UK Support – Afghans

This page specifically relates to UK support provided to Afghans arriving though a UK relocation or resettlement scheme. Additional information on asylum applications is available elsewhere on the website and the portal.

Support Schemes

At the time of writing there are currently three schemes proposed or operating specifically to support Afghans relocate or resettle into the UK. The Locally Employed Staff Ex-Gratia Scheme, Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy or ‘ARAP’ and the recently announced Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. The main scheme operating since the announced withdrawal of US, UK and NATO forces from Afghanistan in May is the ARAP.

Background and purpose

Launched on 1st April 2021, any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life are offered priority relocation to the UK regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served. On 1st June 2021, this scheme was rapidly accelerated given the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.


Successful applicants will receive a UK visa, which grants 5 years Leave to Enter the UK, with an opportunity in the future to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK at the end of that 5-year period. Eligible LES will be able to bring certain family members with them to the UK.

There will also be a 12 month package of LA led funded support to help them integrate and settle into the UK.

For information on how individuals in Afghanistan can potentially access support please see the link below.

Links and guidance

Local authority information

Announced on the 18th August the ACRS will provide protection for vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan. The Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans to the UK, who have been forced to flee the country, in its first year, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term.

This scheme is currently not launched (as of 26/08/21). Once more information is available this section will be updated.

Information to be expanded.

Launched in 2013, the scheme provides ex gratia offers to eligible locally employed staff (LES) who have been or will be made redundant as a direct consequence of the UK’s military drawdown from Afghanistan.

Links and Guidance

Please note that since April 2021, the primary route is through the ARAP, though individuals are still supported by this scheme who arrived through it.