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Afghan resettlement scheme

Afghan Resettlement scheme: UK plans to welcome thousands of locally employed staff

In light of the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, the UK has introduced a new scheme to help with relocation and other forms of assistance for locally employed staff (hereon referred to as LES) in Afghanistan. The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (hereon referred to as ARAP) was announced on 29th December 2020, by the Defence and Home Secretary. The ARAP Scheme was officially opened on 01 April 2021 and will operate indefinitely.

The relocation offer is based on the UK government recognising the service of Afghan nationals that have contributed to the efforts to stabilise the country. This offer is open to current and former LES who are at threat. Regardless of the role, rank, length of employment, or employment status, the new scheme offers sanctuary to those that need it most.

A fast track for relocation has been made available for priority cases, while a routine check will be offered for less urgent ones. An initial assessment will be carried out to determine which track is more suitable in each case. To apply, you can put in your application by completing the online form. The application can be completed in Afghanistan or from a third country.

We recommend you contact localstaffafghanistan@mod.gov.uk for more information.

Entry Clearance Application for Locally Employed Staff

The Entry Clearance process for LES (and Dependants) who meet the eligibility criteria and need to relocate will be offered relocation packages to help facilitate their move to the UK and a visa to allow them to live and work on arrival.

Suitable applicants’ will be required by the British Embassy to;

· Complete a visa application form

· Have their Biometrics taken

· Undergo medical screening

· Carry out marriage verification (If applicable)

All visa applications under the relocation scheme are sent to the Home Office for screening by the Screening Information and Research Team (SIRT). The LES, partners, and dependants will be required to undergo security checks. All LES whose applications are successful alongside their dependants will be granted a visa valid for 5 years with the right to work and study. At the end of the 5-year terms, they will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Eligibility for Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) Scheme

All current and former LES employed directly by Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) will be eligible to apply for assistance using the ARAP Scheme. You can apply if you are sure you fall under any of these 4 categories.

1. High risk / imminent threat: People defined as a high-security risk will be eligible for urgent relocation.

2. Eligible for relocation by default: People who have worked or currently work for HMG in exposed, meaningful and enabling roles. These roles may include certain embassy corporate services and development, patrol interpreters, cultural advisors, political and counter-terrorism jobs, amongst others. LES who were dismissed will not be eligible for relocation by default except in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

3. Not eligible for relocation: LES who fall under this category may be eligible for alternative support. This means if you have been assessed and confirmed by the ARAP team to not be at a high-security risk, you will be offered other forms of assistance and support.

4. Special cases: LES who qualify for this category are offered relocation; the ARAP team will assess whether you qualify for a routine relocation or urgent relocation.

Offers and Eligibility Criteria for Former Locally Employed Staff

There are offers that have been made available for LES who resigned having worked for the UK Government in Afghanistan. These offers are put in place to empower LES that was dismissed as a result of the UK’s military drawdown from Afghanistan. If you fall under this category, you are expected to accept only one of the following offers under the scheme. Offers available are;

• a financial package

• training and financial support package

• the possibility to relocate to the UK

Eligibility for Financial Offers

LES who are eligible for the financial offer will receive payments, an equivalent of 3 months’ salary will be paid in the first month (allowance excluded), and an additional 15 monthly payments equivalent to their monthly salary. To be eligible for financial offer, Locally Employed Staff must have been;

• employed directly by the UK Government

• made redundant on or after 12 December 2012

• in the UK Government’s employment for a minimum of 12 months

Eligibility for Training Offer

Those who are eligible will be offered 5 years of training or education funded by the UK Government and a fixed regular sum equivalent to their gross monthly salary (without allowances). To be eligible, you must have been;

• employed directly by the UK Government

• made redundant on or after 12 December 2012

• in the UK Government’s employment for a minimum of 12 months

Eligibility for Relocation offer

A relocation package is offered to those who are eligible. If you qualify, you can make an application to enter the UK. If successful, you will be issued a 5 years visa and can apply for an Indefinite Leave to remain just prior to your visa expiration.

To be eligible for relocation as an LES, you must meet at least one of the following;

· Directly employed by the UK Government on the frontline for a minimum of 12 months continuously

· Employed directly by the UK Government at the time of their redundancy or resignation in a role which took them regularly ‘outside the wire’ on the frontline in Helmand

· Made redundant or resigned on or after 1 May 2006

Final Words

The ARAP Resettlement scheme has been put in place by the UK government to assist people facing serious life-threatening risks in Afghanistan. Non-British nationals in Afghanistan, who are in need of assistance and are unsure if they are eligible, can visit the support page for more information. We will continue to keep you updated on details of the Afghan relocation and assistance policy as they unfold.

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