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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy-information-and-guidance
On 29 December 2020, the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary announced the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). This is a new scheme that will offer relocation or other assistance to current and former Locally Employed Staff in Afghanistan to reflect the changing situation in Afghanistan.
The ARAP scheme launched on 1 April 2021 and will continue to remain open and operate indefinitely.
Under the ARAP scheme, any current or former Locally Employed Staff directly employed by HMG assessed to be at serious risk of threat to life will be eligible to apply for ARAP regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.
If any current or former staff believe they now qualify or are at serious risk, they should apply by using the online application form. You will be eligible to apply from any country (including Afghanistan).
The following summarises the eligibility criteria for the ARAP scheme and the terms of the offers themselves. The scheme does not recognise an obligation, or imply a commitment, to assist locally employed staff in other countries or theatres of operation, past, present or future.
If you have further questions specifically on the ARAP scheme, please contact us.
Eligibility under the ARAP scheme:
All current and former LES employed directly by HMG are eligible for assistance under the ARAP. Within this eligibility criteria, there are four categories for assistance:
|Category 1||High risk / imminent threat||Urgent relocation|
|Category 2||Eligible for relocation by default||Routine relocation|
|Category 3||Not eligible for relocation||Other support offered|
|Category 4||Special cases||Case-by-case basis|
The cohort eligible for urgent relocation comprises of those who are assessed to be at high and imminent risk of threat to life.
The cohort eligible for relocation by default comprises of those who were employed by HMG in exposed meaningful enabling roles. Or those who were contracted to provide linguistic services in support of the UK Armed Forces.
Exposed meaningful enabling roles are roles that made a material difference to the delivery of the UK mission in Afghanistan, without which operations would have been adversely affected, and that exposed LES to public recognition in performance of their role, leaving them now at risk due to the changing situation in Afghanistan.
Examples of such roles are patrol interpreters, cultural advisors, certain embassy corporate services, and development, political and counter-terrorism jobs, among others. This is not an exhaustive list, nor are all those who worked in such roles necessarily eligible by default.
LES dismissed from employment are excluded from relocation by default, unless in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis, without prejudicing their right to other forms of assistance under the scheme.
The cohort eligible for other support are those who are neither assessed to be at high and imminent risk of threat to life nor eligible by default due to holding exposed meaningful enabling roles.
This cohort are eligible for all other support short of relocation as deemed suitable by the ARAP team.
The cohort eligible for assistance on a case-by-case basis are those who worked in meaningful enabling roles alongside HMG, in extraordinary and unconventional contexts, and whose responsible HMG unit builds a credible case for consideration under the scheme (in some cases this includes people employed via contractors to support HMG defence outcomes).
Where relocation is offered to Category Four individuals, circumstances dictate whether it is urgent or routine, as assessed by the ARAP team.
The Relocation Offer under the ARAP scheme
The Relocation Offer creates the possibility for current and former LES to have the default option to relocate to the UK if they meet the eligibility criteria above. It is offered to LES whom the UK government considers to have put themselves in the most danger and contributed the most to the UK mission in Afghanistan. The Relocation Offer is based on recognition of service and an assessment of likely current and future risk to LES due to the nature of their work for the UK government in the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
LES who meet the eligibility criteria for relocation under the ARAP scheme will have the opportunity to apply for limited leave to enter the UK. LES already in the UK with temporary status under ARAP can apply, free of charge, to convert their status to indefinite leave to remain.
Eligible LES will be able to bring certain family members with them to the UK. The eligibility criteria for family members and dependants seeking to accompany those relocating under the ARAP can be found in the Immigration Rules: