British Nationals Abroad and Immigration: Afghanistan

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 23rd September 2021.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) British nationals and (b) Afghan nationals were called forward or authorised for evacuation as part of Operation Pitting but did not evacuate Afghanistan.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Throughout Operation Pitting, supporting British Nationals and their immediate family to leave Afghanistan was one of our highest priorities. We helped over 8,000 to do so. We aimed to support all British Nationals so there was not the same "call forward" process as there was for Afghan nationals. We are aware that not all were able to leave so are encouraging any British Nationals remaining in Afghanistan to confirm their presence with us via the online form in order to receive important updates, alongside our regularly updated Travel Advice.

Additionally, under Operation Pitting 311 families eligible for relocation under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) were called forward but were not evacuated from Afghanistan, the vast majority of whom were Afghan nationals. Our efforts to contact and support these individuals and their dependants continue, and we are making every effort to assist them to reach the UK.

Our immediate focus is on ensuring safe passage for anyone remaining in Afghanistan who is eligible to come to the UK and wishes to leave. We continue to work closely with the Qatari authorities to facilitate the evacuation of British nationals from Kabul. Rapid Deployment Teams have been sent to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to reinforce our Embassy staff to process arrivals from Afghanistan. Teams have also deployed to Qatar and UAE to assist our operations there and we are providing consular support to British nationals who were evacuated by other allies, including via US airbases in Europe.

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