Homes for Ukraine and Ukraine family visa questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can sponsors and Ukraine residents check the progress of the Visa applications?

You can also track your visa application status online. Use the Reference Number present on the invoice/receipt issued by the Ukraine Visa Application Centre along with your last name to access this service.
Additionally you can contact UK Visas and Immigration on Telephone: +44 808 164 8810. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5:30pm. Calls are free of charge.

I am a sponsor, when will my home inspection/check be done?  

Your Home inspection will be carried out by the council’s Housing Standards team. A Housing Enforcement Officer will contact you by telephone to arrange an appointment either shortly before or just after the arrival date. You can email the team.

I have arrived in Hounslow and am staying with family after using the Family Visa Scheme. Can my family or I receive the £200 voucher or monthly payment? 

We are sorry but the Home Office has defined the two schemes separately and only those with a Visa approved through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme can receive the £200. The thank you payment of £350 is also only available to sponsors in appreciation of hosting a Ukrainian national in their home. More information is confirmed on the government's website.

What information do you need and when will the £200 supermarket voucher be provided to any Ukrainian guests arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme?  

The Council may be able to assist with a £200.00 supermarket voucher.  To receive the voucher you will need to provide the following details:  

  • Confirm when you arrived in the country.  

  • Your full name 

  • Address  

  • Provide your email details (without an email address we are unable to help). 

The voucher request will be processed within three working days. 

Your guests can send the details to to check eligibility and find out more information. 

Will children receive the £200 voucher as well? If not what age is considered an adult?  

Yes, children will receive the £200 voucher 

Is there anywhere that Ukrainian arrivals can get support with travel – free bus pass or Oyster card?  

TfL and other UK travel providers are offering Ukrainian refugees free travel for up to 48 hours after arriving in the UK on a single one-way journey to reach their final destination. 

Refugees have to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing their arrival into the UK in order to be eligible. 

The nationwide scheme which started on 20 March 2022 will run for three months and will then be reviewed. 

Do you provide a pre-payment card or cash instead of a supermarket voucher so we can pay for travel or specialist food and clothing?  

The Council does not hold supplies of cash and has proposed vouchers for a number of reasons. These can be issued the same day to an email address so guests can receive this as quickly as possible. Additionally this makes them less vulnerable to theft and loss and we can see where these have been spent if a guest is concerned their vouchers are used by an unauthorised person. 
A bank transfer for the £200 can be provided instead of a supermarket voucher. The guest will need to send their bank account sort code and account number along with a copy of a bank statement or photo of the bank card to If a pre-payment card or cash is urgently needed please contact 0208 583 4787. 

Can the Council provide a letter to confirm the guest is staying in Hounslow? 

The guest will receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which will be their form of identification and can be used to access services and be there proof of residency. The information from central government can be seen online

How do I get a National Insurance number?  

To apply for a National Insurance Number and for further information please visit the government website.

What information is needed to open a bank account, how do I do this and how long will it take until I receive my account number?  

You will need your BRP card or a letter from your sponsor to confirm address. Many banks have processes set-up to allow refugees without the usual documents to be able to set up an account. Nat West has provided simple information about applying for an account and its guidance is also available to download in Ukrainian and Russian

Can I go to the local Job centre to apply for Universal Credit and is there someone who I can talk to who will specialise in guests arriving from Ukraine?  

There is guidance for Ukrainian refugees to help them make a claim for benefits. This can be accessed in Ukrainian or Russian.

I was a student in Ukraine and want to carry on studying. Can I continue to do this how does this affect the financial support I will be entitled to in the UK?

There is further information on this website for Ukrainian refugees e.g. looking for employment etc.

I am worried about family or friends still living in Ukraine, is there anyone that can help me? 

If you are worried about displaced family or friends and need help trying to locate them please visit the British Red Cross website.

Is there someone from London Borough of Hounslow who can help guide me through my first few weeks arriving in the country?  

Under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, your sponsor is best place to guide you on arrival and settling in, and we have provided an information pack to help with this process. 

I would like to offer some clothes and household items to support people arriving from Ukraine. Where can I donate these? 

There are several organisations in the UK distributing funds and resources directly to local charities and groups across the region.   

Here are a few who you could support: 

I would like to offer some clothes and household items to support people arriving from Ukraine. Where can I donate these?  

This is a question that comes up a lot. In crises like these, often the best way to help is to make a cash donation. Collecting supplies like blankets or infant formula means transporting heavy goods hundreds of miles, whereas cash can reach people quickly to buy what is needed.  

However, there are community groups organising for goods to be transported to Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Many have been overwhelmed with donations, so do double check with donation centres before donating your items.    

If you are based in London you can find a shared list of various collection points, as well as a range of relevant local resources through London Plus 

If you are aware of any similar resources for people in other parts of the UK please do email us. 

I want to give a financial donation how can I do this?  

There are several organisations in the UK distributing funds and resources directly to local charities and groups across the region.   

Here are a few who you could support:

Are we linked up with ‘West London welcome’?  

Hounslow Council works closely with Refugees Welcome Hounslow and a range of other community and voluntary sector partners to support refugees and asylum seekers in Hounslow.

Do we have a way for sponsors and Ukrainian residents or refugees living locally to connect with each other for peer support?

I’m studying in Ukraine – can I transfer my degree. UCAS/local university.  

To transfer a degree, the student would have to make direct contact to a University in the UK, to ask if they university would accept and transfer.  

Where can I access English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes? 

ESOL Classes are available through Hounslow Adult & Community Education. Please call  02085836000 to arrange an assessment and opportunity to discuss what courses are available. 

Who can help support with a mental health concern?

  • The British Red Cross and Ukrainian Red Cross have a hotline to provide psychosocial support which is 0800 331 800. 
  • The Refugee Council have a number of services they signpost.
  • There is a group of volunteer psychologists based in Dnipro, Ukraine. They have a telephone counselling hotline 0800 330769. The group coordinator is Mrs. Valeria Prigogina directly on +380666834282 

Local groups include:

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