Ukrainian Refugee Sponsorship Scheme FAQs

Q: How do I find a Ukrainian refugee to offer a space in my home?

A: The following charities offer to match sponsors with refugees

Q: How do I register for the Ukrainian refugee sponsor scheme?
A: You should record your interest on the UK Government website at

  • More details on the scheme are available online at
  • If you already have a family member who is Ukrainian - you can apply for a UK visa for them here
  • If you already have a named contact whom you wish to sponsor you should get in touch with them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application with all of their details and yours.
  • If you don’t currently know anyone whom you wish to sponsor, you may wish to get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations who are starting to make connections between individuals.

Q: What checks will take place in advance?
A: In addition to checks prior to visas being issued, all households receiving guests from Ukraine will receive checks by the Council on the property and household.

  • All households will be visited to ensure the accommodation is fit for purpose and suitable to receive guests.
  • If the accommodation is self-contained or only adults without specific vulnerabilities are coming into the property, then Basic DBS checks will be undertaken on all adult members in the sponsor household.
  • If children under the age of 18 are going to be accommodated in the household, then an Enhanced DBS check (including a check of the children’s barred list) will be undertaken on all people in the sponsor’s household over 16.
  • Local Authorities will follow existing guidance for regulated activity with vulnerable adults.
  • Where the Council knows that there is an adult guest arriving in the household, who is vulnerable (due to illness, disability or age) and has particular needs for which the sponsor is to provide support, an Enhanced DBS check with check of the Adults’ Barred List may be made by the Council.

Q: How do I know my home is suitable to take in a refugee?
A: UK Government advice is the following:

  • Sponsors who can at least offer an empty room, to ensure the safety and privacy of guests. A bed in a shared space would not be an appropriate offer of accommodation for 6 months.
  • While there is no set expectation, your accommodation needs to be free from serious health and safety hazards.
  • You should make sure your home is safe for your guests and that it is in a suitable condition.
  • You should also consider how many people you can accommodate so they have sufficient space.
  • Two people should not be in one room unless they are: adult cohabiting partners; a parent and child; two siblings of the same gender if aged over 10; two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10.
  • Individuals who didn’t previously know each other should not be given the same room
  • Sponsors should at least offer an empty room, to ensure the safety and privacy of guests. A bed in a shared space would not be an appropriate offer of accommodation for 6 months.

Accommodation should

  • Be kept clean and in a reasonable state.
  • have adequate kitchen and bathroom space.
  • have access to drinking water.
  • have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building e.g., fire doors or escape routes as appropriate (further information on making a home safe from fire.
  • have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g., a coal fire, wood-burning stove)
  • have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature.
  • have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have undertaken a Gas Safety check within the last year (see more information)
  • have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure.
  • be almost entirely free of damp or mould.
  • have doors and windows at entry-level that lock properly

Q: Will I be paid rent if I take in a refugee? Can I charge a refugee rent?
A: No. You should not charge any rent.

  • The UK government is offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more households (subject to the accommodation they have).
  • The ‘thank you’ payment is limited to one payment per residential address. You will continue to receive payments for as long as you sponsor somebody and for up to 12 months. This payment will be made in arrears.
  • The UK government is ensuring ‘thank you payments’ do not affect benefit entitlement and will remain tax-free.
  • Prior to payment, checks will be carried out which will include a visit to your home.

Q: Will taking in a refugee affect my council tax?
A: No. Council tax discounts will not be affected if you sponsor and host a Ukrainian household in your home. The £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment to all sponsors will not affect any council tax discounts (e.g., single person discounts)

Q: As a tenant, should I inform my landlord if I’m taking in a refugee?
A: Yes. It’s important you think through any possible implications for your tenancy, and mortgage before your guest arrives in the UK. If you are a leaseholder wishing to host a guest, you will need to check the terms of your lease to see whether you are permitted to have lodgers or subtenants.

Q: What happens at the end of the initial 6-month sponsorship period?
A: Sponsors are committed to hosting guests for a minimum of 6 months, but you may choose to continue beyond the initial six months if you and your guest wish to.

  • If you don’t want to continue the arrangement beyond 6 months (or at any time after that), you should let your guest know in plenty of time so they can make other arrangements.
  • Sponsors should aim to give notice two months before the end of the 6 months (or with 2 months’ notice before any later date).
  • If for any reason you need to end the sponsorship arrangement early, sponsors should inform the council as soon as possible.

Q: Would I be expected to provide meals too or just accommodation?
A: Just accommodation. However, there is nothing stopping sponsors offering meals should they wish. You will not be expected to cover the costs of food and other living expenses for refugees in your home (although you may wish to offer this).

  • Every guest will be entitled to a £200 interim payment to help with subsistence costs which will be provided by the local council.
  • As a sponsor you may want to draw up an agreement with your guests that sets a few ground rules, such as sharing use of common areas of the house, or concerning things like smoking, alcohol, or noise.

Q: Can refugees bring their pets?
A: Yes - subject to quarantine rules. The maximum stay in quarantine for a pet which has received no rabies treatment is four months.

Q: How can I contribute to help Ukrainian refugees if I can’t or don’t want to take one into my home?
A: Donations can be made to local or national charities.

  • The Disaster Emergency Committee [DEC] have launched a Ukraine humanitarian appeal where people can donate to support Ukrainian families
  • The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain are running a GoFundMe page to support displaced Ukrainian citizens, they accept monetary donations to fund food, hygiene and medical packs, and other everyday essentials with specifications set by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation

Q: Is this scheme on offer to other nationalities?
A: No. The UK government has set this scheme up specifically for Ukrainian nationals.

Q: Will Ukrainian refugees be able to use NHS services free of charge?
A: Yes. All Ukrainians arriving in England will be able to access NHS healthcare free of charge, including GP and nurse consultations, hospital services, and urgent care centres. Ukrainians coming to the UK will also be offered COVID-19 vaccines and medical screenings.

Q: Should my visitor register with a GP?
A; Yes. Details on how to register are available here:

Q: Will Ukrainian children need to attend school?
A: Yes. The Welcome Pack for those arriving from Ukraine contains advice on accessing education and childcare, in the section ‘Childcare and Education Services. Guidance on attending schools in Wakefield is available from the Council at

Q: Can preschool Ukrainian children attend nursery?
A: Yes. Children aged 3-5, and eligible 2-year-olds, are entitled to free childcare. Please go to your local nursery who can support you with the application process. Places may not always be available in the nursery nearest you

Q: Can Ukrainian refugees apply for a bus or rail pass?
A: Yes. Refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities are eligible to apply for ENCTS passes and should be granted a disabled person’s travel pass if they meet the disability criteria. Bus passes should be applied for at the West Yorkshire Metro site here

Q: Can Ukrainian refugees claim benefits or state pension?
A: yes: Refugees can access Universal Credit, housing benefits, state pension credit and disability and carer benefits from day one. Claims should be made in the normal way. Benefits advice is available from Cashwise on 01977 724651, visit, or from Wakefield Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) free on 0800 144 8848 or visit

Q: Can Ukrainians refugees do voluntary work or volunteer?
A: Yes: Volunteer opportunities in the Wakefield district are available at

Q: Can Ukrainian refugees access English language classes?
A: Yes. Contact the Adult Education Service for further details

For more information, please contact customer services on 0345 8 506 506 (option 7) or email

Help us improve

Select how useful the page is
Back to top