On December 29, 2020, the Secretary of Defense and the Minister of the Interior announced the Afghan policy of resettlement and assistance (PARA). This is a new program that will provide resettlement or other assistance to current and former local staff in Afghanistan to reflect the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
The PARA program launched on April 1, 2021 and will continue to remain open and operate indefinitely.
Under the PARA plan, any current or former local employee directly employed by HMG assessed as presenting a serious risk of threat to life will be eligible to apply PARA regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of service.
If a current or former staff member thinks they are now qualified or are at serious risk, they should apply using the online application form. You will be able to apply from any country (including Afghanistan).
The following summarizes the eligibility criteria for the PARA scheme and the terms of the offers themselves. The plan does not recognize any obligation, nor does it imply a commitment, to assist locally employed personnel in other countries or theaters of operations, past, present or future.
If you have any other questions specifically about the PARA plan, please contact us.
Eligibility under the PARA scheme:
All current and former ERP employed directly by HMG are eligible for aid under the PARA. Within these eligibility criteria, there are four categories of aid:
|Category 1||High risk / imminent threat||Urgent move|
|Category 2||Eligible for relocation by default||Routine moving|
|Category 3||Not eligible for move||Other support offered|
|Category 4||Special cases||Case by case|
The cohort eligible for urgent relocation includes those assessed as being at high risk and imminent threat to life.
The cohort eligible for default relocation includes people employed by HMG in meaningful and exposed enabling roles. Or those who have been hired to provide language services in support of the British Armed Forces.
The significant enabling roles exposed are roles that made a significant difference in the execution of the British mission in Afghanistan, without which operations would have been adversely affected, and which were exposed ERP to public recognition in the exercise of their role, which now exposes them to risks due to the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
Examples of such roles are patrol interpreters, cultural advisers, some embassy corporate departments, and development, political, and counterterrorism jobs, among others. This list is not exhaustive and not all who have held such positions are necessarily eligible by default.
ERP Redundancies are excluded from relocation by default, except in exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis, without prejudice to their right to other forms of assistance under the scheme.
The cohort eligible for further support is made up of those who are neither considered to be at high and imminent risk of threat to life, nor eligible by default due to their occupying meaningful and exposed enabling roles.
This cohort is eligible for all other supports, except resettlement, deemed appropriate by the PARA team.
The cohort eligible for case-by-case assistance is one that has held significant enabling roles alongside HMG, in extraordinary and unconventional contexts, and for which the manager HMG the unit builds a credible case for consideration under the program (in some cases this includes people employed through contractors to support HMG defense results).
When resettlement is offered to category four people, circumstances dictate whether it is an emergency or a routine, as assessed by the PARA team.
The Relocation Offer as part of the PARA scheme
The Relocation Offer creates the possibility for old and current ERP have the default option to relocate to the UK if they meet the above eligibility criteria. It is offered at ERP whom the British government considers to have endangered itself the most and to have contributed the most to the British mission in Afghanistan. The resettlement offer is based on the recognition of the service and an assessment of the current and probable future risks for ERP because of the nature of their work for the UK government in the development of the situation in Afghanistan.
ERP who meet the relocation eligibility criteria under the PARA will be able to request indefinite leave to enter the UK. ERP already in the UK with temporary status under PARA can request the conversion of their status into an indefinite residence permit free of charge.
Eligible ERP may bring certain family members with them to the UK. Eligibility criteria for family members and dependents seeking to support those moving as part of the PARA can be found in the immigration rules:
Immigration rules part 7: other categories on gov.uk.
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