How To Apply For Afghan Resettlement Scheme UK

29 Apr 2024 - Category: Blog /
afghan scheme

The Afghan Resettlement Scheme UK has drawn significant attention and raised important questions about the application process. We must understand the scheme, its objectives, and the eligibility criteria as we work through this difficult and important subject.

In this article, we will talk about the particulars of the Afghan Resettlement Scheme and provide a comprehensive guide on how to apply for it.


What Is The Afghan Resettlement Scheme?

The UK began the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) on January 6, 2022. The Afghan Relocation Scheme UK focuses on helping:

  • People in need, especially women, girls, and minority group members who face danger, including those from the LGBT+ community and various ethnic and religious backgrounds.
  • Individuals who have worked with the UK in Afghanistan, advocating for democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and justice.

In its first year, the UK Afghan refugee resettlement scheme aims to resettle about 5,000 people. Over time, this could increase to 20,000.

Moreover, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) has already helped many Afghans and their families who worked with the UK government to find new homes. While ARAP is different from ACRS, it also offers a chance for Afghans who meet certain criteria to move to the UK.

People who moved under ACRS can apply for British citizenship after living in the UK for five years. They will also get permission to live there permanently.

How to Apply for the Afghan Resettlement Scheme

So, how to apply for the Afghan resettlement scheme? The Afghan Resettlement Scheme doesn’t work through direct applications. Instead, it identifies and prioritizes eligible individuals for relocation to the UK. Here is the Afghan refugees resettlement process:

Pathway 1

Initially, Pathway 1 was used to settle vulnerable people at risk who arrived in the UK as part of the evacuation operation.

It also applies to eligible individuals who were told by the UK government that they were selected for evacuation but couldn’t board planes and don’t have permission to stay in a country that the UK considers safe.

Pathway 2

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) can now suggest vulnerable refugees who have left Afghanistan for resettlement in the UK under Pathway 2. The UNHCR’s global responsibilities include providing refugees with international protection and humanitarian aid.

Based on their standard criteria for resettlement, which assess vulnerabilities and protection needs, the UNHCR will make recommendations.

Pathway 3

Pathway 3 was designed to offer a route to resettlement for vulnerable individuals, including women and girls at risk, members of minority groups, and those who assisted the UK and the international community in Afghanistan.

The government is considering eligible, at-risk individuals from three categories for resettlement in the first phase of this pathway: British Council contractors, GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening graduates.

They will consider for resettlement those eligible principals who expressed interest, as well as their eligible family members, subject to security and other checks. This means that the number of spots they have reserved for this initial round of Pathway 3 will exceed the planned 1,500.

Expressions of interest for these three groups under Pathway 3 are no longer being accepted. If you have previously expressed interest, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will contact you to confirm whether you are being recommended for resettlement.

Next Steps

After the first phase of Pathway 3, the government will work with foreign allies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to accept larger groups of at-risk Afghans.


The ACRS will focus on individuals who are still in Afghanistan or the surrounding area. The majority of those relocated will be Afghan nationals, but other nationalities may also be eligible under the program—for example, if they live in mixed-nationality households.

The program will relocate eligible individuals’ spouses or partners and dependent children under the age of 18. In rare cases, additional family members may also relocate.

Security Measures

Providing biometric data and undergoing a security screening, which includes checks against security and other databases, are prerequisites for any offer of resettlement under the ACRS.

Those with a history of serious crimes will not be eligible.


Newcomers must have housing arranged in the UK. The scheme ensures the reservation of housing before arrival, with support available for those arranging their own.

The Bigger Picture

The Afghan Resettlement Scheme is part of the UK’s broader immigration strategy, offering safe, legal entry to those seeking refuge.

Afghan Resettlement Scheme: Eligibility Criteria

The Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) assesses all applications based on four categories of assistance.

If you were directly employed or contracted by a UK Government Department and were dismissed from that role, you are not eligible for relocation to the UK under the ARAP. However, exceptions may be made if the dismissal was due to a minor cause.

The Home Office will process applications for those who meet the ARAP’s relocation criteria. The Afghan Resettlement Scheme eligibility criteria are:

Category 1

This category includes UK Government employees who worked in Afghanistan after October 1, 2001, and are now facing immediate and severe threats to their lives. These individuals are eligible for urgent evacuation.

Category 2

This category includes individuals who, after October 1, 2001, were directly employed by the UK Government in Afghanistan or provided language services to the UK’s Armed Forces. These individuals are automatically eligible for relocation.

Category 3

This category includes individuals who are not automatically eligible for relocation but have played crucial roles. The ARAP team does not consider them to be at immediate and severe risk.

Apart from relocation, these individuals are eligible for all other forms of assistance by the ARAP team considers suitable.

Category 4

This category includes individuals who are eligible for assistance on a case-by-case basis. These individuals:

  • Held a direct position in Afghanistan as an employee of a UK government department, provided goods or services in Afghanistan, or worked in Afghanistan in collaboration with a UK government department after October 1, 2001.
  • Made a significant and positive contribution to the UK’s military or national security goals in Afghanistan during their employment.
  • Are at a higher risk of being targeted for attacks, death, or severe injury due to their employment.
  • Possess knowledge that, if disclosed, could pose a specific threat to the UK government or its objectives.

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