East Devon generosity towards Ukrainians truly heart-warming
- Credit: BBC News
Talking East Devon with MP Simon Jupp.
Over recent weeks, Ukrainian refugees have been arriving in towns and villages across East Devon.
The generosity on display across our area is truly heart-warming and once again demonstrates our incredible community spirit.
The government launched a Homes for Ukraine scheme which allows the British public to open their homes to Ukrainian nationals.
It was designed to help bring as many Ukrainians as possible to safety.
Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, sponsors will be asked to provide a home or spare room for as long as they are able to and for a minimum of six months.
In return for this offer of rent-free accommodation, the government will provide sponsors with a ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month.
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Individuals with a sponsor will be granted three years leave to remain in the UK and will be entitled to work.
It is encouraging to see that local businesses are offering jobs to Ukrainians as they enter the UK.
I know from being in touch with many of those who have signed up locally that they want to open their homes to people fleeing Ukraine as quickly as possible.
After an admittedly slow start, the Home Office have now streamlined the visa application process so valid passport holders no longer have to attend in-person appointments before arriving.
They have also made changes to the forms people have to fill out.
Ukrainians arriving in the UK will go through security checks and sponsors will also need to undergo necessary DBS checks.
I am continuing to raise individual and family cases urgently with the Home Office and meet officials for those coming to East Devon.
I know the rate of visa approvals is increasing as many have had decisions in the last week or so.
If you are a sponsor and have yet to receive a decision, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and I will do everything I can to help.
I hope everyone who arrives here from Ukraine enjoys living in such a wonderful place that we can sometimes take for granted.