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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-09765

  • Asked by: Fulton MacGregor, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 11 July 2022
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Neil Gray on 11 July 2022


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its Super Sponsor scheme for displaced people from Ukraine.


The Scottish Government’s super sponsor scheme was introduced on 18 March 2022, to offer sanctuary in Scotland to displaced people from Ukraine. It works within the UK Government’s Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme and provides a fast and safe alternative to private sponsorship, meaning people can travel immediately and be provided with temporary accommodation, meals and a range of support, from assessing medical needs to applying for benefits. The Scottish Government is extremely thankful for the generosity of everyone right across Scotland who has expressed an interest in hosting, or who has offered their support to people displaced by the current conflict.

Statistics published on 7 July by the UK Government show that, as at 5 July, 22,451 confirmed applications sponsored by the Scottish Government had been made under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and 17,377 Scottish Government sponsored visas had been issued. Scotland has to date welcomed 7286 displaced people from Ukraine – 11.5% of all arrivals in the UK – 4666 of whom arrived under the super sponsor scheme. Scotland has welcomed the highest number of applications, visas issued and arrivals per head of population of the four nations of the UK.

The rate of visa applications, visas issued and arrivals in Scotland under the super sponsor scheme continues to rise. As at 5 July, visa applications listing the Scottish Government as sponsor were up 21% on the previous week, with visas issued up 27% and arrivals under the super sponsor scheme up 20%. Based on applications submitted already, we could see between 9,000 and 18,000 additional arrivals in the coming weeks and months.

As set out in a policy position paper published today, the Scottish Government’s priority is to provide safe, comfortable accommodation and a wraparound support offer to the displaced people from Ukraine who have arrived in Scotland, and to those who will arrive in the weeks ahead, having applied for visas already.

In order to achieve that objective, the Scottish Government has taken the decision to pause the super sponsor scheme from 9:00am on Wednesday 13 July for a period of 3 months. This will allow us ensure that those displaced people who are already here, and those who will shortly be travelling to Scotland, are able to stay in appropriate temporary accommodation and get the right support ahead of moving into safe, sustainable longer-term accommodation.

The pause on new applications will not affect anyone who has already made an application or had their visa granted.

We will review our position in three months, but of course if circumstances change during that time we will bring that date forward.

This is a humanitarian crisis requiring a whole of Scotland response, and the Scottish Government will continue to work closely with local councils and with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to ensure that those displaced people who are already here, and those who have applied and are granted permission to travel, will be safe, secure and supported for as long as they need, after the dangers they have faced at home.