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Afghans who helped British forces to be allowed to remain in the UK permanently

Written by on 01/09/2021

Afghans who worked with the UK will be given indefinite leave to remain, the Home Office has announced.

People from Afghanistan who worked alongside the British government and army were previously only eligible for five years of temporary residency.

Now – as part of a scheme called Operation Warm Welcome – they will be able to stay in the UK permanently, allowing them unrestricted rights to work.

The British government has sent troops back to Afghanistan to help evacuate British nationals, but Paul Farthing's wife and employee have not managed to board a flight
Image: Thousands of refugees who helped the UK in Afghanistan have arrived in Britain

The plan is available for those Afghans eligible for the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

This prioritises those who were deemed to have a serious threat against their life now the Taliban controls Afghanistan.

More than 15,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since 13 August, of which more than 8,300 are ARAP claimants.

All arrivals are also offered the COVID vaccine.

More on Afghanistan

More than 700 of those who have arrived in the UK are already jabbed and out of quarantine.

As well as the indefinite leave to remain, the UK government has said it will provide the following:

  • £12m to help children with their education

  • £3m to help people access healthcare

  • £5m in housing support for councils

  • Money for up to 300 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships – with adults also able to access English language courses free of charge.

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Afghan refugees: Taliban ‘would have killed us’

There will also be services to help new arrivals get National Insurance numbers, accommodation, and the creation of an online portal so offers of support can be registered.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We owe an immense debt to those who worked with the armed forces in Afghanistan and I am determined that we give them and their families the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK.

“I know this will be an incredibly daunting time, but I hope they will take heart from the wave of support and generosity already expressed by the British public.”

The newly appointed Afghan Resettlement minister, Victoria Atkins, said: “The stability of indefinite leave, the security of access to healthcare and the opportunity of education are the foundation upon which those resettled to the UK can build.”

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is still being developed, with the aim of taking in up to 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan.

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