We welcome the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and we believe that anyone fleeing war and persecution should have a clear and supported route to claim asylum in the UK, regardless of their country of origin or the conflict they are escaping from. 

We are not currently involved in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, but have collated some signposting information below and will continue to add links as further information becomes available. 

Ukraine hosting scheme  

Understandably we are receiving a lot of calls from people wanting to know more about how to be a sponsor for the Homes for Ukraine scheme or who have applied but not yet heard anything. For general enquiries we ask that you contact Migration Yorkshire admin@migrationyorkshire.org.uk or 0113 3788188. 

It is wonderful to see how many people are opening their homes and hearts to those fleeing Ukraine, however there is a lack of clarity about how the scheme operates and we know many of you are finding this frustrating.  

The process in England is: 

  1. Sponsor (host) and guest ‘find each other’ and agree to a match.  
  2. Either the sponsor or the guest fills out the online visa application form using both parties’ details. Passport numbers, completion of eligibility questions for both guests and sponsors will be required. The guest will need their passport to hand or travel to a visa application centre to process their biometrics. 
  3. After the application is submitted, security checks are done on both the sponsor, all other adults in the sponsor’s household, and the guest/s. 
  4. Once both sponsor and guest have passed the checks, the Home Office will issue the guest with a permit to travel. 
  5. The guest can then travel to the UK and coordinate their arrival with the sponsor. 
  6. Specific councils will provide welcome arrangements for guests, with additional immediate support provided to guests where it is required (see role of councils below). 

Hosting can be a rich and rewarding experience for all involved, and it requires sensitivity and know-how, especially when supporting vulnerable, traumatised people who speak a different language. We are worried that little planning and expert thought has been put into the logistics, the lengthy and bureaucratic visa process, the matching and crucially - the safeguarding. 

It’s interesting to note that Scotland and Ireland allow people to arrive without a sponsor, ensure they are met at the airport by a government-run reception hub and offered safe, temporary housing before multi-agency teams begin a proper matching service with follow-up support. Here in England, most of those fleeing Ukraine are reliant on finding a sponsor via a Facebook lottery, ‘akin to dog rehoming’. It’s worth knowing that most of the immigration sector – large and small organisations like ours - has not been consulted.  

So we encourage you to proceed with caution, research and seek support to ensure that if you do decide to offer to host, you enter with your eyes wide open. 




If you are interested in hosting refugees and people seeking asylum from other conflicts, including those facing destitution, please register with Refugees At Home. Please be patient, they are exceptionally busy.