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Refugees: Afghanistan

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 49210, tabled on 14 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the family of young people who are in the UK under the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme can join their children under (a) the Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme or (b) another route to allow a family to be united.

Answered on

22 September 2021

The vast majority of children resettled under the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme (VCRS) were done so as part of a family group. The scheme ended in 2021. The Government’s refugee family reunion policy allows a partner and children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join the adult sponsor here, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country. This includes those who are part of a religious minority.

All those brought to the UK under Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) will have the right to work, access to education and healthcare and be able to apply for public funds. To ensure they will be supported properly, changes will be made to legislation so that, if necessary, people arriving under ARAP and ACRS do not need to meet the habitual residence test.

They will also receive comprehensive integration support as they start their new lives in the UK. A package of support to acclimatise to the UK, learn English, and find work, will enable rapid self-sufficiency and social integration in UK communities.