Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 10th May 2023.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many former Afghan interpreters, military personnel and locally-employed MOD staff and contractors were turned down for the ex-gratia scheme which operated from 2013 to November 2022; and what the most common reasons were for rejecting applications.

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Minister for Immigration

We owe a debt of gratitude to those Afghan citizens who risked their lives working for, or with, UK forces. Their safety and security, and that of their families, is a government priority. The Intimidation Policy and Ex-Gratia Scheme (EGS) was initially set up to recognise this.

We relocated approximately 1,400 people including Locally Engaged Staff and their immediate families to the UK. Of those staff, all but six were interpreters. Four were relocated under the now defunct Intimidation Policy, one under the new Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

To date, we have relocated over 12,000 ARAP eligible principals and their immediate families to the UK, including over 5,000 since Operation PITTING concluded at the end of August 2021.

We know there is still a way to go to bring all those who are eligible to safety in the UK. The Ministry of Defence continues to receive an unprecedented number of applications to the ARAP scheme, many of which are speculative, or duplicates of applications already made.

There has been total of 21,365 individuals arrive in the UK under the ARAP and Pathway 1of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. 7,619 people who were brought to safety in the UK during and after the evacuation eligible for the ACRS have been resettled under Pathway 1.

Whilst a precise breakdown of the all the data requested is not available, work continues to assure information relating to all the people resettled and relocated to the UK. The next quarterly publication of statistics is due on 25 May 2023.

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