Help for Heroes is calling on the UK Government to resettle all locally employed Afghan civilians who served alongside the UK Armed Forces and are eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) by the end of 2024.

It is estimated there are over 2,000 Afghans, including dependants, still eligible for resettlement in the UK under this scheme who have not yet arrived. These veterans and family members are at risk of harm from the Taliban due to their service in the UK Armed Forces.

Through our own Project Solidarity, we have supported over 200 Afghan civilians and their families to rebuild their lives after resettling in the UK.

Why they should be resettled

In 2021, the Government made a covenant with Afghan citizens, who had served our nation’s interests by working with our Armed Forces and diplomatic services, that they would be resettled with their family members in the UK. 

Under these schemes, an eligible Afghan citizen could include a partner, dependent children, and additional family members in their application, with the expectation that, within a reasonable timeframe, those family members would be granted clearance to enter the UK and assisted in travelling via a safe route to do so.

Biometric residence card UK up close
Biometric residence card - Shutterstock

Over two years have passed since that promise was made and yet virtually no family members have been able to make this journey to safety. Many who were employed by the British Army are still awaiting resettlement from hotels in Pakistan.

Figures from November 2023 suggest there were over 2000 Afghans (including dependants) still eligible for relocation under the ARAP scheme, who have not arrived in the UK.

We are calling on the Government to increase resources to the ARAP to clear blockages of applications for this scheme. This will allow vulnerable veterans and families currently living in Afghanistan or who have fled to neighbouring countries to relocate to the UK.

What we’re doing

  • In August 2023, Help for Heroes joined forces with Refuge Council to pen an open letter, published in The Daily Mail, to the British Government, highlighting the unfulfilled promises made to Afghans, including our troops’ translators and other locally employed civilians made two years prior. These promises must be fulfilled.
  • We regularly attend stakeholder meetings with the Home Office to scrutinise the performance of the ARAP programme, most notably the plan to close bridging hotels, where most resettled Afghan were living, and move them into permanent accommodation.

Get involved in this campaign

We have always recognised the efforts of civilians embedded in the Armed Forces, who served under UK command. However, for many safe relocation from Afghanistan is merely the first step in their journeys. Many arrive in the UK facing the same injuries and traumas that the veterans we support face and need ongoing support to rebuild their lives in the UK.

You can help us to continue our work supporting the Afghans who served alongside us, by donating to our Project Solidarity.

If you want more information on this campaign, please contact our Senior Public Affairs and Policy Manager Ted Arnold at