Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
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100,000 Ukrainians welcomed to safety in the UK

More than 100,000 people from Ukraine have arrived in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

  • More than 100,000 people from Ukraine have arrived in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme
  • Since March the government has worked with councils and communities to help them build new lives in the UK
  • From today new applications from children not travelling with or joining their parent or guardian will be considered, enabling children to apply for a visa provided they have parental consent

The government has thanked the British public for their generosity and goodwill today after more than 100,000 people from Ukraine have now been welcomed into homes across the UK after arriving through the two Ukraine visa schemes.

The figure was reached as the Homes for Ukraine Scheme opens up to allow new applications from children and minors under the age of 18 to come to the UK without a parent or guardian.

After listening to Ukrainian parents and working closely with their national government, government has introduced changes that will enable a child to apply for a visa if they have proof of parental consent.

Since early spring, government has streamlined the visa application system to get people to safety as soon as possible, and worked hand in hand with councils and community groups to ensure people from Ukraine are fully supported as they adjust to life in the UK.

Maria Kartashova, who lives with her host in Surrey said:

I want to send my gratitude to all the British people and my sponsors personally. What you are doing for the Ukrainian people is more than help. You support us at every stage, spend your time and energy, pay attention and give care. I cannot put into words how grateful I am.

Refugees Minister Lord Harrington said:

We would not be able to welcome 100,000 people from Ukraine to our shores without generous people around the country opening their doors.

It is important that we recognise the selfless work of the public to help Ukrainians integrate into their communities.

We understand families are having to make difficult decisions to leave their homes – which is why it is important we took the time to get this right to ensure we can continue offering safety to as many Ukrainians as possible.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Greg Clark said:

As 100,000 people have now arrived from Ukraine, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who has offered  their homes to people in need.

Behind this milestone however are 100,000 stories of pain – families split apart and forced to leave their fathers, sons and brothers. That is why we want peace and security in Ukraine so that its brave people can be safe at home again.

The Ukraine visa process is now fully digital, enabling applicants to apply online, submit their biometrics, including uploading their photo, through an app and evidence their rights to benefits and services, including Universal Credit, in the UK digitally.

As a result of changes, including simplifying the application form and boosting staff numbers – at its peak, around 500 people were processing visas – with the government processing applications as quickly as possible, aiming for within 48 hours where possible.

From day one, Ukrainians have the right to work and to access benefits and public services, including education and healthcare, on the same-footing as UK nationals. This will continue to be the case for those who wish to remain in the UK.

A combined national effort has driven the schemes forward – with devolved governments, charities, faith groups, businesses, councils and communities all working together to provide much needed support to those arriving from Ukraine. We welcome offers of employment from businesses for those Ukrainians arriving in the UK and who are ready to work and have set up a dedicated team in the Department for Work and Pensions to support employers offering work.

Twenty-nine Welcome Points at primary points of entry including ports, train stations and airports across the country offer meet-and-greet arrangements alongside immediate humanitarian assistance to ensure Ukrainian people arriving through either scheme are welcomed to the UK.

The government is providing £10,500 per person under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to councils to enable them to provide support to families to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities. Within the £10,500 is a one-off £200 payment that councils will provide to each Ukraine guest upon arrival plus the £350 ‘thank you’ monthly payment for sponsors for costs associated with helping out.

The government continues to work closely with the voluntary and community sector who are supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme including through matching services being run by Recognised Providers to help more people from Ukraine find safe and sustainable matches with sponsors in the UK.

Further information

The government has established three new visa schemes to support those fleeing Putin’s war. Already 104,000 Ukrainians have arrived safely in the UK, 31,300 under the Ukraine Family Scheme and 72,700 through the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

When the Homes for Ukraine scheme launched in March, children or minors under the age of 18 were not eligible unless they were applying with, or planning to reunite in the UK with, a parent or legal guardian.

Despite this around 1,000 under 18s applied for the scheme. The government carefully worked through the concerns around allowing children to apply for the Homes for Ukraine scheme without a parent or legal guardian and initially opening up the Homes for Ukraine scheme to these existing applications. The scheme has been opened up further to consider new applications from eligible minors.

After working closely with the Ukraine government and councils, the changes will enable a child to apply for a visa if they have proof of parental consent. This must be certified by an authority approved by the Ukraine government, such as the Ukrainian consul abroad.

Extensive sponsor checks will also be carried out by local authorities ahead of any visa being granted, with councils able to veto any sponsor arrangements they deem unsuitable.

People interested in becoming a sponsor can register their interest.

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