Thousands of Afghans are allowed to stay permanently in UK thanks to Operation ‘Warm Welcome’

Thousands of Afghans who worked for the UK government get permanent residence status. British media write that. Interpreters, security personnel and others at risk in Afghanistan are awarded that status.

Of the more than 15,000 Afghans who have evacuated the British from Kabul since August 13, at least 8000 would like to claim status with their families. Those who were already in the UK before can convert their temporary residence status into a permanent one free of charge.

Warm Welcome

The decision is a major change from the current policy: to date, Afghans were able to obtain only a temporary residence permit of up to five years. Operation Warm Welcome, as the new policy is called, allows them to look for a job without restrictions.

In addition, some EUR 14 million will be made available to make education more accessible, as well as nearly 6 million for housing and 3.5 million for care.

โ€œWe owe the people who have worked with the armed forces in Afghanistan,โ€ British Prime Minister Johnson said, โ€œand I am determined to provide these people and their families the help they need to build their lives in the UK.โ€

Tens of thousands of Afghans in the US

Thousands of Afghans who want permanent residence status have arrived in the United States since the evacuations in mid-August. President Biden said earlier that an estimated 50,000 to 65,000 Afghans would be evacuated by US troops by August 31. Among them are US citizens and people with permanent residence status, but also a large group of Afghans who still have to apply for asylum.

The

latter group may have temporary residence status on humanitarian grounds. It is not clear how many Afghans are allowed to stay in the US on those grounds.

Netherlands Scheme already expanded

In the Netherlands, the demissionary government has committed to a special procedure for the evacuated Afghans. They are accommodated in one of the emergency shelters of the COA, the Central Body for Asylum Seekers. Asylum may be applied for after a minimum of ten days of quarantine. A team of experts will determine who qualifies and who doesnt.

Previously, under pressure from the House of Representatives, the Cabinet decided to expand the asylum policy for Afghans. The group of Afghans who worked for the Netherlands and is allowed to stay here has expanded from interpreters alone to other professions, such as guards, cooks and drivers. They too are at risk as the Taliban has come to power in Afghanistan, is the thought.

Yesterday, the first 21 Afghan evacuees arrived at the emergency shelter in the Heumensoord nature reserve near Nijmegen. The others are Zoutkamp Barracks in Groningen, the Walaardt Sacrรฉ Camp in Zeist and De Harskamp barracks in Ede.