Afghan Scheme

SW SMP work closely with the Home Office and Local Authorities in relation to the current Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). Prior to the most current scheme (June 2021), there were two schemes to support current and former locally employed staff (LES) in Afghanistan.

The first is ex-gratia scheme which caters to those who worked directly for Her Majesties Government (HMG) on the 1 May 2006 and had served for more than 12 months. It offers a number of in-country support packages and, for those eligible, relocation to the UK. This scheme runs until 2022 after which the ARAP will be the sole pathway for relocation to the UK.

The 2nd scheme is the Intimidation Policy which ran from 2010 until 31 March 2021 when it was replaced by the ARAP. This scheme supported those LES whose safety was threatened in Afghanistan and who were at genuine risk due to their work with the UK. It was open to all former staff employed directly by HMG in Afghanistan from 2001. Where there was evidence of a threat, appropriate mitigation measures were put in place ranging from security advice, financial assistance or relocation to a safer part of the country or in the most serious cases, relocation to the UK.

The current ARAP reflects the changing situation in Afghanistan and has 3 channels for relocation to the UK. The first channel is urgent relocation by priority to those assessed to be at risk of serious threat to life due to their work with HMG regardless of their role, job, length of service or reason for leaving. The second offers relocation by default to a select group of directly employed current and former employees in exposed roles, such as certain embassy support staff, those in political or counter-terrorism roles, or cultural advisors and interpreters, who could face threats related to their occupation. The third offers relocation to a small group of special cases who have worked in highly sensitive roles and requires ministerial approval.

Those who either do not want to relocate or who are not eligible will be offered other support such as security advice and relocation within Afghanistan. Those who qualify and choose to relocate to the UK with their families are not expected to return to Afghanistan. After completing five years limited leave they can apply for permanent residence in the UK, free of charge, ensuring that they can continue to build their lives and future here.

The Afghan Locally Employed Staff (LES) Relocation Scheme – Fact Sheet for Local Authorities

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