The Law Society has urged the Home Office to remove a biometric requirement for Afghan nationals seeking to escape Taliban rule.
Chancery Lane said a growing number of solicitors are being contacted about people who have no viable or safe way to apply for or exercise potential rights to travel to the UK.
Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said today: ‘Anyone who wants to apply for entry to the UK from Afghanistan has to get to Pakistan or India to provide biometrics before their application will be considered. This creates a near impenetrable barrier to seeking sanctuary and urgently needs to be rethought.
'To avoid the need for people to make multiple and dangerous journeys the biometric requirement should be waived for those unable to travel safely to a Visa Application Centre and provisions made for applications and decisions in principle.
‘This change needs to be made as quickly as possible. The distinct Afghanistan resettlement scheme must also be designed to eliminate any such practical barriers and to move at a greater pace than originally conceived.’
Chancery Lane has already called on the government to give safe passage to legal professionals and people working in the Afghan justice system.
Earlier this week the Bar Council shared a letter it received from an Afghan judge frightened that they will be killed by a prisoner who has been set free.
The Home Office has set a target of resettling 5,000 Afghan nationals in the first year of the scheme – the Law Society says this is insufficient to protect everyone who is in imminent danger.