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Call for local households to host refugees fleeing war in Ukraine

Call for local households to host refugees fleeing war in Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022

Call for local households to host refugees fleeing war in Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022

Bailiwick residents are being invited to register their interest in hosting refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.

The States are in discussion with the UK Government about the possibility of the Bailiwick operating a local version of a national scheme known as 'Homes for Ukraine'.

The UK Government launched the scheme this week with an appeal to the British public "to open their homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine" and said that in the first few days "an incredible number of people and organisations have recorded their interest in being a sponsor".

It is not yet clear whether the Homes for Ukraine scheme or an equivalent scheme will be extended to the Bailiwick. But the States are asking for expressions of interest from householders who may be willing to host refugees if such a scheme is introduced soon. The form to complete is available by clicking HERE.

Announcing the request for expressions of interest, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, said: "We're pleased to be in a position where we can now ask for expressions of interest from any householder in Guernsey, Alderney or Sark who is keen to offer support should we adopt the UK's Ukrainian refugee sponsorship scheme, in full or part.

"While we are absolutely hopeful of our ability to help, we need to assess what we would need to do to make such a scheme operate in the Bailiwick before determining what modifications are needed to suit the local context."


Pictured: Refugees at a train station in Ukraine waiting to head west to escape the invasion of their country launched last month by Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Several States' committees are working together to assess the range of support which refugees would require in the Bailiwick, including schooling, healthcare and social security.

"The reason we cannot give absolute clarity at this stage is because we don't yet have the full detail of how the UK's Homes for Ukraine scheme would work here in Guernsey," said Deputy Ferbrache.

"We remain in close discussions with the UK and feel able to seek expressions of interest, as they have, but the sponsorship of refugees who don't have any family links to the island is a significant undertaking and one that requires us to have a States- and Bailiwick-wide approach.

"We need to make sure that we're able to offer them the support they will need and support for the sponsors."

The former President of the Policy & Resources Committee, Deputy Gavin St. Pier, the President of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission, Deputy Chris Blin, and the President of the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Neil Inder, were among States' members to react positively to the call for expressions of interest ahead of the potential launch of a local scheme to host refugees.

Pictured: Deputy Gavin St. Pier has been calling on leaders in the States to do more to represent those families in the Bailiwick who would like to offer refuge to people fleeing war in Ukraine and has welcomed the invitation of expressions of interest announced by Deputy Peter Ferbrache.

Pictured: Deputy Chris Blin is promoting the call for expressions of interest from local householders. 


Pictured: Responding to the possibility of a local scheme to offer refuge to people fleeing war in Ukraine, Deputy Neil Inder, the President of the Committee for Economic Development, said "there may be opportunities for business to access a labour pool in the same scheme".

There is already a separate scheme in place to support Ukrainian nationals with existing family links to the Bailiwick. 

The Ukraine Family Visa scheme - extended locally from the UK - allows people who are settled in the Bailiwick to apply to be joined by a spouse, child, parent, grandparent or sibling who is fleeing the war in Ukraine.

More information about this scheme is available by clicking HERE.

The States are appealing for anyone who has made an application under this scheme and who intends to bring a family member to the Bailiwick to contact immigration officials at the Guernsey Border Agency by emailing mailto: as soon as possible.

The States said this is "to ensure that we can provide any assistance and to ensure we are prepared to deliver the necessary ‘in-country’ processing required for their stay without delay".

Anyone seeking to apply for a visa through the Ukraine Family Visa scheme is also asked to contact the Guernsey Border Agency for support.


Deputy calls for more leadership on taking refugees from Ukraine

Visa changes on the way for fleeing Ukrainians with family in Guernsey

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