Thousands of Afghans who have worked for the British government will be granted permanent residence status. Interpreters, security staff and others at risk in Afghanistan will be granted that status.
Of the more than 15,000 Afghans who the British have evacuated from Kabul since 13 August, at least 8,000 want to claim status with their families. Those who have previously been in the UK can have their temporary residence status converted into a permanent one free of charge.
The decision is a major change from current policy: until now, Afghans could only be granted a temporary residence permit of up to five years. Operation Warm Welcome, as the new policy is called, allows them to look for jobs without restrictions.
In addition, around 14 million euros will be made available to make education more accessible, and another nearly 6 million for housing and 3.5 million for care.
“We owe a huge debt to the people who have worked with the armed forces in Afghanistan, “said British Prime Minister Johnson,” and I am determined to provide these people and their families with the help they need to build their lives in the UK.”
Tens of thousands of Afghans in USA
Since the evacuations in mid-August, thousands of Afghans have also arrived in the United States seeking permanent residence status. President Biden said earlier that an estimated 50,000 to 65,000 Afghans would be evacuated by U.S. troops by August 31. Among them are American citizens and people with permanent residence status, but also a large group of Afghans who still have to apply for asylum.
The latter group may be granted temporary residence status on humanitarian grounds. It is not clear how many Afghans are allowed to stay in the US on these grounds.