Sponsorship Group
  • Local Authorities will be invited to join a pre-approval visit with the Group and the Home Office and subsequent monitoring visits
  • Local Authorities are able to claim costs from the Home Office relating to the resettlement of refugees through Community Sponsorship, details are available on the Reset training website
  • To receive approval from the Home Office, all Community Sponsorship Groups must attend compulsory training with Reset.  This training covers cultural awareness, adopting an empowerment approach, setting boundaries in resettlement, managing expectations and ongoing support.  In addition, Reset provide advice and support throughout the entire Community Sponsorship journey
  • Groups are able to apply for ‘approval in principle’ from the Home Office.  This is where the Groups fulfil all criteria in the application except for finding the accommodation or raising the £9,000 required.  Due to the length of time it takes to consider an application, we have seen the process sped up for Groups who have everything in place prior to securing housing
  • Groups are responsible for providing 12 months of support to a refugee family, and 24 months of housing.  Groups are encouraged to find sustainable housing; which the refugee families are able to afford after the support of the Group ends.  This is not always possible, and some Groups provide a housing top-up payment.  
  • Your local neighbourhood policing team will be asked to confirm that there is no reason why the accommodation found should not be suitable for a refugee family to live in.
  • Refugees arriving through Community Sponsorship do not need to arrive via chartered flights and alongside cohorts of refugees within a region; they can arrive at any time.