News

Afghan Interpreters Win The Right To Bring Their Families To Britain

The decision could affect some 30 interpreters – and campaigners say the policy change could save lives.

Library Image of Afghan interpreters with British soldiers (Picture: MOD).

Around 30 Afghan translators who helped the British Army fight the Taliban have won the right to bring their families to Britain.

It's estimated that around 3,000 local interpreters risked their lives to help British soldiers.

Working closely on the ground with British service personnel, they also became cultural advisers and friends to many who served alongside them.

After the withdrawal of the British, some translators relocated to the UK but under normal immigration rules.

It meant their families could not join them because the rules stipulated they had to travel at the same time as their partners - while demanding they spoke English and had some income.

Now those rules have been waived and campaigners say the policy change could save lives.

Afghan-Interpreters

Colonel (Retired) Simon Diggins, the former Defence Attache to Kabul says he's "very pleased".

"It's a step in the right direction, in terms of looking after the families of those interpreters already in this country and giving them the right to join them.

"The previous policy effectively excluded them, if they didn't bring their families with them initially.

"That didn't really reflect the nature of society and Afghan life."

In a statement, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

"We owe these unsung heroes a huge debt of gratitude for their service. That is why we are making it even easier for them to build their future here in the UK with their loved ones."

The changes are expected to come into place on April 6.