Scotland government to pause super sponsorship scheme from 13 July 2022

A three-month pause on new visa applications for displaced Ukrainians to come to Scotland will be in place from 9:00 am on Wednesday 13 July.

The pause on new applications will not affect anyone who has already made an application or had their visa granted under the “Homes for Ukraine” sponsorship scheme.

With visa applications listing the Scottish Government as sponsor up 21% on the previous week as of 5 July, visas issued up 27%, and arrivals under the super sponsor scheme up 20%, a temporary suspension is needed to ensure safe accommodation can continue to be provided to those who have already applied and may now travel to Scotland.

A total of 21,256 visas have been issued naming a Scottish sponsor – more than 20% of the UK total, and the highest number per head of population in the UK. Scotland is currently providing sanctuary for over 7,000 people, two-thirds of whom applied under the Scottish super sponsor scheme.

This exceeds the 3,000 the Scottish Government committed to welcome when the scheme launched in March, to provide a rapid route to safety for those fleeing the crisis caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

In addition to the pause, the following actions are being taken:                                             

  • the chartering of a passenger vessel the M/S Victoria, which will be docked in Leith in Edinburgh to provide an additional 739 rooms where people can be temporarily accommodated
  • the refurbishment of 200 unused council properties in North Lanarkshire to provide more longer-term accommodation, supported by £5 million of Scottish Government funding
  • additional staff will be deployed in ‘surge teams’ to assist local authorities matching those in temporary premises to suitable longer-term accommodation
  • the Wheatley Housing Group, Scotland’s largest social landlord, has pledged to make 300 homes available to local authorities across Scotland to house displaced people from Ukraine
  • Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray will also meet today with Lord Harrington, UK Minister for Refugees, to seek clarity on existing funding arrangements for the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme and, given the very high demand experienced by the Welsh and Scottish Government schemes, ask whether the UK Government will consider introducing its own super sponsor arrangements

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