Visa holders entering the UK under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes – Follow-up survey: 17 October to 7 November 2022

Experiences of visa holders entering the UK under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes, from the UK Humanitarian Response Insight Follow-up Survey. Experimental Statistics.

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Contact:
Email Klara Valentova, Ed Pyle, Tim Gibbs

Release date:
22 November 2022

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

Download this statistical bulletin in Ukrainian (PDF, 1,277KB). Завантажити цей статистичний бюлетень українською мовою (PDF, 1,277KB).

  • Data collected from 17 October to 7 November 2022 show that 93% of Ukrainian nationals who had arrived in the UK and taken part in our June 2022 survey were in the UK.

  • Almost half (45%) of all respondents experienced barriers to accessing private rented accommodation; the most common barrier was not having a guarantor or references (59%).

  • Of all respondents, the proportion who pay for their own accommodation has increased from 6% (in June 2022) to 19%.

  • Since June 2022, significantly more respondents could speak English fluently or a fair amount (from 44% to 57%), read most things or a fair amount in English (from 48% to 61%), or write most things or a fair amount in English (from 36% to 47%).

  • Most adults (56%) reported working in the UK, which is a significant increase from 19% in June 2022.

  • The majority of working respondents (65%) did not work in the same sector as they had in Ukraine; there are significantly fewer visa holders currently working in financial services as well as in teaching and education in the UK.

  • Half of respondents (50%) experienced difficulties taking up work in the UK; the main difficulties were English language skills not meeting job requirements (56%) and qualifications not being recognised or valid in the UK (33%).

  • Almost a third (32%) of visa holders with pre-school-aged children reported that their child needed English language support but that this was unavailable; for those with school-aged children, this was 21%.

  • Around 60% of visa holders reported having enough money to support themselves and their dependants for the next three months, which is a significant increase from 37% in June 2022.

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The statistics presented in this bulletin are Experimental Statistics, therefore, care should be taken when interpreting them. This survey follows up with those who responded to the UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey in June 2022. The survey was available in Ukrainian and English and conducted online, which may have been a barrier to response although respondents were given opportunity to take part by telephone.

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2. Overview

In March 2022, the UK government launched two visa schemes to support those displaced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. These new schemes allow Ukrainian nationals and their family members to apply to stay in the UK for up to three years. The Ukraine Family Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to join family members already residing in the UK. The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor who can provide accommodation.

This survey aims to understand the opinions and experiences of those arriving in the UK under both schemes, and how these might have changed since the respondents were first surveyed for the UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey (UKHRIS) in June 2022.

More information on the types of visa schemes and collecting the data can be found in the Glossary and Measuring the data sections.

The UKHRIS collected data from 9,601 respondents in June 2022, with the majority entering the UK under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme. Most had arrived more than four weeks before completing the survey.

This survey follows up on 3,148 individuals who took part in the second wave of the UKHRIS (in June 2022), who agreed to be recontacted, and who responded to this follow-up survey (conducted from 17 October to 7 November 2022). Although weighting has been applied to make the two surveys more comparable, care should be taken when comparing estimates. More information can be found in the Strengths and limitations section.

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3. Follow-up findings for respondents arriving under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes

The data collected from 17 October to 7 November 2022 show that 93% of respondents were in the UK, and 7% were outside the UK.

Of those outside of the UK, 37% said they were living outside of the UK, while 63% said they were out of the UK temporarily. The most common reason for being outside of the UK temporarily was returning to Ukraine (77%). Around 39% of those currently living outside of the UK said they intend to return to the UK to live.

The statistics in the remainder of this bulletin are based on respondents who were still in the UK at the time of the survey or who said they were outside of the UK temporarily.

Current living arrangements and future intentions to stay in the UK

Although one in four respondents (24%) have changed address since June 2022, most still live in England (82%), while 13% live in Scotland and 5% in Wales, all of which is comparable to June 2022. In England, most visa holders live in London (23%), which is a significant increase since June 2022 (20%). Regions where the proportion of visa holders has significantly decreased since June 2022 are the South East (from 19% to 14%) and the East of England (10% to 6%).

When asked why their address has changed, respondents most commonly said that they could now afford to live without being hosted (34%), while around one in six (16%) said they had relationship difficulties with their sponsor. A quarter (25%) reported their change of address was for another reason not included in the survey.

Half of respondents (50%) said they thought that they would stay in the UK for another three years or more. In June 2022, this was reported by 38% of respondents.

