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Explains who was eligible to be considered for resettlement to the UK in the first year of Pathway 3 of this scheme, which is closed to new Expressions of Interest.
The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) provides a safe and legal way for some of the most vulnerable and at-risk people from Afghanistan to come to the United Kingdom and rebuild their lives. The government has committed to welcoming up to 20,000 people who are at risk through the ACRS.
There is no application process for the ACRS. Instead, eligible people will be prioritised and referred for resettlement to the UK under 1 of 3 pathways outlined on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme GOV.UK page.
Pathway 1 is for people evacuated or called forward under Operation PITTING, the UK military evacuation from Afghanistan. Pathway 2 is for UNHCR (The United Nations Refugee Agency) referred refugees who had fled Afghanistan.
This guidance refers to the first year of Pathway 3 of the ACRS. Under this pathway, the government is offering places to eligible at-risk individuals from these groups in Afghanistan or the region:
People in these groups directly supported the UK and international community’s efforts in Afghanistan.
If you are not a British Council contractor, GardaWorld contractor or Chevening alumnus, you were not eligible for Pathway 3 in its first year. You can read the general guidance on support for people in Afghanistan.
After the first year of Pathway 3, the government will work with international partners and non-government organisations to welcome other groups of Afghans who are at risk. Further information will be shared as soon as it is available.
To be eligible for consideration under the first year of Pathway 3 of the ACRS, you needed to meet one of these definitions:
For the purposes of Pathway 3 of the ACRS, a British Council contractor is someone contracted directly to the British Council in Afghanistan to carry out duties in a way similar to an employee. This includes in particular individuals who were contracted to take on regular and public-facing roles, providing services or benefits to beneficiaries on behalf of the British Council, and who were therefore closely associated with delivering the UK government’s mission in Afghanistan. A British Council contractor does not include those contracted to provide professional services such as accounting, marketing, maintenance of office equipment, directly or via a third party, nor does it include those representing the British Council as a commercial agent, for example for the recruitment of examination candidates.
For the purposes of Pathway 3 of the ACRS a GardaWorld contractor is someone employed by GardaWorld on host country terms and conditions, for a period of 3 months or more after 1 July 2020, exclusively to support the British Embassy Kabul contract. GardaWorld contractor includes someone whose contract was terminated during or after March 2021 due to the reduction in the requirement for guarding the British Embassy in Kabul, and someone who, while engaged as part of the GardaWorld Regional Management Team, provided dedicated and material support to the British Embassy Kabul contract.
For the purposes of Pathway 3 of the ACRS an Afghanistan Chevening Alumnus is someone awarded an Afghanistan Chevening Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom, and who completed their course of study under the terms of their Scholarship.
Expressions of Interest for these 3 groups are now closed.
The 8-week window to submit Expressions of Interest (EOIs) closed at midnight on 15 August 2022.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is considering Expressions of Interest in the order that we received them. We are prioritising expressions of interest depending on:
There are up to 1,500 places available in the first year under Pathway 3. This number includes principal applicants and their eligible dependent family members.
We will refer to the information you provided in your completed form when considering your expression of interest. We will also consider any relevant information provided by the British Council or GardaWorld relating to employment and role(s).
We will process any data provided in line with the FCDO Privacy Notice for this scheme. We may need to share your data with third parties including the British Council, GardaWorld, Home Office, and relevant academic institutions, to verify it.
If you have submitted an Expression of Interest form, the FCDO may contact you to provide further information.
The FCDO will contact you to confirm whether you are being referred to the Home Office for resettlement.
Until the necessary security checks have been completed, a referral is not confirmation of a place on the ACRS.
If you are referred for resettlement under Pathway 3 of the ACRS, you will be able to bring certain family members with you to the UK. They are:
In exceptional circumstances, we may consider some additional family members for resettlement. Find out more about additional family members under Pathway 3 of the ACRS.
There are also standard immigration routes available for family reunion when you are in the UK. Find out more on family reunion visas.
People applying will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which includes paying relevant fees and charges, and providing biometrics.
Before you are offered a place on the ACRS, you and any eligible family members will need to be screened. This includes checks against security and other databases, as well as medical checks. Any offer on the ACRS is subject to these checks being successfully completed.
Entry clearance for the UK will only be granted after your biometrics, normally your facial image and fingerprints, have been enrolled at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Relocating to the UK may take some time, and will depend on your ability to travel to a third country to provide biometrics.
If you are outside Afghanistan and able to get to a Visa Application Centre in a neighbouring country, you will be able to provide biometrics in this way.
There are no Visa Application Centres in Afghanistan. If you are still in Afghanistan, the UK government is working with international partners, including non-governmental organisations and other countries to secure safe routes out of Afghanistan.
If you pass the necessary checks, you will receive confirmation of a place on the ACRS from the Home Office. At this stage you will receive more information about next steps, including travel arrangements.
If you are referred for resettlement under the ACRS and are offered a place on the Scheme, you will:
You will also receive support as you start your new life in the UK, including accommodation when you arrive. This support will help you to adapt, learn English, find work, and become self-sufficient and integrate into your local communities.
The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. However, our Immigration Rules do not provide for someone to apply to come to the UK to seek asylum, temporary refuge, or humanitarian protection. Whilst we acknowledge the situation in Afghanistan is complex, the UK is not required to consider asylum or protection claims from the very large numbers of people overseas who might like to come to the UK to resettle. People who need international protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach – that is the fastest route to safety.
There are additional safe and legal routes for people to come to the UK, for example should they wish to join family members here, or for work or study. These people would need to meet the relevant Immigration Rule requirements that they were applying under. This would enable them to qualify for a visa, meet the requirements to provide biometrics, and pay the relevant fee (or obtain the necessary waiver). Find out more about the criteria and how to apply to come to the UK.
Added a link to new guidance on additional family members under Pathway 3 of the ACRS
Expressions of interest have now closed for the first year of Pathway 3 of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.
New links added: you can now submit an expression of interest form, or contact us with any questions.
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