The Afghanistan Citizen' Resettlement Scheme is a new route opening for the resettlement of Afghan refugees, prioritising those most in need including women, girls and children given their particular vulnerability.
Whilst the route is not yet open, some further details about the route have been provided.
When will the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme open?
The Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme is not yet open and there is no set date for when it will open. According to the Home Office Factsheet, the Government is working urgently to open this route.
Who will be eligible for the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme?
The Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme aims to help those most in need, including women, girls and children who will be prioritised given their particular vulnerability. The aim is to resettle Afghan nationals who have been displaced from their homes due to the current crisis. Eligibility for this route will be for those in Afghanistan who are in need of assistance and will not be accessible to those already in the UK. Further details on eligibility will be released in due course.
For those who arrive in the UK through other means, the factsheet highlights that they are currently able to claim asylum.
How can you apply to enter the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme?
The Government is currently in the process of working out how the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will work practically. The Government expects there will be challenges in delivering the scheme, given the complexity of the situation in Afghanistan at this time.
Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)
The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy is a separate route from the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme. The ARAP launched on 1 April 2021.
Whilst the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will focus on Afghan nationals who have been displaced from their homes, prioritising those most likely to face human rights abuses, the ARAP is aimed at current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life. They are offered priority relocation to the UK regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.
The Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme aims to welcome 5,000 Afghans in year one, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term. This number is in addition to the 5,000 expected under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).
Whilst the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme is not yet open, efforts are still being made to evacuate individuals at risk including:
- Current or former Chevening Scholars
- People with existing leave or an open application for student, work and family visas
- Civil society groups for women's rights
- Government Officials
- Officials working in counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics
- Employees of charities, humanitarian organisations and NGOs
The Factsheet confirms the following helplines can be called:
- "If you are a non-British national in Afghanistan, or are the family member of a non-British national in Afghanistan, and in need of assistance, you should call (+44) 02475389980.
- If you are a British national, or family member of a British national in Afghanistan you should call +44 (0)1908 516666 and select the option "Consular services for British nationals" or Email email@example.com."
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.