Homes for Ukraine scheme
The Homes for Ukraine scheme opened for visa applications on 18 March, and is open to displaced people from Ukraine who were residents in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.
The application process for all immigration routes is fully reserved to the UK Government and is dealt with by the Home Office and the Scottish Government has no control over the speed of the application process.
Individuals concerned about the speed of processing of applications can contact the Home Office helpline number for those seeking assistance which is +44 808 164 8810.
The Home Office have published guidance and FAQs on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. The latest operational data on applications and visas issued for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, Homes for Ukraine and the Scottish Government ‘super-sponsor’ scheme is available on the UK Government’s website.
Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and Scottish Super Sponsor scheme, local councils will receive funding of £10,500 per person to provide support for individuals and families to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities.
Scottish Government's ‘super sponsor’ scheme
The Scottish Government believes the UK Government should have waived the need for visas for those fleeing the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
However, to ensure Scotland could provide immediate help to displaced people from Ukraine, the Scottish Government established the ‘super sponsor’ scheme, linked with the UK Homes for Ukraine scheme, to provide immediate help.
Through the Scottish Government acting as a ‘super sponsor’, displaced people from Ukraine can choose “Scottish Government” rather than a specific named person as their sponsor when applying for a visa. This removes the need for applicants to be matched to a named person before they are able to get a visa, and people fleeing Ukraine can come to Scotland for safety and sanctuary immediately.
The Scottish Government is committed to welcoming at least a proportionate share of the total number of people who come to the UK.
Warm Scots Welcome
The Warm Scots Welcome is the Scottish Government programme to welcome people displaced from Ukraine to Scotland.
Welcome Hubs have been established in key arrival points to meet people’s immediate needs. The Welcome Hubs are multi-agency and local authority led. They provide a safe and secure space to address immediate wellbeing and safeguarding needs.
There are also ‘Welcome Desks’ at other points of entry such as train stations, which will direct people arriving from Ukraine to the established Welcome Hubs. People who arrive will be met at their point of entry and transported to the nearest Welcome Hub.
Welcome Hub facilities include immediate supplies, food and water as well as being the first place to assess the needs of displaced people arriving from Ukraine.
People arriving on the Scotland Super Sponsor Scheme will be able to stay in short-term accommodation (mostly hotel rooms) provided by Scottish Government before they are matched to longer term accommodation.
Offers of accommodation through Homes for Ukraine
The Scottish Government will seek to maximise the availability of properties for displaced people from Ukraine. As part of that process, contact will be made with people who have expressed an interest in hosting people displaced from Ukraine, to offer them the chance to be matched through the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme.
Information and support for visa applications
The application process for all immigration routes is fully reserved to the UK Government and is dealt with by the Home Office. Details on the visa application processes are available on the UK Government website. The Home Office have published guidance, translated into Ukrainian, on what individuals must do before they travel to the UK, and what is required after they arrived. There is a Home Office helpline number for those seeking assistance which is +44 808 164 8810.
The Ukraine Advice Scotland service, funded by Scottish Government and delivered by JustRight Scotland, can provide translated advice and information from qualified staff members, free of charge and with full confidentiality, on how to reach Scotland legally and safely. This can be accessed by calling + 44 800 995 6045 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Ukraine Advice Scotland website also contains a number of helpful information resources for anyone seeking safety in Scotland.
Ukraine Family Scheme
The UK Government’s Ukraine Family Scheme is a specific route that allows applicants to join family members in the UK. People arriving through this route are entitled to full access to public funds and support from Scottish public services to meet their individual needs.
Local authorities are not provided with any funds from the UK Government to support people who arrive through the Ukraine Family Scheme – only the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The Scottish Government has urged the UK Government to reconsider this so there is parity of funding no matter what route a displaced person from Ukraine arrives through.
Regardless of whether UK Government funding is available to support a person displaced from Ukraine, the Scottish Government is committed to welcoming them and offering wraparound support as we have done for displaced people in the past.
Visas for the Seasonal Workers Scheme
The UK Government is not allowing Ukrainians currently in the UK on a temporary immigration status including seasonal workers to sponsor family members through the Ukraine Family Scheme. The Scottish Government has urged the UK Government to reconsider this.
There are concerns about Ukrainian nationals who are in Scotland on the Seasonal Workers Pilot. The Scottish Government is engaging with the National Farmers Union Scotland, agricultural growers and external partners to assess the needs of these workers. A number of farms have signed up to the Homes for Ukraine programme. Ukrainian nationals who were in the UK on a visa prior to the illegal Russian invasion, including those on the Seasonal Workers Scheme, are not eligible to apply to the Sponsorship schemes. However, they are able to extend their stay in the UK by extending their visa and from 3 May 2022 they will be able to apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme.
Assistance is available through the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) helpline on 0300 111 4166.
Switching to the Ukrainian Family Scheme or the Ukrainian Extension Scheme
Some Ukrainians already in the UK can apply to switch to the UK Government’s Ukrainian Family Scheme or the Ukrainian Extension Scheme. Further information on these routes is available on the UK Government website.
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