Afghanistan: Interpreters

Ministry of Defence written question – answered am ar 23 Hydref 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Geoffrey Cox Geoffrey Cox Ceidwadwyr, Torridge and West Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to (a) assist and (b) ensure the safety of interpreters who were previously employed by UK armed forces in Afghanistan who have escaped to a third country and whose (i) application under the ARAP scheme and (ii) appeal against an unsuccessful initial application is delayed; and what steps he is taking to expedite such (A) applications and (B) appeals.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)

We have worked hard to resolve tens of thousands of applications, giving individuals - eligible or not - the clarity they deserve. We now only have approximately 1,000 ARAP applications remaining of over 95,000 principal applications received. This number reflects a small number of complex cases we are working hard to resolve with other Government Departments. We are also working to assess 2,155 outstanding review cases for principal ARAP applications.

While moving ARAP eligible persons to the safety of third countries is a priority for the Ministry of Defence, only ARAP eligible individuals are entitled to HMG accommodation and support in third countries while they await relocation to the UK.

Those who have been deemed ineligible, or are yet to have their ARAP eligibility confirmed, would not be eligible for the same HMG support. This includes those who have submitted a review of an 'ineligible' decision. This is why we do not advise Afghans to travel to a third country until ARAP eligibility is confirmed.

We will, in exceptional circumstances only and on a case-by-case basis, expedite decisions on ARAP applications and reviews in line with our formal expedition guidance.

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