To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will set out the eligibility criteria for resettlement under the (a) Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and (b) Afghan citizens resettlement programme; when the Afghan citizens resettlement programme will open to applicants; and for what reason that programme is not yet open to applicants.
21 September 2021
On Monday 13 September, I announced the details of the Government’s response to the situation in Afghanistan, and the effort to support Afghans resettling to the UK, in a statement to Parliament. Further information on the eligibility criteria for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) is set out in the policy statement published on gov.uk, available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement.
This statement confirms that there will not be a formal application process for the ACRS. Instead, eligible people will be prioritised and referred to the UK. Some of those who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme, which included individuals who were considered to be at particular risk – including women’s rights activists, prosecutors and journalists, will be the first to be resettled under the ACRS.
We are working urgently to stand up the remaining elements of the scheme, amid the complex and changing picture.