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.
You can find further guidance on hosting from the below organisations:
Reset’s sponsor toolkit: https://resetuk.org/toolkits/homes-for-ukraine
Refugees at Home Host and sponsor resources: https://www.refugeesathome.org/resources/
The No Accommodation Network’s guidance on ‘hosting good practice’ https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/NACCOM-Hosting-Good-Practice-Guide-2022_PART-1-FINAL.pdfand key considerations for prospective hosts https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NACCOM-Hosting-Good-Practice-Guide-Part2-FINAL-MAY-2022.pdf
City of Sanctuary’s ‘Things to consider before applying to be a sponsor’ https://cityofsanctuary.org/2022/03/21/things-to-consider-before-applying-to-sponsor/
VITA Network’s guidance for hosts and refugees: https://vita-network.com/saferefuge/#hosts
Sanctuary Foundation’s course offers an introduction to refugee safety, wellbeing, and support: https://www.sanctuaryfoundation.org.uk/course
Do you already know a Ukrainian family you would like to sponsor?
If Yes - > Skip to step 7 for joint visa application
If No -> Proceed to 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
The government have posted a non-exhaustive list of charities and NGOs which can help match sponsors and guests through various methods:
OPORA offers 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.
Social media: Some sponsors look via social media channels and multiple Facebook groups have appeared, although we do not recommend this route for security and safeguarding reasons
Step 3. Registering on OPORA Platform & 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 you are in touch with a potential guest (or more likely - multiple potential guests) you should decide if the match is right for both parties:
Set up a 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 your long-term commitment under the scheme.
The topics you may want to include in video calls with your potential guests, based on the experience of the scheme so far: ● if both you and your guests have small kids - whether your approaches to parenting align sufficiently to live in the same house (bedtimes, meals, expectations wrt children staying at home alone)● Covid vaccinations● contribution to utilities (if you expect your guests to contribute to utility costs) ● transport in your area - if you live outside a big city, try to be very clear about transport options available and if they are at all limited.
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
When you find a match, mark this on your profile to remove your listing, and link with your guest. This will allow you and your guest to view and access offers of support such as baby equipment, job offers, mental health support, etc. Marking yourself as matched on Opora will also help us to broaden the options of help in the future.
How to link profiles:
1. Sponsor removes their accommodation offer by clicking ‘remove’ next to the accommodation entry 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 accommodation offer by going to your profile to remove your listing.
Open ‘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. Applying 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 TLS centre 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:https://t.me/oporauk There is direct support and documents available in their mother tongue.
Step 9. Guest arriving
Meet your guests - please coordinate all arrivals to ensure your guests arrive safely and reach you directly.
Please update the status on your Opora profile to say “Guests Arrived in the UK”. It will open up additional options for guests on the platform to access support from our partners.
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
It is available in Ukrainian, English and Russian so you and your guests can have access to the same guidance.
The Opora team is here for the long term to help Ukrainians find sustainable ways of rebuilding their lives, so please stay in touch with us if you or your guests need any assistance. We will be periodically updating our platform with additional support offers post-arrival as they become available.
OPORA x STOP THE TRAFFIC
Stay safe in the UK
Human trafficking is the recruitment of people through deception or coercion for the purpose of exploitation
Many victims of human trafficking are unaware that they are being exploited or are afraid to look for help while being in a foreign country
- low wages- non-payment of wages- violation of your rights- forcing to work overtime
are also types of exploitation!
STOP THE TRAFFIK has prepared a selection of practical advice for Ukrainians in the UK who are looking for housing and employment, as well as information about organizations that provide support
🔎Read more about life in Great Britain https://www.stopthetraffik.org/landing-page/ukraine-campaign-uk-work-homes-sept-2022-phase-4-ukr/
🔎Information about safe travel to Europe https://www.stopthetraffik.org/landing-page/autumn-2022-europe-wide-campaign-phase-6-ukrainian-language/
⛔️⚠️Have you noticed a suspicious job advertisement? Are you or someone you know exploited or forced to work? Let us know about it. Download the STOP APP for iOs and Android (STOP APP – Apps on Google Play). Ukrainian language is available in the application
Please look through our guides to life in the UK specifically created for Ukrainian arrivals by our teams and our network of experts - https://opora.uk/life-in-the-uk-guides
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