Up to 600 Afghan interpreters who served with British forces in Afghanistan will be offered the chance of a new life in Britain after a government U-turn, it was revealed on May 22.
Prime Minister David Cameron had initially decided to discourage the interpreters from settling in Britain for fear of the message it would send out about the stability of Afghanistan as foreign forces pull out.
Many of the Afghans say their lives are in danger from the Taliban due to their work with British forces in the restive southern Helmand Province.
Although details of the new plan have yet to be released, interpreters who served on the frontline for at least one year will be allowed to move to Britain with close family members on a five-year visa.
They will reportedly be able to choose between cash payments if they stay in Afghanistan or settle in a country nearby, and the right to move to Britain.
Those who wish to remain in Afghanistan will be paid their salary for five years if they train or study, or be paid for 18 months if they do not.
The Downing Street source said Cameron “has been very clear that we should not turn our backs on those who have trod the same path as our soldiers in Helmand, consistently putting their lives at risk to help our troops achieve their mission.”