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:

  1. has sufficient resources (housing, financial and personnel) to support a resettled family, including £9000 in reserves;

  2. has a credible plan for supporting a resettled family, backed by relevant experience; and

  3. 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

  • Approval granted

  • 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.

What does a refugee family look like? →

South West Community Sponsorship Network →

Community Sponsorship Resources →