Guest application guide

If you are already in the UK, you may be able to apply directly to Refugees at Home to find you a host.  We call this ‘self-referring’. To self-refer to us you must:

  • have refugee status in the UK
  • have a good level of English
  • have an idea of your ‘move on plan’, or where you will go after your placement
  • be able to provide details of at least one person who can provide a reference on your suitability for hosting.

As part of the government’s Homes for Ukraine programme we are also able to accept self-referrals from Ukrainians currently outside of the UK. Please read our Information sheet on How we can support Ukrainian guests.

Unfortunately, if you do not meet any of these eligibility requirements you will not be able to self-refer into us. Instead we recommend that you contact local charities in your area that seek to support people seeking asylum and refugees.

How self-referral works

If you are eligible to self-refer to us, please complete our referral form. Our Placement team will then contact you to ask further questions.  It may feel hard to answer our questions, but we are trying to build a picture of you to see if you are suited to hosting.

Your Placement Coordinator will ask you to confirm you understand what hosting is and we will expect you to have read the information on this page.  It is important that you are flexible in where you are hosted and who with, and we will ask you to sign an agreement with us which outlines your responsibilities if we agree to find a host for you.

We will ask you to supply contact details for someone who can give us a reference for your suitability for hosting.  This might be a volunteer or case worker you know, or someone you have lived with prior to applying to us.

Once you have answered our questions, your Placement Coordinator will confirm whether we will be able to look for a host for you and for how long. If we are unable to help we will do our best to provide you with details of other people who may be able to help.


When you complete your application to be hosted, you will be asked if you are able to provide references.  We cannot take your application forward if you are unable to do so.

You’ll be asked by our team to provide the name, contact information and how you know the person named as your referee.  You should advise them in advance that we may be in contact as we will not be able to proceed without a reference.

Who you can put forward for your reference

We ask to speak to someone who has known you in a professional capacity for at least 3 months.  This could be:

  • Hotel/Asylum accommodation managers
  • Voluntary organisations you have regularly engaged with (as a service user or as a volunteer)
  • Medical professionals you have regularly engaged with
  • Immigration solicitor
  • College tutors
  • ESOL teachers

On occasion, we may accept references from friends at our discretion.

What will we ask?

We will ask the person giving you a reference about your character, how they know you, questions relating to your suitability to be hosted and their experience of working with you.

Who will this information be shared with?

References received for guests will be shared, in part, with the hosts we approach if we’re able to help you.  We will not share character references with guests.

What happens if I can’t provide a reference?

Unfortunately, we will be unable to assist.

Finding a host

When we look for a host for you we will consider what you have told us about who you are willing to live with and whereabouts you wish to be. We will also check our hosts’ requirements, and who they are able to host for. Once we have confirmation that we have a host for you, we will be in contact with you with their offer of hosting.

We have a very high demand for hosts, particularly in city locations, and we cannot offer you a choice of hosts to decide between.

Please read our Information for guests for further information about our hosts, and how we make placements

Moving in with a host

You will be introduced to your host via email initially and should plan with them for your arrival time on the day your placement starts.  Please make sure your Placement Coordinator is copied in if you require their help.

Read our Information for guests for other ways to prepare yourself for hosting.

During your placement

Your Placement Coordinator will keep in touch with you throughout the duration of your placement and will be asking you to share with them any progress you are making in finding somewhere else to move to after hosting, as outlined in your agreement with us. 

If you have concerns or worries at any stage about your hosting, please contact your Placement Coordinator.

On occasion, we may have to move guests between hosts.  We will give you as much notice as possible if this will take place.

The end of your placement

We will have agreed the duration of your placement at the outset of our agreement with you.  It’s essential for you to be open with us on how you are progressing in moving elsewhere after hosting as we may not be able to support you to extend your placement if we do not have enough notice.