Who gives permission to apply?
Deciding who in your Local Authority needs to give permission for the Group to participate in Community Sponsorship will be determined by you. If you are in an area which is not yet participating in refugee resettlement, it may not be immediately obvious who this will be.
There’s a wide range of individuals within Local Authorities who have signed permission letters for Community Sponsorship, including Housing Options Manager, Commissioning Manager, Chief Executive, Councillor and Social Inclusion Manager – only you know which will work for you.
They should have sufficient authority within the Local Authority to provide this. As you work through who should give permission, keep the Community Sponsorship Group informed of progress; it’s really easy to think that this is a simple process from the perspective of the Group, so do be clear about likely timescales and the process you will need to follow.
How long is permission valid for?
The permission you provide will be valid for a 6 month period from the date of signing. If the Group do not fulfil their conditions for approval, or it is not possible to allocate a family to the Group within this time, you will be asked to reconfirm their consent via email, which will be requested by the Home Office Community Sponsorship Team.
Questions to ask to determine who needs to give permission
Is your Local Authority participating in other resettlement programmes?
If you are participating in the scheme, is the lead officer authorised to give consent on behalf of the Local Authority? If you are not participating in the scheme, which department leads on the closest programme to refugee resettlement?
Who/which department would take on responsibility for the resettlement in the unlikely event of a sponsorship breakdown?
Is there likely to be any objections raised to the resettlement of refugees in the area by members of the Council?
Does this need elected member consent? Does this need senior management consent?
Remember that you might find that the person carrying out the day to day work on providing permission may not be the representative of the Local Authority who needs to give consent to the Home Office. Make sure the Community Sponsorship Group are aware of this.
We’ve developed a consent form for you to use to document and provide your considerations and permission for a group to apply. You don't need to use this and may choose to write your own letter of consent. You can download this from the bottom of this page. Please note that for this to be accepted by the Home Office, it must be either inserted onto your letterhead, or sent in the body of an email from the person providing permission, with their email signature in place. This can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as well as to the Community Sponsorship Group.