Thinking of sponsoring a refugee?
Many households within the district have applied to the Governments Homes For Ukraine scheme.
Multiple families in Lewes and villages have identified sponsors and have VISA’s pending. They hope to welcome them into their homes by the end March 2020.
If you would like to sponsor a refugee and are not sure how to proceed here are the key steps to follow.
There will be help and support during your application process, just reach out for guidance via the website or on the Lewes Helps Ukraine Facebook page
A support package to assist each refugee will be provided by the Council. Details of this will be published on the website once available.
Homes For Ukraine – the key steps to becoming a host
Register with the government website to be a sponsor.
This is the first step but it does not find you a match. You will get an email receipt confirming you have registered.
Recommended way to find someone to sponsor
You can sponsor a single person, couple, two people, or a family depending on the space you have available.
Register your accommodation on the Ukraine Takes Shelter site as this helps hosting of larger family/friends in one area.
Hosts register and put a description of their accommodation, the location, school locations and number of people that can be hosted.
If your neighbours /street are also on using this site you can add this to your copy so sponsors know multiple homes are available.
Once you are registered sponsors can contact you.
Communication is important with potential sponsors you can choose to be connected in many ways eg email, mobile and WhatsApp. Please respond asap as sponsors need reassurance.
FaceTime can be used to introduce yourselves and show them the accommodation on offer. If they have little/no English WhatsApp and email work well supported by a translator app.
Help will be available once they are here to learn English, many are fluent as English is taught in school.
The Visa Application Process
Either side can submit the VISA
A list of all the questions is now available in both languages, you can email this to them so they can fill out all the answers in advance. Each person travelling must apply.
They can provide you with proof of residency and their passport in pdf format by using a phone app or you can convert an image for them
You can either do the application for them and use WhatsApp if unsure of any answers or screen share and do the application together.
There are two stages to the process. First you submit answers to the Visa questions then you are redirected to upload the relevant documents.
As a host you will also upload a PDF image of your passport or drivers license to this site.
To assist the application process you can download the VISA questions (link below). They are multilingual to assist communication.
Email your sponsor the whole document. Or copy and paste it into an email so your sponsor can send you the answers especially useful if you are processing the VISA on their behalf.
Once Visa’s are approved sponsors can travel free of charge on certain airlines and trains to travel to you. Lewes District Council will provide information for host families regarding checks and DBS.
Please join the Facebook Group for support and help Lewes Helps Ukraine (Lewes and villages)
Government Website – Homes For Ukraine – frequently asked questions regarding support for Refugees and preparing your home etc
Information for Ukrainian Nationals Arriving in the UK – Red Cross – Share with those you are sponsoring