Former Afghan interpreter wins judicial review of UK's refusal of his entry application

Officials denied him entry to the UK as they believed he posed a threat

Taliban flags fly at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo / Bernat Armangue, File)
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A former Afghan interpreter for the British Army has won his case to have a judicial review of the Home Office's decision to refuse him entry to the UK.

The man, who has not been named, has won his case at London's High Court and will have his application reviewed.

The home secretary had rejected his application to enter the UK from Afghanistan on the grounds that he posed a threat to the UK because he had two relatives in the Taliban and was on a US watch list.

He had applied for entry for himself and his family through the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy, as he said his life was at risk due to his previous work with the military.

The man applied in June 2021, but a month later received the following reply: “You have sought entry to the United Kingdom as a relevant Afghan citizen, however your presence in the UK has been assessed as not conducive to the public good on grounds of national security due to your conduct, character and associations.

“I am therefore satisfied that your presence in the UK would not be conductive to the public good. I therefore refuse your entry clearance to the UK under paragraph 276BC1 and 9.3.1 of Part 9 of the Immigration Rules.”

The court heard the decision was made due to him having relatives who were members of the Taliban.

“Sometime before he worked for British armed forces, he worked for the US armed forces, first as a perimeter guard, and then as a supervisor of perimeter guards,” the judge in the case said.

“He then trained as an interpreter. During this time, he became aware he had been placed on a US watch list. He was questioned about two relatives, X and Y. His evidence is that when questioned, he said he knew that X was connected to the Taliban but also that he also had provided 'intelligence' about the Taliban to the US forces.”

The judge added that the man had only limited contact with this relative, who is now dead.

“His evidence is that he also said he had been told by his mother that Y was linked to the Taliban and was also worried that if he ignored Y, there could be 'reprisals from the Taliban',” the judge continued.

“His evidence is that he believes he was placed on the US watch list because of these family connections, and that he was later told he had been removed from the watch list.”

The judge added that the man said that, at that time he applied to be re-employed by the US armed forces, he took a polygraph test and passed.

“He also refers to a letter from the UK armed forces which confirmed he had been removed from the US watch list around that time,” the judge said.

The court also heard the man had received two letters from the US Army praising him for his help in saving the lives of soldiers after he reported a bomb had been hidden on a route used by coalition forces.

The judge allowed the man's application to move forward after hearing the evidence.

Updated: September 23, 2022, 4:36 PM