Britain's Defense Ministry has confirmed plans to give some 600 Afghan interpreters who worked alongside its troops the right to settle in the U.K.

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond says the move would allow interpreters who have worked on the front lines in Afghanistan for more than a year to relocate to Britain on a five-year visa. The plan would not apply to those who finished employment before Dec. 19, 2012.

Hammond said in a statement Tuesday that Afghan staff who do not meet the requirement will get a training and education package in Afghanistan and wages equivalent to their current salary, or be given a severance payment of 18 months' salary.

The announcement comes as Britain prepares to end its combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.