Who approves communities to become a sponsor and what is the process?
The Home Office approves every sponsor. The approval process is designed to establish that the prospective sponsor:
has sufficient resources (housing, financial and personnel) to support a resettled family, including £9000 in reserves;
has a credible plan for supporting a resettled family, backed by relevant experience; and
does not present a risk to the resettled family.
You can apply to be approved as a sponsor using the application form and resettlement plan template found on their website. The Home Office will assess your suitability to be a community sponsor, according to the criteria set out below.
Local Authority gives consent to a prospective sponsor to operate as community sponsor in that area
Prospective sponsor submits application for approval as a community sponsor
Application considered against criteria for approval
Agreement with sponsor signed
Family to be resettled proposed for allocation to sponsor
Sponsor and local authority consider and jointly agree allocation
Resettled family arrives (typically six weeks after allocation is agreed)
Your organisation must have status as either:
a charity, registered with the Charities Commission in England and Wales, the
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) in Scotland, or the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland;
an individual or body falling within section 10(2)(a) of the Charities Act 2011;
a Community Interest Company, registered with Companies House.
There must be a named individual with responsibility for the sponsorship arrangement, the ‘lead sponsor’. The lead sponsor should hold a permanent and senior position within the organisation. Typically, they will be a member of the board of the charity or community interest company, or hold the position of Chief Executive or director or equivalent. There must be a clear line of accountability between the lead sponsor and the personnel delivering the Resettlement plan.