The Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme, which today marks its first year anniversary, has provided sanctuary to almost 19,300 displaced people from Ukraine by enabling them to travel to the UK.
The scheme allows displaced people from Ukraine to name the Scottish Government as a sponsor as part of their visa application so they can immediately travel to a place of safety without needing to have a private host in place first.
In the last year, more than 32,500 visas for displaced people from Ukraine have been issued naming the Scottish Government as a sponsor.
The scheme remains paused to new applications in order to help improve its sustainability and ultimately deliver better support for displaced people from Ukraine now and in the future.
Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray said:
“I want to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in providing displaced people from Ukraine with a warm Scottish welcome.
“From local authorities, to third sector organisations helping displaced people upon arrival and thereafter, to people living in Scotland who have opened their homes to displaced people, I appreciate all the support which has helped people settle into a new life in Scotland through what is a very difficult time.
“Providing support and sanctuary for displaced people from Ukraine will continue to be a priority for the Scottish Government.
“Since we launched the Super Sponsor Scheme a year ago, almost 23,800 people with a Scottish sponsor have arrived in the UK.
“This is 20.2% of all UK arrivals and highest per head of population of any UK nations.
“Almost 19,300 displaced people from Ukraine have arrived in the UK having been sponsored by the Scottish Government, providing a fast and safe route to safety and sanctuary as people in Scotland would expect us to do.
“We have ensured that accommodation is available for all displaced people arriving in Scotland.
“As part of providing safe and welcoming accommodation, we chartered two passenger ships.
“The contract for one of the vessels – the MS Ambition – ends on the 31 March and our matching teams have been working hard alongside Glasgow City Council to support guests on board to make an informed decision about their onward accommodation.
“Everyone on board has been, or is being made an offer of onward accommodation and will have access to the support they need to stay in Scotland for as long as they need it.
“Where possible we will seek to match people to accommodation that meets their needs but recognise that there are housing pressures within the Glasgow and surrounding areas.
“We are also committed to ensuring no one resides in temporary accommodation for is longer than necessary and across Scotland work is underway to increase the availability of suitable and sustainable longer-term accommodation.
“We have committed up to £50 million through our Ukraine Longer Term Resettlement Fund, to help local authorities and registered social landlords bring properties back into use.
“Including a pilot project in North Lanarkshire, a total of five capital projects providing 769 homes have been approved to date with many displaced people from Ukraine already settled, or in the process of moving in to new homes.”