What can I do to help?
There are many ways you can offer help to people who are seeking sanctuary from Ukraine. From donating money to charities, signing up as a sponsor and reducing demands on social housing, to registering your business or organisation to offer help. Visit gov.wales for more information.
Offering your home
If you wish to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine you can become a ‘sponsor’ under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Register your interest here.
For more information on becoming a sponsor such as responsibilities, checks and supporting your guest, visit gov.wales
Your guest will need to apply for a visa before travelling to Wales. Once the visa has been granted, Welsh Government will contact the person and make arrangements for their arrival. People will have to make their own way to the UK, whether they are sponsored by Welsh Government or by an individual.
If you are thinking of signing up to the scheme there are a few things you should consider beforehand:
Who is eligible to apply?
Anyone with a spare room or home can apply to offer accommodation as long as it is:
- for at least 6 months
- if you’re not a British citizen, you have leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months.
It is important that the accommodation you offer is stable, suitable and free from health hazards. For example, a shared space would not be appropriate for this length of time. Your guests should be entitled to safety and privacy whilst they are accommodated by you.
I have a mortgage/household insurance, will this be affected?
It is worth checking with your mortgage and household insurance provider whether there are any policies you need to factor in before signing up to become a sponsor.
If your lender and/or household insurer are happy for you to offer your home under the scheme, ask them to confirm this in writing. This will stop any problems happening later.
What if I am a tenant with a private landlord/housing association/council property?
You will need to check whether there is anything in your tenancy agreement that stops you taking in lodgers/subtenants. It is likely any restrictions will also apply to the sponsorship scheme. Speak to your landlord first and ask for any permission in writing.
It’s important you think through any possible implications for your tenancy, mortgage, lease and insurance before your guest arrives in the UK. For more information visit gov.wales.
I am in receipt of benefits, will these be affected?
The government are giving sponsors the option to receive a £350 a month, tax free, ‘thank you’ payment for up to 12 months for as long as you are hosting your guest and provided the accommodation is of a suitable standard.
They have pledged that your entitlement to receive benefits will not be affected by the ‘thank you’ payment. Council tax discounts for single occupancy sponsors will also not be affected.
Your guest will not be expected to pay rent and you do not have to provide food or cover living costs unless you wish to do so. Your guest will be entitled to a £200 interim payment to help with subsidence costs which will be provided by your local council.
I am from Ukraine seeking sanctuary
Advice and support
Welsh Government have set up a helpline for people arriving in Wales from Ukraine and their families:
- if outside the UK – call free on +44 808 164 8810
- if in the UK – call 0808 164 8810.
The gov.wales Sanctuary website has lots of helpful information for those arriving from Ukraine, including advice on housing, money and education. The information can be provided in a number of different languages and there is an option to listen to the information if required.
Will I be able to claim benefits?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have announced Ukrainians arriving in the UK will be able to access the following benefits if they are eligible:
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- PIP (Personal Independence Payments)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carers Allowance
- Child Disability Living Allowance
- Contribution JSA and ESA
DWP staff will be available to offer face to face assistance with completing applications for financial support and translation services will also be available.
For more advice on claiming benefits visit Citizens Advice Cymru.
What happens if my sponsor can no longer put me up?
If you are unable to remain with your sponsor and become homeless or threatened with homelessness, the local council in your area may be able to help you find suitable accommodation.
The Welsh Government have amended immigration rules in line with the UK Government so that people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will be eligible and exempt from the habitual residency test.
This means you will be able to apply for social housing and homelessness assistance.