It’s been four months since the Prime Minister promised to “move Heaven and earth” to bring Afghan refugees to safety. But the safe and legal asylum route he announced, the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, is still not open.
I asked Foreign Ministers to urge their Cabinet colleagues to get the route open as soon as possible – while they continue say asylum will be available “in due course”, Sheffield residents’ families remain in danger either in Afghanistan or in neighbouring countries. You can watch my question below, or read it here.
I’ve also called on Ministers to take referrals to the resettlement scheme from MPs – currently, Government advice is simply to ‘apply for visas’. Even for those vulnerable Afghans who have spouses or other family in the UK, visas are very expensive at over £1500 per application, and there are prohibitive sponsoring salary requirements which could lead to many failed applications. I wrote to Government ministers about this, which you can see more about here.
I’ve also launched a Christmas Appeal with Save the Children for Afghan children who face starvation as the tragedy in their country continues to unfold. You can read more and donate here.