Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 7 September 2023.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has held recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues on helping more people who have been accepted by the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme and are living in hotels in Islamabad to move to the UK.

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Minister for Immigration

The UK made an ambitious and generous commitment to help resettle those fleeing persecution and those who served the UK. Since June 2021, we have brought 24,500 people to safety to the UK.

Any current or former staff directly employed by, or for, the UK Government and assessed to be at serious risk of threat to life are eligible to apply for the ARAP.  The Ministry of Defence first consider all applications under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). Afghan citizens and their family members assessed as eligible for relocation will then be referred to the Home Office for permission to enter the UK. This is subject to the enrolment of biometrics and security checks.

The Government will honour its commitments to bring eligible people to the UK and will arrange and pay for travel to our country when suitable UK accommodation has been secured. The Government is working intensively with local authorities and other partners to ensure suitable accommodation is secured.

The Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities is also considering further options to help identify suitable accommodation, so we can welcome more Afghans in third countries. This includes learning the lessons from sponsorship schemes like Homes for Ukraine. We continue to work, including with likeminded partners and countries neighbouring Afghanistan, on resettlement issues and to support safe passage for eligible Afghans.

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