Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice
From the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, our message has been clear - Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary and ready to welcome those fleeing war. Launched at the end of March, we have had a very positive response to our Homes for Ukraine Super Sponsor route. We have seen visas granted well in excess of our initial commitment to welcome 1000 people. People are arriving into our Welcome Centres every day in greater numbers to be met with compassion and practical support to help them resettle and rebuild their lives.
The Welsh public have also shown their support for our Nation of Sanctuary approach with many more people arriving and settling in homes up and down the country. Sponsors are not only opening up their homes but helping people find their feet as they start their lives in Wales. For this extraordinary act of kindness we are truly grateful.
These efforts have been achieved through co-operation and working in hand in hand with our partners in local government, health boards, the third sector and community groups. The level of commitment to the people of Ukraine across all public services has been significant. We recognise how challenging it is to balance this work against ongoing commitments to the wider public and to house and resettle other groups of sanctuary seekers. Again we want to offer our thanks and appreciation to all those working to deliver these services.
We are determined to maintain this level of support to all those arriving to give them the best start to their stay in Wales. With such a positive response to the Super Sponsor scheme, we are introducing a temporary operational pause on new applications during June. This will ensure we can focus on embedding our arrangements for next stage accommodation alongside still delivering the wider wraparound services.
It will also give us the opportunity to refine all the arrangements we have put in place to support people on arrival and ensure all public services can continue to deliver the standard of support we collectively want to extend. This operational pause will not affect any current applications and people will continue to arrive in Wales as visas are granted and travel arrangements are confirmed.
This temporary pause will start from Friday 10 June and we will update Members when the Welsh Government Super Sponsor route is available again.
Today’s data tables report that as of 30 May 2022:
- 5,668 confirmed applications have been submitted with a sponsor in Wales, of which 2,866 have Welsh Government as a super sponsor.
- 4,909 visas have been issued to those with a sponsor in Wales, of which 2,453 have Welsh Government as a super sponsor.
- 1,961 people with sponsors in Wales have arrived in the UK, of which 480 have Welsh Government as a super sponsor.