Hosting Ukrainian guests Guide for UK Hosts
Here is our guide to support individuals in hosting guets in their homes and getting used to the new arrangements. We created this guide to help you answer any questions you might have about the process and save you time from researching online. We prepared this guide by adding links and content from other individuals and organisations out there.
Table of contents
- Things to do once you decide to host a guest in UK
- Things to do once you match with a guest
- Things to do after a guest settles in your home
Things to do once you decide to host in UK
Guide in becoming a sponsor
Step-by-step on how to officially become a host (found this via a user on a Facebook group)
- You need to start the whole thing off by registering your interest for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. The link is here : https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/
- There is no “matching” service, so you need to find the Ukrainians you want to help yourself. Facebook Pages like this one are excellent, but there are also lots of other websites doing similar things
- Talk to the people you have selected to sponsor and make sure there is a good mutual match.
- If everyone is happy, you then need to apply for the VISA’s (in partnership with the Ukrainian ). To the best of my knowledge, you need to do one visa application for every person, including children. So for a family of four, you need to do four visa applications. I have seen differing advice to this, but this is what it says on the forms.
- Apply for the VISAs here https://apply.visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/has-international-ukrainian-passport
- The forms are arduous, repetitive, badly designed and will make you want to stick pins in your eyes. However, stick with it as if it saves one family, it will be worth it. Your first form will take about 1.5 hours to complete but you will get quicker on any additional ones.
- At the end, you will get directed to a third party site, where you must upload a PDF version on the relevant documents. Make sure your Ukrainian guest has given you copies of their passports etc. It is likely that they may be a photo in JPG format, so you will need to convert them to PDF. Lots of free software can do this (some links in earlier posts)
- Upload the documents and complete. You will see the word “submitted” in the top right of the screen.
- If you return back to the original visa website, it may say that you still have additional steps to do. This is download a document or a checklist. Download both and keep safe. Open the visa application and make sure it has a submitted date on it and an application number.
- You are done for now! Eventually you or your Ukrainian will receive an email from Sheffield UKVI office saying that they have received the application. Although I have submitted 4 at the same time, at the time of writing, I have only received 3 back!
- This appears to trigger the local authority to come into play. They phoned me directly and said they would be doing a home inspection, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
- They have sent us a link for all adults in the household to complete a DBS check. Even though we both hold them already for the work we do, you need to do it again!
- So, that’s as far as we have got so far! If anyone is further down the line than this, please feel free to add on.
Some frequently asked questions answered
- Check out this website for frequently asked questions: https://resetuk.org/stories/why-you-should-rent-your-property-to-a-refugee-family
Things to do once you match with a guest
Meet and greet your new guest
- Get your new guest’s contact information
- Reach out to find a time for an initial meeting
- During / after your initial meeting check in with your guest to see if they need anything before coming
- Check this resource out for guidelines on how to handle initial meetings with refugees: https://rm.coe.int/tool-34-handling-initial-meetings-with-refugees-some-guidelines-langua/16807171b8
Share these resources about visa applications with your guest
- Check these Homes for Ukraine Visa questions both in English and Ukrainian: https://cdn.fbsbx.com/v/t59.2708-21/277081064_686450802668899_4127224447819922170_n[…]VLyBzpNnPBj4xt9ZqV7tplaJ-fHenXNZbPUF67ySEmRUg&oe=623BB23D&dl=1
- Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-visa-under-the-ukraine-sponsorship-scheme
Regular check-ins before your guest arrives
- Check in with your guests regularly
- Ask if they need anything specific before they arrive
Things to be cautious about
- Never send any money to your guest to avoid fraud
- Make sure your guests are comfortable with the new arrangement before they arrive
Things to do after a guest settles in your home:
Communicating with your guest (language barriers)
- Basic Ukrainian phrases: https://www.ukrainianlessons.com/14-basic-ukrainian-phrases/
- Useful Ukrainian phrases: https://dreamsinheels.com/basic-ukrainian-phrases-learning-ukranian-language-phrases-before-traveling-to-ukraine/
Learning about Ukrainian culture
- Check these resources out:
- Some conversation starters with guests: https://worldrelief.org/seattle/get-involved/volunteer/volunteer-resources/cultural-companion-toolkit/conversation-starters/
- General conversation starters:
Getting emotional support if you or your guest needs it
- British Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help
- Step-by-step guide on mental health support for guests: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/297576/MHPSS-refugees-asylum-seekers-migrants-Europe-Multi-Agency-guidance-note.pdf%3Fua%3D1