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This page will be updated with guidance for Ukrainian guests and information on how to offer support.
We want to reach out to all of our Ukrainian guests, and anyone with friends and families affected by, or concerned about, events in Ukraine.
The information on this webpage will provide information and support for people from Ukraine, as well as directing sponsors or those wanting to sponsor on the Homes for Ukraine scheme to official sources of guidance, advice and information to offer help and support.
As a humanitarian crisis unfolds in Ukraine, we want to reach out to all of our Ukrainian residents, and anyone with friends and families affected by, or concerned about, events in Ukraine.
There are various support groups, organisations, and information to support Ukrainian people coming to the UK.
UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals - guidance on support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members.
You can track your visa application status online. Use the Reference Number present on the invoice/receipt issued by the Ukraine Visa Application Centre along with your last name to access this service.
Additionally, you can contact UK Visas and Immigration on Telephone: +44 808 164 8810.
Phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.30pm. Calls are free of charge.
Move to the UK if you’re from Ukraine: check what you need to do before you travel to the UK and what to do after you arrive.
Guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK: guides for Homes for Ukraine guests about applying to the scheme, finding work, accessing benefits, education and health for children and adults.
Ukrainians already in the UK with a visa will be able to extend their stay by extending their visa or switching to another immigration route, where eligible, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so. Check what you need to do.
Rail operators in the UK are offering Ukrainian arrivals a single onward journey, free of charge, upon arrival in the UK.
You will have 48 hours to make your journey and must show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass which shows arrival into the country within the last 48 hours.
All the information is on the National Rail Enquiries website and is translated into Ukrainian and Russian.
Access to Healthcare
Solihull is a welcoming borough, and our aim is to help you have a safe and comfortable experience while living in Solihull. This guide provides information about access to health care. It includes specific advice to support those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
There is also a welcome leaflet that details how to find and use local health services. Please see English, Ukrainian and Russian translations below:
- Welcome to Solihull leaflet - English
- Ласкаво просимо до Соліхалла - Ukranian
- Добро пожаловать в Солихалл - Russian
General Practitioners (GPs)
It is recommended that you register with a GP (doctor) to help you access the right support. Solihull has a wide network of GPs.
Find a GP - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
We advise that you call the practice and ask to register. You do not need proof of ID, address, or immigration status.
You will need to register with a dentist as well.
You can find a local dentist here.
Emergency Department (also known as A&E)
Call 111 if you need urgent medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. You can also go to 111 online
Call 999 for life threatening emergencies. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Here you can learn how to order repeat prescriptions, find prescription charges, and learn how pharmacists can help you with medicines and medical advice.
How the NHS works: a simple explanation of how the NHS works in England.
If you want more information related to the vaccines offered in the UK and when to have them, please visit NHS vaccinations guide.
Migrant vaccination guides - advice on how to get up to date with your vaccinations upon arriving in the UK:
We work with many services that are here for residents to support the mental health needs of adults and children. Find out more about mental health services and how to access them.
If you need to talk to someone about your mental health or wellbeing, free support is available here.
Following discussion with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, Barnardo’s has set up the Ukrainian Support Helpline - staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers. The helpline is available to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
Call the helpline free on 0800 148 8586
Monday to Friday (10.00am to 8.00pm)
Saturday (10.00am to 3.00pm)
Each individual on the Homes for Ukraine visa will receive a one-off payment of £200 once the individual has been confirmed to have arrived in Solihull. If the individual has moved into Solihull from outside of the borough, then checks will be required before this payment is approved.
Primary and secondary age children
For children between the ages of 5 and 15, you can apply for a school place via our In-Year admission application. You can find guidance here.
You can also email email@example.com for any further advice.
Young people between the age of 16 to 18
Children and young people must stay in full-time education until they reach school leaving age.
Adult and community learning
If you are an adult who wants to start learning, to return to learning, or to continue learning we may have a course in Solihull for you.
The Open University have free online resources, including English language courses, which can be found here.
Opening a bank account
To open a bank account in the UK, an individual will need to show proof of identity such as passport, biometric residency permit, driver’s licence, or recognised identity card. Some banks also ask for proof of address, which is an issue because guests on the Homes for Ukraine scheme do not have this proof of address.
However, there are a number of UK banks that allow you to open an account when you do not have a permanent UK address, including digital banks Starling and Monzo.
Refugee Council have created a banking guide on getting started with bank accounts.
- Financial support for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine
- You can apply for Universal Credit if you are on a low income or unemployed.
- Cost of Living Payments
- Red Cross Financial Assistance Programme
The local Job Centre Plus will help individuals find out which benefits to access and also help them apply for local employment opportunities. It is important for guests to register with the Job Centre as soon as possible.
If you have children, you can claim Child Benefit
National Insurance number
Ukrainian guests arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme have the right to work as soon they arrive in the UK. They need to be 18 years old to work full time.
Your local Job Centre can help you find a job or gain new skills: Local Offer - Apprenticeships and Employment | solihull.gov.uk
You may decide to move out of your sponsor’s accommodation and into private rented accommodation or council housing. You will have responsibilities as a tenant, but also rights as a tenant too.
