What are the new resettlement schemes for Afghan Nationals?
The Home office has responded to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan by creating some immigration routes for Afghan nationals to relocate to the UK.
What is the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme ?
The primary goal of this scheme is to provide effective relief to Afghan nationals who need to move to the UK. Although the details of this scheme are still to be ironed out , here is what we know so far :
- The most vulnerable Afghan nationals i.e. children and women will be prioritised.
- The UK government aims to resettle thousands in the UK i.e. 5,000 in its first year and 20,000 in the future.
- Currently, eligibility is aimed at those who are most vulnerable but again details are still to be worked out.
- This resettlement scheme has not yet been opened but we will update this page with further information as it becomes available. You can also click here for updates.
What happens on arrival to the UK?
The UK government is determined to ensure that any Afghan nationals who relocate to the UK are easily integrated into society and therefore will be offered support. For example, unrestricted access to the labour market, benefits and services like the NHS. Furthermore, new plans for support are being developed, such as skills and language training .
Are there any other routes for Afghan nationals looking to move to the UK?
The answer is yes. For instance , the Home Office already announced the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).
What is the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) ?
This scheme ,launched on 1 April 2021, aims to help local Afghan employees who are working for the UK government, relocate to the UK due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. This group of people are called ‘Locally Employed Staff’ (LES) by the Home Office for the purposes of this policy.
Once a serious threat to one’s life is determined due to employment under the UK government , the scheme will offer urgent relocation to the UK.
It is worth highlighting that this scheme is different from the Afghanistan Citizens’ resettlement scheme because it primarily focuses on what the Home Office considers ‘Locally Employed Staff’.
Who is eligible for the ARAP?
All ‘Locally Employed Staff’ are eligible for this scheme. However, the level of priority will be judged on the level of threat to one’s life. The levels of priority are broken down into four categories. For instance , Category 1 is for people facing a very high threat to their lives and will therefore warrant urgent relocation . Category 4 will be reviewed on a case by case basis. For more detail on the categories and eligibility for this scheme click here.
It is worth noting that there are still other routes to relocate to the UK such as the points based system or applying for asylum. The government continues to dissuade people from attempting to come to the UK illegally or via dangerous crossings.
Once more, keep an eye on this page as we will update it when more details on the Afghanistan citizens’ resettlement scheme become available.