Nikolaus Grubeck and Alex Littlewood act for successful Claimants in Afghan interpreter national security challenge

17 Mar 2023

Nikolaus Grubeck and Alex Littlewood acted for an Afghan national (‘AZ’) who worked as a patrol interpreter alongside British forces in Helmand province, in successfully challenging the Home Office’s refusal to allow him and his family to relocate to the UK.

AZ applied to relocate to the UK under the Government’s designated Scheme, on the basis that he had served on frontline duties in Helmand. The Scheme (like the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy which has now replaced it) aims to recognise the service provided to the British by locally employed staff in Afghanistan, and to provide them with appropriate support in light of the danger they face from the Taliban.

AZ was deemed eligible for relocation, but his and his family’s applications for visas were subsequently refused by the Home Office under the Immigration Rules, on alleged national security grounds. AZ challenged the Home Office’s decisions by way of judicial review in 2021, leading to those decisions being withdrawn. Fresh refusal decisions were issued, and following a further successful judicial review challenge were again withdrawn. The Home Office has now decided to issue visas to AZ and his family, allowing them to escape the dangerous situation they faced in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Nikolaus and Alex were instructed by Erin Alcock of Leigh Day.