The following document provides all the information about housing options in Solihull:
Housing Options in Solihull - English
Варіанти житла в Соліхаллі - Ukranian
Варианты жилья в Солихалле - Russian
Council tax is a tax on your home, collected by your local authority. The amount you pay will depend on where you live and the type of resident, as different local authorities charge different amounts of council tax.
It doesn’t matter if you rent or own the property, you still have to pay council tax – though some people, including full-time students, are exempt.
For more information, please visit: Council tax and benefits.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, there is help available. Please contact Solihull Community Housing as soon as possible on: 0121 717 1515
A housing advisor will then get in contact with you, who will try to prevent you becoming homeless by providing housing advice and explaining your options.
If you are already homeless, Solihull Community Housing will be in contact the same me day. Solihull Community Housing can also help you join the housing register if you are eligible and give you advice on your housing options.
Free UK immigration legal advice for people fleeing Ukraine
- The Ukraine Advice Project provides free UK immigration advice for people fleeing Ukraine.
- Here for Good - Free legal advice and application advice.
Legal aid solicitors
If you are on a low income and need help from an immigration solicitor, you can search the list of legal aid providers: GOV.UK - Find a legal aid adviser.
Legal aid is not "public funds" for the purpose of immigration rules, so you can apply even if you are on a visa that doesn't normally give you access to public funds (such as benefits).
You can also find an immigration adviser on the Home Office adviser finder tool. Select the level of advice required and the location. You can filter the search to view Not Fee Charging (free) advisers only: Home Office – Immigration Adviser finder
The rules for driving in the UK as a resident with an EU/EEA driving licence will depend on the types of vehicles you drive. Please note: if you passed your driving test in any country outside of the EU/EEA you may only be able to drive on a valid driving licence for up to 12 months.
Car and motorcycle licence holders – EU/EEA
If you passed your driving test in the EU/EEA you can drive cars and motorcycles on a valid licence until the age of 70 or for three years (whichever is the longer period – i.e. if you are 67 or over when you become a resident, you can drive for 3 years). More information can be found on the DVLA website.
Use this tool to see if you can drive in Great Britain with your non-GB driving licence.
Car and motorcycle licence holders - any other country
If you passed your driving test in any country outside of the EU/EEA you can drive all the vehicles shown on your driving licence for up to 12 months from when you became a resident in GB (as long as the driving licence remains valid).
If you want to drive for over 12 months, you will need to exchange your driving licence for a GB driving licence. You must apply for a provisional driving licence and pass a GB driving test before the 12 months is up, otherwise you must stop driving. You can see more on the DVLA website.
What you must do to bring your pet to the UK from Ukraine if you are seeking refugee, can be found at the following webpage: Bringing your pet to the UK from Ukraine - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Solihull Council is delighted to be working in partnership with Refugee Action, which has over 40 years of experience of supporting resettled refugees to begin their new lives in the UK, successfully resettle and participate in their communities in the UK.
Refugee Action are providing the principal resettlement support for you, which covers the following areas:
- Initial welcome and welfare support – including assistance with Biometric Residence Permits, the provision of £200 on arrival, pre-paid SIM cards, applications for Universal Credit, health and safety information and emergency contacts
- Access to health services - including assistance with GP registration, dentists, pharmacies, support in accessing mental health services, and any other health needs as appropriate
- Schools - including support with school applications, admissions, transport and uniforms
- ESOL – supporting assessments of English language competencies and access to appropriate levels of learning opportunities
- Employment & training – supporting access to training opportunities and steps into paid employment
- Social care, safeguarding and support – working with individuals to identify any additional needs and referrals to relevant services and support
- Wellbeing care – providing support for accessing clothing, food, and other appropriate items
- General orientation and community integration – promoting independence and participation in community activities and community life
- Follow on welfare and housing advice and support – providing housing support when you are considering moving into your own housing
To get in contact with Refugee Action about the support you are receiving, please contact HUS@refugee-action.org.uk
If you have any questions on this support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, including information about places of worship - AUGB
- West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership. Latest government information and support available in the West Midlands.
- Settled. A charity dedicated to helping vulnerable people secure their rights in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. Email the support line: email@example.com
- Trauma Treatment International. A Charity that aims to help heal the trauma of people affected by torture, trafficking and slavery, persecution and war, wherever they are in the world.
- RESET Communities for Refugees. Charity support to welcome Ukrainians to the UK
- Global Sanctuary Foundation. Charity supporting the settlement scheme and providing further help and advice.
Advice for doctors and medical students arriving in the UK under the 'Homes for Ukraine' Visa scheme.
- Advice for doctors and medical students arriving in the U.K. under the “Homes for Ukraine” Visa scheme – English
- Advice for doctors and medical students arriving in the U.K. under the “Homes for Ukraine” Visa scheme – Ukrainian
Translation and interpretation
A UK wide network of volunteer Ukrainian and Russian speakers offering to help refugees and their hosts to build bridges across the language barrier and make friends: Mosty Movy