50 Afghan Interpreters Still Waiting For British Visas 10 Months After Announcement

Last year, it was announced 200 British visas would be made available to interpreters and their families.


Kabul skyline from an RAF helicopter during Operation Toral (Picture: MOD).

Fifty Afghan interpreters who served alongside British forces are still waiting to move to the UK - ten months after they were promised.

Last June, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson made an announcement that meant around 200 British visas would be made available to Afghan interpreters and their families.

He praised the interpreters' "unflinching courage" at carrying out duties "fraught with great difficulty and danger".

But after almost a year, 50 translators are still yet to receive their visas with only one interpreter being told they can come to the UK under the new rules.

Inside Virtus is building on Osprey body armour used in Afghanistan.
Afghan interpreters helped translate for British soldiers during the war in the country.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) told Forces News: “Our specialist team is working hard to identify which Afghan interpreters are eligible for relocation under the expanded scheme.

"This requires close collaboration with other Government departments, the Afghan Government and the International Organisation for Migration, and therefore takes time.

"We recognise the vital role interpreters and local staff played in operations in Afghanistan, and we encourage anyone who experiences intimidation because of their employment by the UK to contact our Intimidation Investigation Unit."

Under the previous scheme, 1,150 Afghans were rehomed in the UK which was slammed by MPs as an "utter failure".