Most respondents said they live with a sponsor (59%), compared with 17% who are renting from a private landlord. When asked if respondents experienced any barriers to accessing private rented accommodation, around 45% said they had. The most common barrier was not having a guarantor or references, reported by 59%.

Just over half (55%) of respondents said their current living arrangement is paid by a sponsor or charity, which is comparable with June 2022. However, the proportion of those paying for their accommodation themselves has significantly increased from 6% (in June 2022) to 19%.

The survey also asked respondents whether they pay or financially contribute towards any household costs, regardless of their current living arrangement. Most (80%) said they pay for, or towards, the cost of food and other groceries while a third (28%) reported paying for, or towards, utility bills.

English language

Overall, respondents' proficiency in English language has significantly increased across all three measures. A significantly higher number of respondents can speak English fluently or a fair amount (57% compared with 44% in June 2022), read and understand most things or a fair amount in English (61% compared with 48%), and write most things or a fair amount in English (47% compared with 36%). The survey has also found that, since June 2022, more respondents have used English language courses, with 62% saying they have used them at least once compared with 39% in June. Most (94%) were provided the course(s) for free.

Labour market

More than half (56%) of respondents are currently working in the UK, which is a significant increase from 19% in June 2022. However, most (65%) do not work in the same sector as they did in Ukraine. The most common reasons for this were:

  • their English language skills did not meet the job requirements (50%)

  • respondents took any available job (43%)

  • respondents' qualifications have not been recognised or are not valid in the UK (23%)

Significantly more visa holders currently work in the hospitality sector (4% in Ukraine compared with 25% in the UK) as well as the food production, agriculture and farming sector (3% in Ukraine compared with 9% in the UK). Meanwhile, there has been a significant reduction in the proportion of people working in financial services (11% in Ukraine compared with 4% in the UK), as well as in teaching and education (13% in Ukraine compared with 7% in the UK), and healthcare (8% in Ukraine compared with 4% in the UK).

Of respondents who are currently unemployed and seeking work (23%), two-thirds (66%) said they were very likely or likely to look for work in the next 30 days.

When asked if respondents experienced any difficulties in being able to take up work in the UK, half (50%) said they have. They indicated that the main difficulties included their English language skills not meeting job requirements (56%) and their qualifications not being recognised or valid in the UK (33%).

For those respondents who have applied for a job in the UK (71%), over half (58%) found that UK employers generally did not recognise their non-UK qualifications.

Dependent children

Around 45% of adults live with at least one dependent child, who had arrived with them from Ukraine. Of these, most (54%) said their children attend primary school, followed by secondary school (39%), further education (14%), and nursery, preschool or childminder (6%). Respondents could choose multiple options for this question.

Of respondents living with children who attend school, 60% reported their children receive English language support at their school compared with 21% whose children need support, but it is not available. On the other hand, 42% of respondents living with children who attend nursery, pre-school, or childminder said their children receive support, while 32% said their children need it, but it is not available.

The survey also found that two in five (20%) respondents with dependent children experienced difficulties registering their children at school. The most common difficulties included that their children arrived mid-year after school had started (32%) and that they did not know if their children were allowed to go to school (22%).

Rights in the UK

Respondents were asked about their awareness and understanding of their rights in the UK. The majority (87%) said they understood very or fairly well how long they are allowed to stay in the UK, the rules about the hours they are allowed to work (70%), the rules about who they are allowed to work for (62%), and what state benefits they may be eligible for (55%). Most adults said they did not understand well or at all how to apply to extend or change their visa (68%).

Finance

Over 9 in 10 (97%) adults reported that they had a UK bank or Post Office account, which is a significant increase from June 2022 where 82% had an account.

The proportion of adults who reported having enough money to support themselves and their dependents was 60%, which is a significant increase from 37% in June 2022.

When asked how satisfied they were with their current financial situation, 57% reported feeling fairly or very satisfied, while 43% were fairly or very dissatisfied.

Almost 6 in 10 (58%) respondents were currently in receipt of state benefit payments; of these, the most common was Universal Credit (90%).

Health and well-being

When asked about general health, most respondents said that overall they had either very good or good physical health (72%) and mental health (72%). While the proportion of those with very good or good mental health has not significantly changed (70%), for physical health the proportion has significantly decreased from 78% in June 2022.

In the two weeks prior to filling out the survey, around a quarter (26%) of respondents reported feeling nervous, anxious or on edge for more than half the days or nearly every day, and 13% said they were not able to stop or control worrying for more than half the days or nearly every day.

