More than 150,000 people sign up to host Ukrainian refugees under sponsor scheme

Ukrainian mother Olha and her son Roman have been given a room to use by a host family in Germany. Credit: AP

More than 150,000 people have signed up to house Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, under the government's sponsorship scheme.

It's unclear how many will actually be able to enter the UK under the scheme, with more information expected when the programme officially launches on Friday.

There's no limit on how many refugees can come to the UK under that scheme, but both Ukrainians and Britons who have registered their interest will face security vetting to ensure the programme is not being exploited or infiltrated.

The government has approved visas for just 6,100 refugees visas through the separate Ukraine Family Scheme as of Wednesday evening, with 25,000 applications submitted so far.

The rate at which applications are being approved appears to have increased since Tuesday, when the process was streamlined by moving largely online.

Just 4,600 visas had been approved after ten days of the scheme opening - that number has grown by 1,500 in two days.

Under the sponsorship scheme Britons can 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.

Home Office minister Tom Pursglove said: “Phase one of the scheme will open on Friday, March 18, as I’ve said, for visa applications from Ukrainians who have named people willing to sponsor.

"People or organisations wanting to be sponsors who do not know anyone personally fleeing from Ukraine can now record their interest.

“They will then be kept updated as the scheme develops. We believe that for those eligible our offer is comparable in generosity to that proposed under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive.”

You can learn how to open your home to a Ukrainian under the scheme, here.