Help for people from Afghanistan in the UK
Support for people from Afghanistan, settling into life in the UK. Find information on Afghanistan resettlement and relocation schemes.
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. We can also provide information on Afghanistan resettlement schemes like ARAP and ACRS.
For any more information about the British Red Cross or for emotional support, please call the British Red Cross support line on:
0808 196 3651 (10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm Wednesday).
If you need a support line interpreter, call and say 'can I speak to an interpreter?'.
Are you newly arrived from Afghanistan?
I want to:
What you 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
Help 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 the ARAP or ACRS scheme, 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 from the Afghanistan Embassy
- You can contact the Afghanistan Embassy in London on +4420 7584 4443 / 020 7584 4443.
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 for refugees from Afghanistan, 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: KhadijaHormatAllah@redcross.org.uk.
Looking for family in Afghanistan?
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 people 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 and Assistance Policy
The ARAP (Aghan Relocations and Assistance Policy) scheme is for people who worked for or with the UK government or armed forces in Afghanistan. Over 7,000 people from Afghanistan have already been relocated to the UK through the ARAP scheme.
There has been a huge number of applications to the Afghanistan resettlement 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 14 December, the Home Office narrowed the eligibility criteria for the ARAP scheme.
People who are eligible for ARAP can still bring their family (spouses, partners, and dependent children under the age of 18) with them from Afghanistan 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 (Afghan Citizen's Resettlement Scheme) was formally opened on 6 January 2022.
The British government will resettle more than 5,000 people from Afghanistan 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:
1. People 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. Referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of vulnerable refugees who have fled Afghanistan. UNHCR will refer individuals in accordance with their standard resettlement submission criteria, which are based on an assessment of protection needs and vulnerabilities.
3. In the first year, the government will offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Expressions of interest for these 3 groups under Pathway 3 have closed.
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.
How can I bring my family to the UK from Afghanistan?
There are options for people from Afghanistan trying to bring family members to the UK. Download our factsheets below.
- Bringing family to the UK (English)
- Bringing family to the UK (Dari)
- Bringing family to the UK (Pashto)
- Leave outside the rules (LOTR) information
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 ARCS and ARAP scheme. Other family members will only be relocated in exceptional circumstances.
Afghan refugees and those with humanitarian protection
Afghan refugees already in the UK and people who will accepted onto the ACRS in the 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 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, the Red Cross may be able to help with family reunion.
You can also contact our family reunion enquiries service via email: email@example.com.
Appointments are offered by phone using interpreters when needed.
Download information on support for Afghan people in the UK
You can also download information on how you can get support in English, Dari or Pashto:
Help with your health
Everyone in the UK, including people from Afghanistan, 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