Ministers were under further pressure last night to overturn the policy on Afghan interpreters as it emerged scores faced being kicked out of Britain.
More than 150 translators given sanctuary after risking their lives for UK troops said they have been 'left in limbo' because of rules that could see them leave as soon as next year.
In a letter to ministers, they said the Home Office had been unable to confirm they will be able to stay after their five-year visas run out.
The interpreters – who all served on the frontline in Helmand Province for more than a year – have to apply to remain in Britain in the same way as migrants who crossed the Channel illegally.
This means they also have to pay almost £2,400 each to stay – a sum they say is unaffordable for many.iPhone transfer software
Mohammad Hares Walizada served in battle as a translator with the British Army from 2009 until 2013
Some have also been told it is too late for them to bring their family over under the same scheme.
It means they face the choice of either returning to the war-ravaged nation, where they fear they could be hunted down by the Taliban for acting as 'spies', or living without their wives and children.
They have written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson calling for an end to the policy.
In a letter seen by the Mail, the interpreters said their 'future hangs in the balance' as they are unable to find permanent work because they do not know if they will be kicked out within months.
It says: 'We took great risk because we believed in the integrity of the British Army, only to be let down by politicians who see us a number and not as people. We implore you to end your shameful and indefensible policy.'
The Defence Secretary last night urged the Home Office to waive the fees faced by Afghan interpreters and to make the process as easy as possible.
Several hundred interpreters, including some family members, have been allowed into the UK over the past four years under a 'relocation' scheme.
The Ministry of Defence said this policy and a further 'intimidation' policy – which has not seen a single interpreter allowed to come to the UK – are in place because of the 'debt of gratitude we owe' for their service.
The 27-year-old married father (pictured with his daughter Sineen) said that, as an unarmed civilian, his life was constantly at risk as he interpreted Taliban communications
But the interpreters were handed only a five-year residency permit and so, when that expires, will have to apply for indefinite leave to remain like all asylum seekers.
Mohammad Hares, chairman of the Sulha Network, which represents the interpreters, said about 20 have been in the UK since 2014 and will see their permits run out next year.
Mr Hares said some of them had contacted the Home Office asking if they could stay beyond that date and were told to apply under normal immigration rules.
The Government said last night that it wanted to reassure the interpreters they can expect to stay.
During his time with the UK military, Mr Hares was an interpreter for Captain Ed Aitken, who served with the Royal Lancers during two tours of Afghanistan.
Captain Aitken said: 'The value our interpreters gave us in such an alien environment is