UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme
This guide is for local authorities in Scotland. A Homes for Ukraine guide for hosts is available.
Background and eligibility
To apply to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme you must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who has been granted permission under, or is applying to and qualifies for, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.
You must also:
- have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)
- be outside the UK
- have an eligible UK-based sponsor, or you can choose the Scottish or Welsh Government as your sponsor
These rules are at the discretion of the UK Government and may be subject to change. This guidance sets out how the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA expects this scheme to operate in Scotland and should be read in conjunction with the latest version of the Homes for Ukraine guidance for councils on the UK Government website.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme was launched on 14 March 2022 by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
This scheme is open to Ukrainian nationals who were residents in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022 and also to their immediate family members (for example spouse/partner and children under 18) who may be of other nationalities, to be sponsored to come to the UK. Applicants can apply from Ukraine or from any other third country. Sponsors in the UK can nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property.
The number of people who can access this scheme is uncapped and is dependent on the capacity of the sponsors (individual hosts) who come forward.
Subject to visa, displaced people from Ukraine will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years and access benefits, healthcare, employment, and other support. Those arriving need to meet standard security checks prior to being issued with a visa.
Those arriving need to meet standard security checks prior to being issued with a visa. Hosts (and members of their household aged over 16 years) will need to apply for an enhanced disclosure when they register for both the Super Sponsor scheme and Homes for Ukraine scheme where they are providing accommodation in their own homes. They will also undergo local authority system checks, which include social work and local authority record checks for any child and adult protection risks and concerned. Where they are hosting in a separate property, only the property owner/s will need to undertake the above checks.
Sponsors in the UK can be of any nationality, with any immigration status, provided they have at least six months’ leave to remain within the UK and pass the background checks. They can live in any part of the UK. Sponsors/hosts must provide accommodation for a minimum of six months.
Councils will also administer ‘thank you’ payments at the £350 per sponsoring household per month rate on behalf of the UK Government. This is a thank you payment not a rental or any other kind of contract payment. Additional funding is to be allocated for these payments, councils are expected to cover administration costs within the tariff.
Sponsors/hosts will be eligible for the optional ‘thank you payment’ of £350 per month, as long as the sponsorship arrangement exists, for up to 12 months in total. This payment will be tax free and should not affect the sponsor’s entitlement to benefits or to a reduction under the Council Tax Reduction scheme.
There will be a maximum of one monthly payment per address paid in arrears, regardless of the number of guests being hosted, and regardless of size or location of the property. Payments should not be released to sponsors until property checks have been completed. Guidance on the required property checks is set out in a section below. Funding will be allocated for these payments, but we expect councils to cover administration costs from the tariff including costs of fraud prevention.
Sponsors/hosts should not charge rent. They will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses, although they may wish to offer this, especially in early weeks while guests are finding their feet in the UK. Sponsors/hosts should not expect their guest to carry out any unpaid work.
The scheme will be rolled out in phases. Initially, individual members of the public can host a guest from Ukraine who meets the eligibility criteria for this scheme or be matched with a guest via the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor scheme.
Businesses and other private organisations are not currently eligible to sponsor people coming to the UK from Ukraine directly. In later phases, organisations and community groups will be able to host multiple guests. Further details will be set out in future updates.
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