The United States plans to evacuate thousands of Afghan interpreters — who had worked for the American military — and their families ahead of September’s withdrawal, senior Washington officials have said.

“They’re going to come,” President Biden said during a press conference. “We’ve already begun the process. Those who helped us are not going to be left behind. They’re welcome here just like anyone else who risked their lives to help us.”

The plan could involve moving as many as 50,000 people to other countries so that they can finish Special Visa Applications (SIV) to the United States in safety. Afghan interpreters who have worked for the U.S. military for years fear reprisals from the Taliban after the withdrawal.

Estimates are that between 9,000 and 18,000 Afghans have applied for U.S. visas. Yet, the lengthy 14-step process which involves several different agencies and can take anywhere between nine and 12 months, has been hindered by further delays.