Sunday 19th of September 2021

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‘Operation Warm Welcome’ underway to support Afghan arrivals in the UK

LONDON:A significant cross-government effort is underway, dubbed ‘Operation Warm Welcome’, to ensure Afghans arriving in the UK receive the vital support they need to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education and integrate into their local communities.

As part of the New Plan for Immigration, the government announced that those coming to the UK through resettlement routes would receive immediate indefinite leave to remain, and today (September 1) the Home Secretary has announced that this will apply to Afghans who worked closely with the British military and UK Government in Afghanistan, and risked their lives in doing so, meaning they can now stay in the UK without any time restrictions.

People already relocated to the UK under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) will be able to apply free of charge to convert their temporary leave into indefinite leave. This will give Afghans the certainty and stability to rebuild their lives with unrestricted rights to work and the option to apply for British citizenship in the future.

To give children and young adults the best start in life the government is making at least £12 million available to prioritise additional school places so children can be enrolled as soon as possible, and to provide school transport, specialist teachers and English language support to assist with learning.

 

 

 Further funding will be provided for up to 300 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for Afghans at UK universities and adults will also be able to access English language courses free of charge. While many will speak English through their work with the UK Government and British Forces, and as translators, language classes will ensure all their family members can fully integrate into their local communities.

Families who need support navigating the system will also have access to liaison officers who can work with local authorities to help them get set up with a GP, National Insurance number, school place, accommodation and more tailored support, as required. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:”We owe an immense debt to those who worked with the Armed Forces in Afghanistan and I am determined that we give them and their families the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK”. 

“I know this will be an incredibly daunting time, but I hope they will take heart from the wave of support and generosity already expressed by the British public”.he added.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:”We owe a great deal to the brave Afghans who worked alongside us and we want to make sure they have certainty and stability to be able to thrive in the UK”. 

“As part of the New Plan for Immigration, I committed to providing refugees who make their home here the ability to rebuild their lives in the UK with essential support to integrate into the community, learn English, and become self-sufficient. By providing immediate indefinite leave to remain we are ensuring that those who have fled their homes have every opportunity to look to the future with stability and security and make a success of their new life in the U”,Patel said.

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