Your questions answered
Who will carry out the sponsor home visits?
The Council will make arrangements for home visits to sponsors’ homes. There are several aspects to these visits, including an accommodation review, safety and wellbeing checks.
When can I expect to be contacted to arrange a visit?
The Council will start contacting sponsors when matches are confirmed to us by the Central Government. Your first contact is likely to be from a Council Officer by telephone and/or email.
What to do when your guest(s) arrive
Your role as a sponsor is to welcome the guest and help them with tasks such as registering with a GP surgery and accessing local services.
How will Ukrainian guests receive mental health and other medical support services?
Ukrainian guests will be able to register with a local GP practice and NHS dentist to access the medical services they need.
If a sponsor has a concern about wellbeing of either the guest family or themselves, they should contact our safeguarding teams:
- Children's safeguarding
- Adult safeguarding
- Mental Health Access Hubs, Telephone Number: Freephone 08081 966798 (Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week).
- Specific Information for Children and Young People, Rise Crisis & Home Treatment Team: Telephone Number Freephone 08081 966798 and select Option 2.
I am concerned about trafficking?
A coalition of anti-slavery and human rights groups has launched a new website for Ukrainian refugees in the UK, aimed at keeping them safe from trafficking and helping them adjust to their new home.
The site - www.ukrainianswelcome.org - is a "one-stop-shop" of useful websites, helplines, and other information – anything from where to get basic travel and housing advice to opening a bank account and understanding your rights as a worker.
www.ukrainianswelcome.org is available in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages.
Will I get paid for hosting a Ukrainian guest and family?
Financial support for sponsoring hosts is set by the government at £350 per property per month for up to 12 months. It is classed as a thank you payment and is neither taxable nor affects benefits. You cannot charge rent to the guest you host.
Payment cannot start until a check on the property has been carried out and then will be a month in arrears.
If your guest moves out of your home for any reason, you must inform your local council at the earliest opportunity as you will need to let them know that you are no longer eligible for the monthly payments. Failure to do so may result in overpayments which you will have to pay back.
If you choose not to take the optional payment, we encourage you to accept £350 and donate to a local charity. We can help you let you know of local charities.
Will the £350 payment be taxable, affect benefit or Council Tax status?
No. It is not taxable, does not affect benefits or single person Council Tax discounts.
Will I be paid rent?
No. You should not charge any rent. We appreciate people’s generosity and do know that there will be costs associated with helping out, and so we are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more household (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.
Prior to payment, eligibility checks will be carried out which will include a visit to your home.
What sort of room or accommodation is required?
The most important thing is that you’re able to provide at least 6 months of stable accommodation. This can be anything from an empty room to an unoccupied home, as long as it’s safe, heated and free from health hazards, and gives your guests adequate access to bathroom and kitchen facilities. We are asking for 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.
Please see Government Homes for Ukraine FAQs for further information.
Will I have to provide food for guests I host?
It would be nice to offer a welcome meal, but guests will be able to access benefits and work so they can pay for their food and other needs. We will provide assistance to them to claim benefits initially and then to find work.
What about my mortgage and household insurance?
In some cases, you’ll need to check with your landlord, freeholder or mortgage provider, and insurance company, about whether they have any policies which you need to factor in. It’s important you think through any possible implications for your tenancy, mortgage, lease and insurance before your guest arrives in the UK.
Please see the Scheme FAQs for permissions required for mortgages, insurance, landlords, renters and leaseholders.
What if my circumstances change and I can’t continue sponsoring?
If for any reason you need to end the sponsorship arrangement early, you should inform the City Council as soon as possible. The Council will step in to help guests to find alternative accommodation. If you could inform the council as early as possible at HomesforUkraineCoventry@coventry.gov.uk
People who arrive in the UK through this scheme will be able to access all benefits, including housing benefit where there are housing costs, for the three years they have leave to remain.
Are Ukrainian children allowed to access education?
Ukrainian children are entitled to access education in this country. Families will be supported to apply for school places for their children by the Council's Migration Team and Access to Education Team. The teams will provide advice and guidance about schools nearby and schools with available places. They will support with the application process until children are settled into an appropriate school. The team can also help with pre-school places for younger children and college placements for young people over the age of sixteen.
