Once the visa application has been submitted, the UK Government will inform your local authority that an application has been made. The local authority will be in contact with you to arrange a home visit and carry out their checks.
The Home Office will approve the visa after background and eligibility checks are done on the refugees. Once the visa application is approved, they will provide the refugee with a ‘permission to enter’ letter to those outside of the UK. This means the person coming to the UK will be able to enter the UK. Responsibility for travel lays with the guest or sponsor. Some airlines, European railways and all UK train companies are offering free travel to Ukrainians who show their Ukrainian passport and travel by train within 48 hours of arriving in the UK. You can find out more information about travel here.
Throughout the six months that you sponsor someone to the UK, your local authority will be in close contact with you as they provide wrap-around support, meaning help to sign up to different services, for the people you sponsor. Some local authorities offer more support than others, or different forms of support. You can check your local authority’s website to find out how they are supporting Ukrainians through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
If you are unable to continue providing accommodation after six months, you should give as much notice as possible and no less than two months' notice to the people you sponsor for them or the local authority to find onward accommodation. If you’re unsure how to start this conversation, you can look at our advise to help you through the process.
What happens when things go wrong?
Despite everyone's best efforts, sometimes things go wrong. Often a chat and cup of tea can resolve many problems but there are occasions where the problems are insurmountable. If your relationship with your guest has broken down, you must let your local authority know.
Local authorities have been mandated by Government to ‘rematch’ refugees if a relationship has broken down or in case of an emergency. It is your local authority who will determine whether a rematch is required. Reset do not participate in non-emergency rematching at present.
If the breakdown is due to any illegal or harmful activity, you should inform the police. Your local authority should then work to find a new sponsor for your guests.
Participating in rematching
Your local authority might approach you to house a refugee group which has left their initial sponsor. If you are approached you should think about what you need to know before you take on the group. Here’s our advice;
Which route did they come on? If they came on a family visa you cannot usually claim government assistance; your local authority will be able to provide further information on the support they will offer you
You might want to probe as to why the relationship broke down and find out about the group and their needs.
If you are using social media and are asked to host a family who is already in the UK, we recommend you first connect with your local authority/devolved government first.
If you do agree to consider a ‘rematch’, we’d advise that you ask to meet the refugee group first and set out your expectations / discuss boundaries.
If you have decided to work with your local authority to participate in their rematching scheme and are no longer available to be matched to those outside of the UK through Reset we would ask that you close yourself to matching on Reset’s service. If we think you are available, we will be proposing you to Ukrainians wishing to find safety here and this will lead to building the hopes and expectations of refugees needing to arrive. You can close yourself to matching on your profile or email us at email@example.com to do this for you.