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Letters / Refugee scheme ‘disjointed and chaotic’

My partner Robin and I are happy to welcome a Ukrainian refugee into our home. We applied through the government scheme two weeks ago and although our application was acknowledged, we’ve heard nothing since.

We then discovered in order to sponsor a refugee we had to know a named Ukrainian.

We don’t know any Ukrainians and the government scheme doesn’t match refugees with sponsors.

It seems that charities are given that task – but the Westminster government and Scottish Government haven’t provided any information or have a website that advises how to find a refugee and doesn’t provide a list of participating charities, so one has to search the internet for those charities.

We have found a couple of charities that appear to match and place refugees with sponsors, but despite making an application to these charities over ten days ago, we’ve not had a reply.

The only other possible source is to search for privately created Facebook pages that are attempting to match sponsors with Ukrainian refugees.

But this is both disorganised and doesn’t screen possible fake refugees which I have already identified.

Once (if!) one does eventually find a refugee (which after two weeks has failed) a visa application(s) in English has to be completed separately for each family member, most often by the sponsor, and then submitted with biometric photographic evidence and documents. Note: As far as I know, the UK is the only country requiring a visa application for Ukrainian refugees.

The system of both finding, matching, identifying and then starting the process of completing and then submitting the single refugee or family visas, having the host checked out, etc., is so disjointed and chaotic it seems nigh impossible to sponsor and host.

Whilst all the time refugees are desperate to resettle from their war torn country. It’s as though the system has been designed to fail.

Due to such a chaotic and totally frustrating system, we are just about to give up the idea on sponsoring a Ukrainian refugee. Here are a few UK Facebook links that might help match a Ukrainian refugee:

UK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/927852904567703/

UK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/683850136294168/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/699929631375624/

https://www.ukrainetakeshelter.com

https://www.opora.uk

Kerrie Meyer
Bigton