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17 December 2021

New Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy

A new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules was presented to Parliament on 14 December 2021 regarding the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
New Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy

Update: Pathway 3

Guidance for an alternative pathway into the UK, named pathway 3 was published in June 2022. The pathway makes provisions for the following people:

British Council contractors: someone contracted directly to the British Council in Afghanistan to carry out duties in a way similar to an employee. 

GardaWorld contractors: someone employed by GardaWorld, on host country terms, for a period of three months or more after 1 July 2020. The employment must have been exclusively to support the British Embassy Kabul contract. 

Chevening Alumni: someone awarded an Afghanistan Chevening Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom, and who completed their course under the terms of their Scholarship.

If you are not a British Council contractor, GardaWorld contractor or Chevening alumnus, you will not be eligible for Pathway 3. You can click here for more information about each of the above categories. 

There is no formal application process for the scheme; if you think you are eligible, you just need to submit what’s called an Expression Of Interest Form. The deadline to do so is Monday 15 August 2022.

Background: What is the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy?

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) is a scheme that offers relocation or other assistance to current and former Locally Employed Staff in Afghanistan. This was implemented and launched on 1 April 2021 in response to the changing and unstable situation in Afghanistan.

ARAP is different to the Afghan Resettlement Scheme announced by the UK government in August.

What are the Immigration Rules, and what changes have been made?

The Immigration Rules are used to regulate people’s entry into, and stay in, the United Kingdom. 

The new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules announced on 14 December 2021 has made changes to the ARAP guidance. 

In summary, these changes to the Immigration Rules are being made:

  1. to clarify the eligibility criteria for the ARAP; 
  2. to clarify that ARAP dependants can be refused where the main applicant is refused; and 
  3. to remove the requirement for dependants to be Afghan nationals.

1. Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria have been clarified in the new Immigration Rules, which limit eligibility to those who furthered the UK’s military and national security objectives.

The full guidance on eligibility for the ARAP scheme can be found on the website.  

The eligibility criteria for this scheme are very complicated. It is therefore recommended that you seek legal advice before applying.

2. Dependants’ eligibility

ARAP dependants are classified as spouses, partners and children under the age of 18. There is now more clarity in the immigration rules that dependants are only eligible if the main applicant qualifies for the scheme. 

Dependants will now be refused alongside the main applicant, to be in line with other immigration routes which do the same.

3. Nationality of dependants

The requirement for dependants to be Afghan nationals has been removed. This means that families can apply and relocate together if the spouse, partner or child is a different nationality to the main applicant. The main applicant must be an Afghan national.


These changes are now in effect and apply to all applications decided on or after 16:00 on 14 December 2021.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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