Afghan interpreters who served with Britons offered UK visas

15 Jun 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Afghan interpreters who served alongside British troops in Afghanistan will be given the right to gain a UK visa and settle in Briton, according to the Defence Secretary.

The changes to the current system will allow around 200 new UK visas to be issued for interpreters who provided “unflinching courage” when carrying out their duties, Gavin Williamson confirmed.

This new law would also include family members, who could legally relocate to Britain now that the changes have been put in place.

The news follows calls from critics for the government to take better care of its former staff, such as interpreters, who many stated had been “abandoned” once conflict was over.

Last month, in fact, MPs criticised the ‘Intimidation Scheme’, which was set up to help civilians at risk from the Taliban after working with Britain during the presence in Afghanistan.

According to a report by the Defence Committee, the scheme appeared to go “considerable lengths” to prevent the relocation of interpreters and similar aids to Britain, even if they had been intimidated or threatened.

In response to these concerns, and announcing the changes in the law, Mr Williamson added that it is hoped the scheme will be opened to even more former aids to Britain in the future to ensure they receive the respect they deserve as “unsung heroes”.

"I cannot be clearer in expressing our nation's eternal appreciation to these brave individuals who regularly risked life and limb to help defeat our enemies and protect us from terrorists,” he added. “But we owe them more than just warm words."