- According to the United Nations, as of the end of April, over 5 million are estimated to have left Ukraine for neighbouring countries due to the conflict, and over 6 million are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.
- The total Ukrainian population of London is 18,990 according to census data. The borough with the largest Ukrainian population is Newham, at 1340, followed by Ealing (1140) and Hounslow (1120). Please see the map below.
The various visa routes are listed below under separate tabs.
Summary of the role of Councils under Homes for Ukraine
Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, London boroughs are responsible for helping receive arrivals (when ports of entry), conducting safeguarding checks and accommodation checks, arranging interim payments, providing school places, ensuring access to benefits and employment support, referring individuals to public health services as appropriate, administering the £350 monthly ‘thank you’ payment to sponsors and supporting community integration. Local authorities will receive additional funding to support with providing school places.
Summary of London Councils response to the Ukraine refugee crisis
- London Councils meets regularly with boroughs, colleagues from health, the London strategic migration partnership and partners in other organisations to identify and escalate key issues, responses and possible solutions.
- London Councils are regularly providing information and feedback on government guidance into the Home Office and DLUHC. If you wish to see London Councils latest list of Key Asks of Government, or to escalate any issues in relation to Ukraine, please contact us.
- London Councils has also circulated best practice examples of welfare/ safeguarding checks, accommodation checks, welcome packs, and mental health resources on a sharepoint for Ukraine. Boroughs can access the sharepoint through the MS Teams Web App.
- London Councils are also monitoring the needs of people arriving locally and pressures on the ground (including homelessness presentations from Ukrainian arrivals and the numbers of unaccompanied minors that are arriving under Homes for Ukraine or the family visa scheme despite not technically being eligible for either schemes)
Key website links for the Ukraine visa routes:
- Homes for Ukraine: https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/
- Homes for Ukraine FAQs: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions
- Homes for Ukraine, guidance for councils: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-guidance-for-councils?msclkid=d407cf43a6ee11ec97aed034f3f2b1c1#role-of-councils
- Government guidance for sponsors under Homes for Ukraine: guidance for sponsors.
- A number of organisations are matching Ukrainian refugees to Sponsors under Homes for Ukraine – please visit Reset’s home page for more information about matching - Reset is the UK’s Community Sponsorship learning hub: https://resetuk.org/
- Benefit entitlements: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/immediate-benefit-support-for-those-fleeing-the-invasion-in-ukraine?msclkid=ee3c8ff0a90711ecbcf4a6871a5e7160
- Family Visa Scheme application: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
- Data on visa applications under Homes for Ukraine and the Family Visa Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukraine-family-scheme-application-data/ukraine-family-scheme-and-ukraine-sponsorship-scheme-homes-for-ukraine-visa-data--2
- Concessions for Ukraine nationals in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ukrainian-nationals-in-the-uk-visa-support
- Ukraine Extension Scheme: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-03-29/hcws736
For further information about how you can support Ukrainians, please visit the GLA page: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/communities/migrants-and-refugees/how-you-can-help-ukraine
Principal Policy and Project Officer, Health and Social Services
- This visa route will allow immediate family members as well as extended family members of British nationals and people settled in the UK to come. Extended family members will also be able to bring their immediate family with them.
- All arrivals have 3 years leave to remain and access to benefits, but there is no additional funding for this scheme, and councils don’t receive data on the family visa scheme, leaving them unable, and not resourced, to do welfare/safeguarding checks. We continue to escalate these challenges with government colleagues
- Homes for Ukraine was launched on the 14 March
- Sponsors need to provide a minimum of 6 months of accommodation, and for up to 12 months, sponsors will receive a £350 thank you payment for every month that they provide accommodation to Ukrainians
- There is £10.5k funding for local authorities per Ukrainian arrival, provided by government under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This is expected to cover a range of integration and support costs (detailed in the government guidance for councils). Councils receive data on the sponsors and arrivals on Foundry (the Homes for Ukraine data portal). In order to receive the funding, councils need to complete accommodation and safeguarding checks.
- Beneficiaries will have recourse to public funds and three years leave to remain.
- Ukrainian nationals can now extend their stay in the UK without having to leave and re-apply from overseas, and there are concessions around switching to other Visas (those on student/work/ visitor VISAs have no recourse to public funds)
- On 29th March the Government announced the intention to launch a new ‘Ukraine Extension Scheme’ on 3 May 2022. This means that a Ukrainian national and their partner and children who had permission to stay in the UK on 18 March 2022 (or which has expired since 1 January 2022) can stay in the UK under this scheme. The scheme is free, and comes with access to work, study and benefits for 3 years