Afghan Refugees and Asylum Arrivals

Updated 23/8/21

If you are looking for ways to support Afghans at this crisis time:

Information and Influence

Write to your MP and ask them what they can do to make sure Afghans have safe routes to places of refuge, including into the UK.

Govt website 23/8/21: Support for British and non-British nationals in Afghanistan – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Govt Fact sheet d/l 24/8/21 FACTSHEET: Resettlement routes for Afghan nationals – Home Office in the media (blog.gov.uk)

Govt Fact Sheet d/l 24/8/21 FACTSHEET: UK support to resettle Afghan nationals – ARAP scheme – Home Office in the media (blog.gov.uk)

The Welsh Refugee Council has the following information about UNHCR (d/l 24/8/21 under the title ‘Should I contact UNHCR for help?
UNHCR is not involved in evacuations from Kabul. UNHCR is currently only able to resettle refugees from neighbouring countries. Their priority in Afghanistan right now is emergency assistance and aid delivery.
If you are an Afghan in Iran, please contact UNHCR https://help.unhcr.org/iran/arrival/
If you are an Afghan in Pakistan, please contact UNHCR at https://help.unhcr.org/pakistan/

25/8/21 Briefing from London Councils

1/9/21 Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation / Afghanistan Statement | MEWSo See also Women for Refugee Women Women for Refugee Women.

Afghan asylum seekers and refugees – the importances of understanding how different groups of Afghans have different support and options,
Notes from REAP 31/8/21 Update/Notes from discussions: General overview – not for advice work or quoting.

4 groups seem to be emerging among those reaching the UK, whom voluntary organisations or others may aim to support and might need to plan slightly different responses for each group as each group has different rights and entitlements – we will post better information as we get it.


a) ARAP (interpreters/families) will have 5 years Leave to Remain, can work, will get support package while getting settled. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy-information-and-guidance


b) Settlement Scheme (similar to the previous Syrian Resettlement Scheme) will settle people who are currently in refugee camps in countries around Afghanistan, but details tbc as some people already here may be registered with this scheme. 5k per year.

c) Other evacuees from Afghanistan flown into the UK, immigration status and entitlement being decided now.

d) Those who will make their own way to the UK, including overland, crossing the Channel etc. We assume they will follow normal asylum routes to claim asylum and be accommodated if destitute by Home Office/NASS providers while waiting for a decision on their asylum claim; but if the new Immigration Bill is passed without changes, may find they are facing a new set of challenges.

Acting Locally

If you need goods or want to donate items (clothes, bedding, children’s items etc.), we regret but REAP cannot handle donations of goods but in West London the following organisations have systems set up to collect, store and distribute goods. Please contact them first.

Salvation Army in individual boroughs (‘Shop’ in UB3, Coldharbour Lane)
Phones4Them (recycle good quality used phones and chargers)
Care4Calais (national)
West London Welcome
Bell Farm (UB7) RING or EMAIL first
Hillsong Church, London
Food banks – food / toiletries. Hillingdon Food Bank

We will be adding to this page in coming days and weeks.