Moving to another sponsor
In some scenarios, it may be desirable to find another sponsor to move to. For example:
- You have to come to the end of the agreed time with your original sponsor, but you are not yet in a position to rent independently.
- You left your original sponsor, rented in the UK, or went to Ukraine or another country, but need to find a sponsor again.
These scenarios are slightly different, but in both cases, you can try to find alternative sponsors using some of the options given in Finding a UK Sponsor. The local council is not obliged to try and find you a new sponsor, but you could always ask them if they know of anyone.
However, if there has been a sponsorship breakdown, or your arrangement came to an end earlier than expected, you should inform the local council and ask for help; see Housing Issues And Homelessness.
Can you find a new sponsor in a different council?
Yes, you can. Councils should not block a move to another council, although it’s better if they can do their checks first, before you move to the new host. If you have children, it is also important you check with the new council that there are likely to be school places for them.
We received this correspondence from DLUHC (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Government department responsible for the Homes For Ukraine scheme) on 20/02/23:
“Where a guest approaches the council with a proposed new host for a rematch, the council should not block this and should complete the relevant checks (accommodation, DBS, and welfare) to allow the guest moving into the new accommodation and to make the ‘thank you’ payment payable to the new host. These checks should be completed as soon as possible to avoid delays in moving in.
In some cases guests are moving into new arrangements before checks have taken place. While this is at their own risk, we are clear it is the responsibility of councils to retrospectively recognise these and ensure these arrangements are safe by completing the checks as soon as possible. The council should not refuse it for any reason other than accommodation, safeguarding or fraud concerns. The ‘thank you’ payment will then be payable to the new host from the date the council are notified by the host or guest about the new arrangements.
Councils must maintain accurate records on the number of guests and sponsorship households in their area. It is critical that this data is accurately captured and reported to DLUHC to enable payments of funding to be made. DLUHC will conduct a reconciliation process at the end of the financial year to ensure that councils receive their correct entitlement for both the £10,500 tariff (£5,900 from 1 January 2023) and £350 (or £500 from month 13) ‘thank you’ payments.”
Moving on to a new sponsor after a gap with the previous sponsor
There are many opinions on the internet about whether it is ‘allowed’ to find another sponsor if you left the first one, and there was a gap. Some people will tell you that you have ‘left the Homes for Ukraine scheme if you do this, and you cannot have another sponsor’.
We checked the policy with DLUHC and this is what they said (confirmed on 20/02/23):
“Guests don’t leave the Homes for Ukraine scheme – because they have a 3 year visa – but they can leave sponsorship. There is nothing preventing them from going back into sponsorship but they would need to find their own host rather than expecting the local authority to do this for them. Some voluntary sector organisations might help with this as well. The relevant page is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/continuing-to-live-with-your-host-or-rematching-homes-for-ukraine“.
So in this case, it’s definitely allowed, even if you went abroad during the gap, but it will be up to you to find a new sponsor yourself. The new sponsor should ideally be checked by the council, before you move to them.
Sponsor payments after 12 months
Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, sponsors whose guests stay on with them beyond 12 months will see their ‘thank you’ payments increased from £350 to £500 a month. (Note that in Wales, the ‘thank you’ payments for sponsors is set to £500 for the first 12 months as well.)
However, what happens if guests and sponsors change to new arrangements? We asked DLUHC for a clarification of the scenarios and this is what they advised us:
From the Government Guide: “Hosts will receive £350 a month during the first 12 months of your stay. This increases to £500 once you have been in the UK for 12 months in order to help sponsors who are able to continue for hosting longer, or if you need a new host after that point. The thank you payment is available for a maximum of three years after you arrive. If you move to a new sponsor, the host will receive the payment amount according to your total length of stay in the UK.”
The payment has been explained to us as effectively ‘following the guest’. Thus,
- In the case where a guest has moved to another sponsor, that sponsor will start receiving £500 once the guest has been in the UK for 12 months (even if they’ve never sponsored someone before).
- In the case where a sponsor goes on to sponsor a new arrival to the UK, they will only receive £350 for the new guest, even if they’ve already sponsored someone else for 12 months.
DLUHC advised that even if the guest has been out of the country for some of this time, the months are counted from the first date of arrival. So if they arrived in April 2022, but spent 3 months away in Ukraine during 2022, the increased payments will still start from April 2023.