A County Durham refugee charity has criticised the Home Office, claiming the process for families fleeing Ukraine is complicated and takes too long.
Fran Wood, from Darlington Assistance for Refugees, is assisting several families in the region - and individuals abroad - but calls the government's red-tape impractical and excessive.
Fran Wood said: "When you're leaving your home you don't take with you a bill with your name and address on it. You don't have bank account details. All the charities, everyone who is helping people fill in visa application forms would much rather be spending time helping people more directly.'
Meanwhile, some potential host families also say they're also experiencing problems.
Loretta Catajar, who lives in Middlesbrough, sponsored the visas of a mother and son more than two weeks ago. She told ITV Tyne Tees that the process was fine but she's barely heard a thing since.
Loretta said: "It's frustrating for me because I'm constantly looking at my emails, has the visa come through? And I'm every five minutes on the phone.
"It's making me increasingly worried because this war isn't going anywhere soon."
The world has watched in horror as war unfolds... and families flee.
Listen to ITV News' podcast, What You Need To Know, for the latest analysis on the war in Ukraine:
Loretta Kataya saw the images of desperate refugees from her home in Middlesbrough - and immediately signed up to help.
"Families are becoming displaced - families, women, children. Those are people I wanted to help if I could and make a difference to at least one family.
"We have a double bedroom that's available for mum and another bedroom for her son..."
She's got the space - and has sponsored the visas of a family.
Loretta found the paperwork OK - but more than two weeks after officially applying to the government, she's barely heard a thing.
She said, "It's frustrating for me because I'm constantly looking at my emails - has the visa come through, and I'm every five minutes on the phone. It's making me increasingly worried because this war isn't going anywhere soon."
The chair of a charity which helps refugees abroad - and their friends and family here - say the application process is too long and too complex.
"When you're leaving your home you don't take with you a bill with your name and address on it. You don't have bank account details.
"All the charities, everyone who is helping people fill in visa application forms would much rather be spending time helping people more directly."
Oksana is Ukranian and helping the group with translation and local knowledge.
She gets constant family updates on a country under siege.
"Rockets are flying, sirens are going off all the time. Sometimes mama cries, sometimes she has time to cry, no tears to cry compared to some cities which are having the most miserable of conditions."
A Home Office spokesperson told us "We are moving as quickly as possible to ensure that those fleeing Ukraine can find safety in the UK. We have streamlined the process so valid passport holders do not have to attend in-person appointments before arriving in the UK, simplified our forms and boosted caseworker numbers, while ensuring vital security checks are carried out. We continue to speed up visa processing... with almost 30,000 visas issued in the last three weeks alone."
Loretta is in daily contact with the family she's still waiting to welcome.
In-between calls she checks in vain for that email - or message - which could finally provide that government green light.