The UK Border Agency can be very generous and understanding when it wants to be. For some reason, Libyans currently in the UK whose visas are running out are being told that they don’t need to meet the rules required for an extension, they don’t need the right evidence and they don’t even need to pay the fee. Why would UKBA show such generosity? Because they are desperate to avoid Libyans claiming asylum and pushing up the asylum numbers.
A new de facto application form has been created to accompany an FLR(O). There is massive repetition between the new ‘questionnaire’ and the FLR(O). UKBA just don’t do simple, as the nightmare of the Points Based System shows.
Whether a Libyan would have a good claim for asylum at the moment is an interesting question. One’s instinct is to say ‘of course’ but UKBA would probably set up a flight to Benghazi (perhaps without the help of William Hague and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?) and assert there was an internal flight alternative. Anyone dealt with any such claims or seen any instructions on Libyan asylum claims?
The full text of the announcement is as follows:
Libyans who wish to extend their leave under the Immigration Rules should apply in the normal way using the relevant application form. Where an individual is unable to meet some requirements of the Rules or provide some of the required evidence they should state why this is not possible, explaining any exceptional circumstances. We will consider applications on a case-by-case basis and we may use our discretion when reviewing cases.
Any Libyan national, with continuing lawful leave or previous lawful leave that has expired since 22 February 2011, who does not meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules but are unable to return to Libya may now be allowed to temporarily extend their stay in the UK.
Applications can be made on the FLR(O) form. Discretion may be applied in exceptional circumstances to grant a further period of leave for up to 6 months outside the Rules. Please see the FLR(O) application form on the right side of this page.
We have also made provision for those Libyan nationals who are unable pay the necessary application fee. In these circumstances Libyan nationals should complete the ‘questionnaire for Libyan migrants of limited means’ on the right side of this page.