Afghan interpreters who served alongside troops from Britain as they fought in Afghanistan should be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, according to MPs.
More than 150 Afghan interpreters who served on the front line in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan were offered a five-year UK visa in 2012, but these are set to expire in 2019.
Writing to Home Secretary, the interpreters stated that they felt let down by the British government, who have suggested via the Home Office that they must pay £2,389 if they’re to receive indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Criticising the Home Office, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson argues that all involved should have their fees waived in recognition of their work in Afghanistan, particularly in terms of their support for Britain’s armed forces.
Commenting on the current stance of the Home Office, Williamson stated that it was clear the interpreters should be allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely.
“We want to do everything we can do to make sure they are able to do that, and we have been in touch with the Home Office making that position clear, and I am quite confident the Home Office will be supporting us and making sure that happens as quickly as possible,” he said.
In response to the latter, Home Office sources have stated that the option of funding the fees for those involved is being considered, adding that an official statement will be provided in the near future.