CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HOME AFFAIRS – AFGHAN INTERPRETERS (2) [35475] - 17 July 2021

HOME AFFAIRS – AFGHAN INTERPRETERS (2) [35475] - 17 July 2021

Dr Julian Lewis:  To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason the wives of some Afghan former (a) interpreters and (b) other locally employed civilians who assisted British armed forces and have been granted permission to settle in the UK, are not being allowed to accompany their husbands, and if she will urgently make representations to resolve this issue.  [35475]

[Due for Answer on 22 July.]

ANSWER

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration and Future Borders (Kevin Foster): The UK owes a huge debt of gratitude to all locally employed staff (LES) who have supported our troops and embassy in Afghanistan, and we are significantly accelerating the pace of their relocation, with their family members, to the UK ahead of our military withdrawal.

There is a small number of family members who applied to relocate under the ex gratia scheme, but who do not meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules because they were not married or living together in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date on which the LES relocated to the UK.

We have recently published updated guidance to enable us to consider such cases outside the Rules and will review these cases in line with this guidance.