Afghanistan: Refugee
granted asylum after year

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (BBC): A man who fled Afghanistan after being shot at by the Taliban is hoping to be reunited with his family soon, after his 14-month-long wait to be granted asylum in the UK has come to an end. Mohammed, whose name has been changed, was forced to leave his country in 2021 without his wife and children when his life was threatened.
Last month he told the BBC he feared the Home Office’s delay in deciding his claim was putting his family in danger. Now he is ready to start a new life. Mohammed decided to flee to the UK last spring after his work campaigning for women’s rights angered the Taliban and he was shot at while driving to work. His family could not join him in the UK unless he had refugee status.
The government’s website states asylum seekers usually get a decision within six months. But last month Mohammed – who lives in Hampshire – was still waiting for a formal interview with the Home Office to be set up and for a decision to be made. Now he is planning to bring his family to the UK as he was granted asylum earlier this month, only a week after his interview with the Home Office.
This means he and his family will be able to live in the UK for the next five years before deciding whether to apply for British citizenship. “I am so happy,” he said, adding: “My priority is now my wife and kids and bring them here.” Mohammed will now apply for a visa for his family.
He explained it could take months before a visa is granted and it could be challenging to ensure his family can leave Afghanistan safely. “But I am hopeful it will get better now,” he said. Being granted refugee status also means Mohammed can work and would no longer have to live off a government grant of £40.85 a week.
“I can feel hope of starting a new life again,” he said. Chris, a volunteer who works in support of asylum seekers, has been helping Mohammed with his claim. He said claimants usually wait between three to six months before a final decision is made following the formal interview with the Home Office. He said Mohammed’s case was instead dealt with within a week. “I’ve almost never heard of it happening that quickly,” Chris added. “It would be good to be like that for everyone.” The Home Office said the government was committed to ensuring asylum claims were considered without unnecessary delay.

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