THERE will be no limit on the number of Ukrainian refugees who can live with host families under the UK’s new visa scheme, the UK Health Secretary has said.

Leveling Up Secretary Michael Gove is due to make a statement in the House of Commons setting out the details of the new scheme, and a website where people in the UK can express an interest in helping is also due to go live on Monday.

It comes as the charity Refugee council said the UK was “way behind the curve” in its response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

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The latest figures released by the Home Office state that 3000 visas have been granted through the extended family scheme.

However, after criticism at it’s slow response and unwillingness to cut red tape for refugees - unlike in the EU where visas were completely waived - the UK Government is set to launch a second scheme allowing families to host those fleeing the conflict.

Hosts will be paid £350 a month by the Government, and commit to housing refugees for at least six months. 

Local authorities will be given £10,500 in extra funding per refugee support service in the area - with the amount higher for those supporting children of school age.

Sajid Javid told BBC Breakfast: “Michael Gove will be making a statement in parliament later today setting out the details and there's no cap on the number of people that we can support.

The National:

Javid said there will not be a cap on the number of refugees from Ukraine allowed into the UK 

“I'm pleased that we're doing this because as a country we have a very proud record of offering sanctuary to people from wars and from conflicts and it's right that we respond in this way.”

Applications for hosts will be made online, with Javid adding that both refugees and those opening their homes to them will be vetted and subject to checks.

Javid was also asked if he would host a Ukrainian family himself - to which he replied that he and his wife were “starting to have a conversation about”.

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He added: “It’s important that anyone that becomes a host, that they can fulfil the obligations of a host, that they can spend time with these families and help, but there are many ways that we can all help and whatever I do at a personal level, I will most certainly be helping.”

Refugees who come to the UK through the scheme will have the right to work, access to the NHS and other support, and be allowed to stay in the country for three years.

It comes as the United Nations Refugee agency estimates that around 2.7 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded.

The National:

Gove is due to set out further details of the host scheme in parliament

Neighbouring countries, such as Poland (1.5m) and Hungary (225,000) have taken in a huge number of those fleeing from the conflict.

Andy Hewett, head of advocacy at the charity Refugee Council, told Politico: “The U.K. has been unable, both from a practical point of view but also from a political point of view, to do anything near [the EU offer].

“The UK is way behind the curve in terms of its response.”