Step 1. I have read about the government scheme “Homes for Ukraine” and would like to participate by hosting a Ukrainian person/family.
Read up on government sponsor guidance & take steps to prepare. Some of these steps might take time. You can evaluate whether this is something for you and your family and which steps you need to undertake alongside finding person/family to sponsor.
Do you know a Ukrainian family you would like to sponsor?
Yes - > jump over to step 7 for joint visa application
No -> Step 2.
Step 2. Decide on how to look for a guest / family from Ukraine
Will you look yourself, with a help of charity/NGO or UK government:
Registering your interest to be a sponsor on the Government website currently does not yet lead to you being matched with Ukrainians in need. Government is partnering with Reset charity, where a separate portal has been set up - which will match sponsors and Ukrainians in need directly. https://www.homesforukraine.org.uk/
Look yourself with a help of a charity and NGO
Social media: Some sponsors look via social media channels and multiple Facebook groups have appeared, although we do not recommend this route.
OPORA is one of such charities. We offer a platform for both sides to find each other and retain agency and control over the matching process for what we feel is a big decision for both sides, with long-term commitments. If you choose to use OPORA, move to Step 3.
Step 3. Register on OPORA & join the OPORA community
This will allow you to search for, and connect directly with Ukrainians in need of sponsorship according to your offer, and yours and their preferences. You will be able to contact them directly
Step 4. Searching for a guest
Would you like to proactively search yourself or accept contacts from potential guests?
If you would like to proactively search:
Go to ‘Find a Guest’ and you can filter/search for guests that fit your accommodation offer.
Reach out to the guests you want to contact using their stated preferred contact methods directly (we recommend WhatsApp/text, as emails may take longer to get replies; taking into account language barrier short messages are best to start with).
If you would like to wait for contact:
Await communication from guests. Make sure your accommodation offer is as detailed
as possible. Elaborate on facilities available in your area and what you can offer in your home.
Step 5. Guest communication
Once are in touch with a potential guest (or more likely - multiple potential guests):
How to decide if the match is right?
Set up time to connect with the guest (family) over video - Zoom, whatsapp video etc. Consider it might be a practical challenge and require multiple approaches if guests are still in Ukraine, or if their access to internet connection is only intermittent.
Talk about your and their family lifestyle, ask about current location. Do not be afraid to ask difficult questions at this point if you have concerns.
Conduct your own due diligence and remember basic safety and safeguards when communicating and meeting people online. Some useful links we encourage you to review
● https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/work-learning/technology-internet/internet-security/● https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/phishing-scams
Decide if this is a good fit for the long-term commitment for you under the scheme.
Move to Step 6a.
If you haven’t found a match via Opora or decided to stop looking altogether move to Step 6b.
Step 6a. If you found a guest using the Opora database (we kindly ask you to mark a match for accessing additional support and Offers of help, furthermore, it’ll help us to broaden options of help in the future)
When you find a match, mark this on your profile to remove your listing, link with your guest and receive offers of support such as baby equipment, job offers etc.
How to link profiles:
1. Sponsor removes their accommodation offer by clicking ‘remove’ next to it on their My Profile page in My offers section
2. Select Match Found (via Opora) as the reason
3. Sponsor receives a special unique code in My Matched Guests section on their My Profile page, provides this code to a guest and asks them to enter it onto their Opora Profile (in the Link to Sponsor field option on the My profile)
4. Guest enters a code in Link to Sponsor field on their My Profile page
5. Once they enter this code it will remove their public profile from the directory and link to this offer of accommodation.
6. Sponsor adds visa status and GWF/GWR number in My Matched Guests field .
Step 6b. If you found a guest elsewhere, or are not longer looking for a match (please remove your accommodation offer if it’s no longer available)
You can hide an accomodation offer by Going to your profile to remove your listingopen ‘My Profile’, scroll down to see your offer - click on Remove, select the reason for removal.
You can delete a profile completely by clicking on the profile sign in the top right corner, go to Settings and confirm Delete Profile.
Step 7. How to apply for the visa
Agree with your guest who applies for the visa (either you or the guest can do it, but you will need to exchange information and communicate throughout the process).
- fill out the Visa application on the Government portal,, book an appointment at the nearest TLScentre for verification if needed and wait for approval
On our Opora FB Sponsor Community Group you can find many resources to facilitate this process, including editable and translated visa application questions, checklists, useful tips and more.
Send them the following link to our OPORA Telegram Channel for Guests. There is direct support and documents available in their mother tongue. https://t.me/oporauk
Step 8. Visa received - how to access additional support from Opora, such as free travel (if required)
Once the visa is successfully received, you can access additional assistance from Opora and our partners.
Who can benefit from this offer:- Those who found a sponsor/guest on Opora. (only sponsor can request travel)- Those who received a permission to travel / visa for the whole group.
You’ll be able to apply after matching your profiles on Opora platform (Step 6a). Then you will see the offer in Offers of help in the main menu, it’s named - Travel assistance.
Important aspects you should take into account before applying:● We can’t help with pets transportation● We are able to help with getting from the country your sponsees are currently staying in to the UK directly. We cannot help with transport within Ukraine. ● We’re not dealing with Eurostar trains and ferries (they have special proposals and you can contact them directly)● This offer is only available for guests who have confirmed aarch with a sponsor on our platform (see guide for details)
Please submit the travel request form for each member of the traveling party Professional travel agents will be in touch with you and your guest to arrange the travel options and book this
NB! At the current time our program is working in a test regime and we can handle a limited number of requests daily. If you don’t see this proposal in the Offers of help section, please check if it’s available in 1-2 days.
Meet your guests - please coordinate all arrivals to ensure your guests arrive safely and reach you directly.
Please familiarise yourself with the following government guide: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064315/Ukraine_Welcome_Guidance.pdf
The Opora team is here for the long term to help Ukrainians find sustainable ways of rebuilding lives, so please stay in touch with us if you or your guests need any assistance, and we will be updating our platform with additional support offers post-arrival soon.
If your question is not covered in this guide, we recommend asking on the Opora Sponsor community FB group and if any further support is needed email ku.aropo%40pleh