Support for people in Afghanistan and their families
*UPDATE 16 SEPTEMBER 2021*
Please see the latest response I have received from Minister for Afghan Resettlement, Victoria Atkins MP:
*Update 8 September 2021*:
Please see the latest disappointing update I have received from Lord Ahmad, a Conservative Foreign Office Minister:
My staff have continued to work around the clock to support the Afghan diaspora community in Ealing, Acton and Chiswick, fielding calls and emails. We have processed the details of well over a thousand individuals, many of whom are still stuck in Afghanistan.
I have met with the proud and resilient Afghan diaspora community locally, including Assiya Amini of Ealing-based community organisation, Afghan Academy International, and volunteers from the Society of Afghan Residents in the UK (SAR UK) in West Acton.
I was particularly honoured to meet 11-year-old refugee Arash Mehran at West Acton Community Centre, an impressive young man with a wise head on young shoulders (see the ITV London News package below, and this ActonW3 article.)
If you are yet to have passed on your loved ones’ details, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I will get in touch with you as soon as I receive any updates on your loved ones’ cases.
I will continue to press the Government to take in its fair share of refugees, provide safe passage for asylum seekers, support local authorities, and ensure that all the gains made in human rights in Afghanistan in the past 20 years aren’t needlessly lost.
I will work with Ealing Council to ensure the borough plays its part in housing refugees. But the Government has to step up and be bold. The financial burden cannot fall on local councils. The Government needs to offer proper funding for housing, mental health care, medical care, education, retraining to secure jobs — a comprehensive package of support.
Rest assured, myself and my team will do all we can to support the people of Afghanistan in these incredibly challenging circumstances.
Rupa Huq MP
Member of Parliament for Ealing Central and Acton
8 September 2021
I wanted to provide you with an update on advice and information that might be useful to constituents who remain in Afghanistan and are in need of immediate assistance.
Throughout the week my team have been speaking to residents concerned about family members who are stuck in Afghanistan. In each case we have immediately contacted the Foreign Office and the Home Office, to ensure that the information we have been given has been provided to the teams that are working to evacuate British Citizens and refugees.
Please be assured that my office are in regular contact with the Foreign Office regarding cases and as soon as we receive any updates or information we will contact you straight away.
I would ask that you please keep my office updated with any developments regarding the case that you have raised with me. Please do get in contact with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) – the inbox is monitored throughout the week and my team will call you if an urgent conversation is required.
The most recent advice we have received – which was given to us by the Home Office on the afternoon of 20 August – is that people meeting the following criteria should head to the Baron Airport in Kabul, next to the airport:
- UK Nationals, who have their UK Passport with them
- Family members of UK Nationals who have documentary proof of their relationship with them and can travel to the hotel/airport with the UK citizen they are related to.
- We are advised that it is not safe for anyone not meeting the criteria above to travel. We are raising cases that do not meet these criteria through formal channels and will update on these cases as soon as we can.
I will continue to press the Foreign Secretary to urgently call for more clarity to be provided on the support and information available to people in Afghanistan who wish to leave and their families. I will continue to call for this to be provided as soon as possible. I have also challenged the Government to extend the ARAP scheme to all those who supported UK activities in Afghanistan, whether they worked directly for the UK Government or for partner organisations and contractors. Finally, I have called on the Government to provide support to refugees arriving in this country from Afghanistan.
As this is a fast evolving situation, we are closely monitoring the UK Government’s strategy for helping Afghan Nationals to evacuate and seek refuge in a safe country.
So far we have the following information:
British Nationals stranded in Afghanistan should contact the Consular Services to register their families’ details and seek up-to-date advice. Their contact details are below, and British Nationals are being encouraged to call:
- +44 (0)1908 516666 (select the option “Consular services for British nationals”)
You can also find the Foreign Office’s up-to-date advice for British Nationals online: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/afghanistan
Afghan Nationals who have assisted the UK
The UK has set up a visa scheme under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) to offer relocation and support to current and former Locally Employed Staff in Afghanistan who assisted the UK.
If your family members meet the eligibility requirements, please encourage them to apply. Information about the scheme can be found at:
Other Afghan Nationals
The UK Government is currently setting up an Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme for those fleeing Afghanistan. The scheme is not yet open and details will be announced by the Government in due course.
The link to the scheme’s webpages are below. Please do monitor this to get information as soon as it launches and please advise your relatives to apply as soon as possible:
Other countries are also setting up their own programmes to resettle Afghan nationals. If your family is eligible, they may also want to consider applying for humanitarian assistance from other countries.
Information on Canada’s schemes for Afghan nationals can be found at:
While we are waiting for more information on the routes that are being set up for MPs to pass on details of Afghan Nationals with relatives in the UK who need to leave Afghanistan, it would be helpful if you could provide us with some information about your family.
The Home Office and the Foreign Office are asking for the following information about those trying to travel to the UK from Afghanistan – please do give me as much of this information as you can for each of your family members:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Passport / travel document number
- Location in Afghanistan
- Any information on why your family are at risk from the Taliban
- Contact details
And, if your family have already applied to travel to the UK:
- Home Office reference number
- Do they have a visa application pending (if so, please provide the reference)