Applications for school places for children who have not already attended a school in this country need to be made through the Access to Education Team. Online applications are not available under these circumstances.
If you would like support in placing your child into a school within Coventry, you can contact the Migration Team using their Homes for Ukraine support email - HomesforUkraineCoventry@coventry.gov.uk
Will guests be allowed to work?
The City Council Migration Team will be arranging support into employment and meet the employer sessions. Keep an eye this page and stay in touch at HomesforUkraineCoventry@coventry.gov.uk
Will my guests be allowed to access benefits?
People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim benefits immediately. Emergency regulations have been laid so those arriving in the UK from Ukraine because of the Russian invasion can access Universal Credit and other benefits where eligible, and jobs support immediately.
Translation services are available to help new arrivals with phone applications, and Work Coaches and DWP staff are on hand to support people making claims online. More information on immediate benefit support is available.
Will Ukrainian guests be allowed access to healthcare?
Ukrainian guests are entitled to access the National Health Service (NHS) free of charge. The local NHS is awaiting national guidance. In the meantime guests arriving in Coventry should register with their nearest GP practice or the one their host is registered with. Once registered with a GP, advice about accessing COVID-19 vaccinations (not given by GP directly) and other immunisations (given at the GP practice) will be given.
The NHS, the UK Health Security Agency and the Mayor of London have produced a helpful leaflet, in Ukrainian and English, which explains how the service works and what rights to healthcare migrants have.
- How the NHS works: a guide for migrants (English)
- How the NHS works: a guide for migrants (Ukrainian)
- How the NHS works: a guide for migrants (Russian)
The documents above may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. The information is also available as an accessible web page: NHS entitlements: migrant health guide (GOV.UK)
How can a guest access the £200 interim payment?
The payment is at present only available for Ukrainian guests arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. When we are notified by the Central Government of guest arrivals, we will make contact at the host address. If guests have arrived under this scheme and have not heard from us, please contact email@example.com
What are the security checks on guests and hosts?
Sponsors(hosts) and guests arriving will have met standard security checks against the police national computer database and anti-terrorism checks as part of the visa application process.
A City Council Officer will visit the property to check that the accommodation offered is appropriate and that everything is in place for the guest(s).
The council will also conduct a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on all members of the host household who are 16 years and over, regardless of their relationship to the guests.
For those who are sponsoring a Ukrainian family which includes children or a vulnerable adult, an Enhanced DBS check (including a check of the children’s or adults barred list) will be undertaken, for all those who are 16 or over in the host household, regardless of their relationship to the guests.
Can Housing in Multiple Occupation be used as part of this scheme and will a license be required?
This scheme is for private properties only. Housing for Multiple Occupation may be considered later on in the scheme, the government is not allowing this at present.
Can people bring their pets?
Many people fleeing the conflict will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pets. There is now a streamlined process for people bringing their pets from Ukraine. The Animal and Plant Health Agency will provide quick approvals and relevant quarantine arrangements, for which we will cover the costs.
Ukrainians should contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org or should call +44 3000 200 301 and select option 2.
I'm Ukrainian, already live in the UK and want to extend my stay, can I do this?
The government has announced a new scheme, the Ukraine Extension Scheme, for Ukrainians already in the UK to extend their stay. A Ukraine Extension Scheme visa will be granted for a period of up to 36 months and include the right to work and access to public funds. The scheme opened on 3 May 2022.
I'm a Doctor/Medical student who has arrived through the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme and need advice/support, where can I receive this?
For Doctors or young medical students in need of advice and guidance on your right to work, your visa, registering as a medical practitioner in the UK and more, you can check out the helpful guide produced by the Ukrainian Medical Association of the United Kingdom.
Employment - Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. It administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to around 20 million claimants and customers.
The DWP has released a helpful guide to Ukrainians arriving in the United Kingdom which outlines how they can work, access benefits and much more. This is currently only available in English and we are working to get this translated as fast as possible.