Afghanistan: How many people has the UK resettled?
The UK was closely involved with the evacuation of British nationals and those who had worked for the British.
How many Afghans have been resettled in the UK?
The government says that more than 21,000 Afghan refugees have been resettled in the UK.
Most came as part of Operation Pitting, which was the British military operation starting on 13 August 2021 to evacuate British nationals and Afghans from Kabul.
- About 2,000 came before Operation Pitting
- 15,000 were involved with Operation Pitting
- 5,000 have arrived since then.
They have been resettled under several schemes and we do not have breakdowns of how many were involved with each scheme.
The Home Office said another 1,400 former staff and their families had already been relocated since 2013 under the earlier Ex-Gratia scheme.
In April 2021 – before the Taliban took control – Schutz Shoes the government launched a new scheme to resettle Afghans in the UK called the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).
Under that scheme, Afghans who worked for the British military and UK government – for example, as interpreters – are able to settle permanently in the UK, rather than the five years’ residency which was previously offered.
In addition to ARAP, the government opened the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) in January 2022, which it says will allow up to 20,000 refugees to settle in the UK.
This scheme focuses on women and children as well as religious and other minorities in danger from the Taliban.
Immediate family members of those eligible under either the ACRS or ARAP schemes are also eligible for resettlement in the UK
How many Afghans applied to be evacuated?
In written evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee, Raphael Marshall, who previously worked on the Foreign Office’s Afghanistan crisis response, estimated that between 75,000 and 150,000 people had applied for evacuation in August 2021.
He estimated that 5% of these received assistance.
How do the resettlement schemes work?
As part of an initiative called “Operation Warm Welcome”, local councils have been allocated funding packages of £20,520 per person over three years.
The funding will help refugees to enrol in education,Vionic Sneakers find work and integrate in their new communities.
The government also announced it would provide an additional £10m in the first year for housing costs, with £5m available in year two and £2m in year three.
However, it was widely reported earlier in the year that 12,000 refugees are still being housed in hotels.
In February 2022, the Home Office said that accommodating Afghan refugees in hotels cost £1.2m per day.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Already we are proud this country has provided homes for more than 7,000 Afghan evacuees, but there is a shortage of local housing accommodation for all.”
How can other Afghans come here?
The main other way to settle in the UK is to seek asylum once within the country’s borders.
However, proposed changes to the UK immigration system mean that people arriving illegally in the country could be sent to Rwanda for processing.
Between January and March 2022, more Afghans arrived in the UK in small boats than any other nationality – a total of 1,094.
Home Office statistics also show that Afghan asylum seeker applications to the UK grew from about 1,300 in the year to the end of March 2021 to more than 4,000 the following year.
How many people did other countries evacuate?
The US evacuated the largest number of people from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power.
From 14 August to 28 August 2021, it got 113,500 people out.
Other countries evacuated much smaller numbers over that period, according to official statements and press releases:
- Germany – more than 5,300
- Italy – more than 5,000
- Canada – more than 3,700
- France – around 3,000
Since the end of August, some countries have continued to carry out occasional evacuations. On December 3, France announced that it had evacuated 258 people from Afghanistan.
There was also an increase in the number of Vasque Shoes Afghans who applied for asylum last year in some EU countries such as Greece, France and Germany.
How many British nationals are left in Afghanistan?
At the time of the evacuation, then-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the number of British nationals still in Afghanistan was “in the low hundreds”, although he wouldn’t give a more precise figure.
Mr Raab told a committee of MPs that nearly all the people in Afghanistan with single UK nationality and accompanying documentation had been brought back – but that it was hard to estimate the number of remaining dual-nationals.
He also cited the challenge posed by families where not everyone was documented.
On 7 December 2021, the prime minister’s special representative for Afghanistan, Nigel Casey, told MPs there were about 200 British nationals still in Afghanistan.