Help for Afghan people in the UK

Information and support for people from Afghanistan settling into life in the UK.

The British Red Cross supports people from Afghanistan who are coming to the UK.

The information on this page will help you and your family get the support you need as you settle into life here.

For any more information about British Red Cross or for emotional support, please call the British Red Cross support line on: 

0808 196 3651.

If you need a support line interpreter, call and say 'can I speak to an interpreter?'.


Are you newly arrived from Afghanistan?

What I need to know about life in the UK

Our short videos, written guides and presentations will provide you with useful information including:

  • basic facts about life in the UK
  • accessing services online and staying safe
  • parenting children in the UK
  • getting help from different services in the UK
  • women's health and the right to protection

 

You can watch all of the videos and see the written guides in Dari and in Pashto.

You can see more videos about life in the UK here.

Support for people newly arrived from Afghanistan

Help from the Home Office and government

If you were evacuated from Afghanistan and relocated to the UK through ARAP or ACRS, you can contact your Home Office hotel liaison officer, accommodation provider or local authority.


Support from your local Member of Parliament (MP)

You may also wish to contact your local Member of Parliament to ask for their support.

Help for refugees poster image

Free materials and resources

British Red Cross workshop materials and resources developed by the Home Office and Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities are available through this knowledge hub. Search for ‘welcome workshop resources’.

British Red Cross information sessions

The British Red Cross is delivering group-based information sessions within Afghan bridging hotels. We provide information about:

  • life in the UK: culture, education, housing and social services
  • digital safety and protection: staying safe online, fraud awareness, reporting hate crimes and antisocial behaviour
  • women's health: a women's only session about women's healthcare and maternity in the UK.

To find out more or request one at a specific hotel contact: NadinePa@redcross.org.uk.

Looking for family in Afghanistan?

بدنبال خانواده در افغانستان هستید؟ (Dari)

آیا په افغانستان کې د کورنۍ په لټه کې یاست؟ (Pashto)

The Red Cross’ Family Tracing service might be able to help.

  • If you know someone in the affected areas, please try to contact them in the usual way, such as by phone, social media or email.
  • If you cannot contact them in this way, please get in touch with your local Family Tracing office who may be able to help.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan and the Afghan Red Crescent Society are currently prioritising tracing requests linked to the situation from August 2021.

Please be aware that tracing is now suspended for new cases related to loss of contact before August 2021.

Support for individuals in Afghanistan

British nationals in Afghanistan should register their presence with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, or contact: +441908 516666 / 01908 516666.

British nationals in Afghanistan who would like to apply for UK family visas can find guidance here.


Afghan Relocations & Assistance Policy

The ARAP scheme is for people who worked for or with the UK government or armed forces in Afghanistan. Over 7,000 individuals have already been relocated to the UK through ARAP.

There has been a huge number of applications to the scheme, which means responses can be slow. However, the online application and contact enquiry forms are still open and can be found here.

Some solicitors in the UK are trying to assist eligible Afghan individuals to submit these applications.

You can also get advice from the Ministry of Defence by emailing: localstaff-afghanistan@mod.gov.uk.


Eligibility criteria

On the 14 December, the Home Office narrowed the eligibility criteria for the ARAP scheme.

People who are eligible for ARAP can still bring their spouses, partners and dependent children under the age of 18 with them to the UK. Other family members will only be relocated in exceptional circumstances.

People who qualify for ARAP will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)

The ACRS was formally opened on 6 January 2022.

The British government will resettle more than 5,000 people in the first year and up to 20,000 over the coming years. This is in addition to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

There is no application process for the ACRS. Prioritisation and referral for resettlement will be via one of the following pathways:

1People who are vulnerable and at-risk who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme. Also those who were called forward for evacuation by the UK government but were not able to board flights.

2. From Spring 2022, the UNHCR will refer refugees who have fled Afghanistan and are in need of resettlement.

3. In the first year, the government will offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. 

After the first year, the government will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome wider groups of Afghans at risk including women and girls and members of minority groups.

All people who qualify for ACRS,will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Only those on referral pathway 2 will be granted refugee status.

Bringing family members to the UK

There are options for Afghan people trying to bring family members to the UK. Download our factsheets below.


Please note: refugee family reunion travel assistance service from Afghanistan is now suspended indefinitely.

ARAP and ACRS

Spouses, partners and dependent children under the age of 18 will also be eligible for the scheme. Other family members will only be relocated in exceptional circumstances.


Refugees and those with humanitarian protection

Refugees already in the UK and people who will accepted onto the ACRS in future through a UNHCR referral (pathway 2) will be granted refugee status. They will be eligible to apply for a family reunion visa.

Details of how the family reunion application process for ACRS individuals on referral pathways 1 and 3 have not been confirmed. We will provide any more information as soon as we have it.


Help from the British Red Cross

If you are in the UK with refugee status or humanitarian protection and want to apply to bring your wife, husband, partner or children to the UK, we may be able to support you. ·

You can also contact our family reunion enquiries service via email: fradvice@redcross.org.uk.

Appointments are offered by phone using interpreters when needed.

Your wellbeing

It is common to feel a lot of different emotions after leaving your homeland.

If you, or your family, were affected by the Kabul bombings on 26 August, emotional and practical support is available.


Victim Support Line

Call the free Victim Support Line (available 24/7) on 0808 168 9111. You can find more information here: http://victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk


Call our support line

You can also call the British Red Cross support line, which provides help in more than 200 languages.

It helps people who are lonely, worried and finding it hard to get the help they need in the UK.

Call us on 0808 196 3651 and you can ask for an interpreter if you need one.


British Red Cross wellbeing pack

There are two packs available in Pashto: one for adults and one for young people aged 5-14.

Order a wellbeing pack in Pashto


Wellbeing playing card in Dari

These graphics offer wellbeing advice in Dari.

Download wellbeing playing card in Dari


Help if you feel lonely

Help with your health

Everyone in the UK is entitled to get medical help from a GP (family doctor) and vaccines against Covid-19.

The videos below explain how you can register with a doctor and get the vaccines.

نګه خپل ځان له عمومي معالج (GP) سره ثبت او د کوويډـ19 واکسين بوک کړو (Pashto)

If you are worried about your health right now call the National Health Service on 111