How to offer a Ukrainian refugee a room under the new sponsor scheme as 150,000 sign up

ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand explains how the new sponsorship scheme will work in the UK

More than 150,000 households in Britain have signed up to host a Ukrainian refugee after a government sponsor scheme was published on Monday.

Communities Secretary Michael Gove set out details of the scheme in the House of Commons and told MPs that people across the UK will be rewarded with £350 a month if they commit.

The 'Homes for Ukraine programme' in a nutshell:

Britons will be able to sponsor Ukrainians to seek sanctuary in the UK, even if they have no links to Britain.

People will be expected to sign up to host a Ukrainian for a minimum of six months and will receive £350 for every month they house a refugee or family.

There's no limit on the number of Ukrainians who could enter the UK under this scheme although it is not clear how many Britons would be able to help.

Some 1,500 had signed up to the scheme within an hour of the website going live, Mr Gove said.

Ukrainians given a visa under the scheme will be allowed to remain and work in the UK for up to three years and will have full access and unrestricted access to benefits, health care, employment and other support.

Boris Johnson said the scheme would allow "everybody in this country [to] offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine".

How do I sign up?

This website - - allows people to register their interest in hosting a refugee.

People will not yet be expected to nominate the Ukrainian they wish to accept and the matching process will come at a later stage.

If people do know the people or person they wish to host they should contact them and tell them to prepare to fill out an online visa application form, which will go live on Friday, March 18.

The person must know their own details as well as the details of their prospective host.

Anyone who signs up to the website will be updated on the next steps.

How will I be linked with a Ukrainian refugee and will they be vetted?

In the first stage of the scheme people able to help will be asked by the government to name the individual or family they hope to host.

Since many Britons don't know any Ukrainians personally the scheme will be expanded at a later date, with charities on the ground throughout Europe set to assist in the match making process.

Mr Gove said the alternative would be for the government to attempt making matches, a process that would likely be slow and bureaucratic.

The refugee would still need to be approved for a UK visa, meaning they will face security vetting and have their biometrics tested.

What is the criteria for housing refugees and will I face a security check?

A sponsor must be able to provide accommodation and integration support for the refugee.

Accommodation could come in the form of a spare room or even a spare house, if people own vacant buildings.

People will not be required to provide meals to the refugees however they can if they like.

Those who register their interest will be asked questions such as:

  • Who can you accommodate? Single person/family?

  • How many spare rooms do you have?

  • How long can you host them?

  • Is the property accessible?

People with accommodation will be vetted to make sure they don't intend on exploiting refugees or abusing the scheme for profit.

Only British citizens or people with leave to remain in the country can offer a room.

How does payment for the scheme work?

People will receive £350 a month as a "thank you" for each month they house refugees, with the government expecting people to sign up for a minimum of six months.

Families in Germany (pictured) and other countries across Europe have already been offering accommodation to people fleeing Ukraine. Credit: AP

The amount will remain the same whether people sign up to host one Ukrainian refugee or a family.

The £350 will be tax free and will not affect people's benefit entitlements.

One six month stay would see a household paid £2,100 by the government.

Local authorities will also receive £10,000 per Ukrainian hosted in their area to help them support refugees.

Will Boris Johnson and other ministers host Ukrainians?

Number 10 has suggested the prime minister will not be able to house any Ukrainians given security concerns around enter to Downing Street.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said his family will apply for the new programme.

Communities Secretary Gove, who is leading the scheme rollout, said he was considering the prospect of housing a Ukrainian refugee but Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it would be difficult for him to "offer the time".

How else can Ukrainian refugees get to the UK?

There is a separate family scheme where up to 200,000 Ukrainians with family in the UK can seek sanctuary there.

The scheme is open to anyone with parents, grandparents, children or siblings in the UK.

Just 4,000 visas have been issued out of 17,100 applications submitted since the scheme opened on March 4.

This was the total number of visas granted so far as of 3pm on Sunday, according to the department, according to the Home Office.

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