Ebola crisis – are you stuck in the UK?

Have you been affected by the Ebola crisis?  Are you now stuck in the UK and your visa is expiring or has expired?

In recent months the Ebola crisis has hit large parts of West Africa, in particular Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea and Nigeria.

It is estimated that hundreds of visitors from this region had visited the UK just before the outbreak, but due to the flight restrictions, have not been able to return back to their home country.

In accordance with the UK immigration rules, foreign nationals are required to leave the UK before their visa expires.  However if there are exceptional and compelling circumstances, the Home Office can exercise discretion to further leave to remain.

In order to apply for an extension as a visitor, applicants will need to complete form FLR (O) and explain in detail, with supporting evidence, the compassionate and compelling circumstances leading them to request an extension of stay.

The application will be submitted outside of the normal rules and as such, there is not a set time for the Home Office to decide such application, although applications are often considered within 6 months.

If the extension is granted, the amount of time the visa may be valid for will vary from case-to-case and it will depend on the most current circumstances at the time of application.  It may be that the outbreak is still on-going, in which case a longer-length extension can be expected, or if the outbreak has passed, then applicants may need to make travel plans back to their home country as soon as possible.

Recently, a few of the flight restrictions have been lifted and we are aware that UK airports and international airports have included a number of safety precautions in their procedures, such as screening and health checks of visitors from “high risk” countries.  This has now become a standard procedure for safety reasons and travellers who do not cooperate with authorities may be returned to their last destination.


If this article affects you in any way, please contact our experts now on 0141 283 0190 or by email on Info@elm-rose.com.  Our lawyers are waiting to help you and prevent you from falling foul of the law.


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