Around 19% of respondents reported feeling down, depressed, or hopeless for more than half the days or nearly every day. Similarly, 19% of respondents experienced little interest or pleasure in doing things for more than half the days or nearly every day.

Of all respondents, 9 in 10 (93%) indicated they had never accessed mental health services, mainly because they did not need to (70%).

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4. Visa holders entering the UK under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes data

Visa holders entering the UK under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes – Follow-up survey
Dataset | Released 22 November 2022
Experiences of visa holders entering the UK under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes, from the UK Humanitarian Response Insight Follow-up Survey. Experimental Statistics.

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5. Glossary

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor (in Wales and Scotland this includes those sponsored directly by the Welsh Government or Scottish Government). 

Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK.

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6. Measuring the data

Survey estimates

The data were collected between 17 October to 7 November 2022. All adults (aged 18 years and over) who had been granted a visa under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), who arrived in the UK before 15 June 2022, who participated in the UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey (UKHRIS) in June 2022, and who agreed to be recontacted were asked to take part in this follow-up survey.

In many cases, groups of applicants (for example, families) had used a single email address on multiple visa applications. During the June 2022 UKHRIS, only one invitation was sent to each email address. This means that, where applications shared an email address, only one individual was able to respond to the survey. This introduces bias in the results as the sample for this survey was based on the sample from the June 2022 UKHRIS.

This follow-up survey was conducted via Blaise 5. Individuals were sent an email with a unique access code (UAC) inviting them to complete the survey online and all answers were self-reported. The survey was available in English and Ukrainian. For those who required support to complete the survey online or needed translation, telephone interviewers were available.

The achieved sample consisted of 3,148 respondents, with an overall response rate of 39.4%. Approximately 2.8% of respondents reported having had help completing the survey.

Percentages in this bulletin are based on weighted counts that are applied to be broadly representative of the population of Ukraine Humanitarian Scheme visa holders who arrived in the UK prior to 15 June 2022. They are adjusted to address age, sex, and scheme bias in response. As with all surveys, these estimates have an associated margin of error.

The statistics presented in this bulletin are Experimental Statistics and contain uncertainty; therefore, care needs to be taken when interpreting them.

Measuring anxiety and depression

Respondents were asked two sets of questions about how they had felt over the last two weeks from the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 2-item, GAD-2 and the Patient Health Questionnaire-2, PHQ-2, which are screening tools for generalised anxiety disorder and depressive symptoms, respectively.

The responses were scored from 0 (Not at all) to 3 (Nearly every day). The responses for the two questions were summed for the GAD-2 anxiety and PHQ-2 depression questions, resulting in a score ranging from 0 to 6 for each. Total scores of 3 and over were interpreted as potential signs of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD-2) and potential signs of depressive symptoms (PHQ-2), respectively. Please see the accompanying dataset for these data.

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7. Strengths and limitations

The main strengths of the Humanitarian Response Insight Follow-up Survey include:

  • the timely production of data and statistics that can respond quickly to changes, aiding local and national planning

  • quality assurance procedures that are undertaken throughout the analysis stages to minimise the risk of error

  • confidence intervals that are available in the accompanying datasets as an assessment of uncertainty

  • responses that have been weighted by age, sex, and scheme to mitigate bias and to allow results to be broadly representative of visa holders who had entered the UK by 15 June 2022 under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes

The main limitations of the Humanitarian Response Insight Follow-up Survey include:

  • the survey and supporting material were available in English and Ukrainian but not translated into Russian; it was completed online and while telephone interviews could be conducted in another language upon request, the lack of translation or internet accessibility may have been a barrier for people who did not respond

  • the survey was designed in a relatively simple way to encourage response, meaning that not all areas of interest could be covered in depth

  • this follow-up survey will include any bias from the initial sample in the June 2022 UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey (UKHRIS), and may introduce further bias through recontact and non-response to this survey

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9. Collaboration

The survey was compiled rapidly to help inform the UK's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent evacuation of individuals fleeing Ukraine, and to aid local and national emergency response planning.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducted this survey in collaboration with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Home Office.

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10. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 22 November 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Visa holders entering the UK under the Ukraine Humanitarian Schemes – Follow-up survey: 17 October to 7 November 2022

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Klara Valentova, Ed Pyle, Tim Gibbs
humanitarian.response.survey@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633456921