Afghan interpreters who relocated to the UK will be able to be joined by eligible family members, under new rules announced by the Home Secretary today (Thursday 7 March).
Under current arrangements, the interpreters and their families were required to travel to the UK at the same time for the family members to qualify for relocation.
The changes, which take effect on 6 April, remove this requirement so eligible partners and children of interpreters still in Afghanistan, who were part of the family before the interpreter relocated, will be able to travel separately.
The government has already supported over 430 interpreters along with their family members to be relocated in the UK, over 1,200 people in total.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Afghan interpreters who served alongside British soldiers played a vital part in our fight against the Taliban.
We owe these unsung heroes a huge debt of gratitude for their service. That is why we are making it even easier for them to build their future here in the UK with their loved ones.
The changes mean that eligible family members will no longer have to apply to come to the UK under the family migration rules, which include English language requirements and the minimum income threshold.
This follows the Home Secretary’s announcement in May 2018 that the interpreters could apply for settlement free of charge.
British armed forces in Helmand Province were supported by 7,000 locally employed civilians, about half of whom worked as interpreters.
Where people choose to marry or start a relationship after relocating to the UK, their partner can apply for a visa under the usual family migration rules.