I was away for part of 2021, will this be a problem?
If you were away on a study or work trip during part of 2021, this should not be a problem and you may still apply.
Do I need to have received a Covid-19 vaccination?
A Covid-19 vaccine is no longer needed to enter the UK. However, some sponsors may insist on those they host at home being vaccinated, especially if they suffer from a medical condition. You will need to discuss this with your host. Currently, over 70% of the UK is fully vaccinated.
What should I consider when seeking a sponsor?
We are working towards matching you with the most suitable sponsor. The government has committed to doing background checks into host families for safety purposes.
You should consider the following:
- Location and availability of convenient transport connection to the nearest town or city
- Availability of educational institutions for your children near potential housing
- Age and marital status of sponsors
- Does the sponsor have their own children who will live in a shared home
- Religious affiliation of sponsors and respect for it
- Cultural background and traditions
Does my sponsor receive anything in return for helping me?
Yes. Subject to checks made by the local council, they will receive £350 per month from the government.
How do I know my sponsor is a safe person to live with?
The UK Government will be carrying out some security checks on the sponsor. When you apply for your visa, you will be asked to include the details of your sponsor, so that they may carry out these checks.
What happens if a conflict arises or if the arrangement breaks down?
Generally, it’s the local authority’s responsibility to take care of any problems. You and your sponsor are required to inform your Local Authority of any issues as soon as possible. If appropriate, your council may decide to offer a rematch with a new sponsor.
We will continue to create and post resources on our website that may be of help to you, including training sessions and any other relevant updates.
Will my sponsor charge me for living in their home?
You should not be charged rent for living in someone’s home. Although not common, your sponsor may ask you to contribute to the payments for utilities (e.g. gas/electricity, water, etc) and council tax. You should discuss this with your sponsor prior to joining. You will be entitled to register to receive social welfare benefits when you are in the UK, which will help toward these costs.
How long will the application take to be approved?
There is no official approval period, however, visas are reportedly taking between 7 days and 3-4 weeks. Applications can no longer be checked using the application number at the Visa Application Centre, however you may ask your sponsor to contact their Member of Parliament (MP) or the UK Home Office. The application reference number will begin with GWF.
Can I apply without having an international passport?
You can apply for a visa online if you do not have an international passport but you will have to attend a visa application centre (VAC) to submit alternative documents before your visa will be issued. This applies to children as well. You can make an appointment at a VAC here: https://pos.tlscontact.com/
Do children need a passport?
Children over 5 years old need a passport. Children under 5 who do not hold a valid Ukrainian international passport will need to attend a VAC appointment to have a digital photograph taken: https://pos.tlscontact.com/
What happens after I have been sponsored for six months?
You and your sponsor will discuss what will happen at the end of the initial six months of sponsorship. You might decide together that you are happy to extend your stay with them. Alternatively, they and the council will be able to provide advice and guidance for onward accommodation. Once you will have access to employment and benefits, you may also be able to move out independently.
What do I need to do if I am bringing a pet?
You can find the official government guidance on bringing pets to the UK here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bringing-your-pet-to-the-uk-from-ukraine
For dogs and cats, you will require a pet passport, microchip, rabies vaccine, and tapeworm medication before travel. However, there is still a risk that your pet may face quarantine.