Written statement to Parliament

Mark Harper's speech on renewal of immigration concession for Syrian nationals

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 28 February 2013 by Mark Harper.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Rt Hon Mark Harper

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 28 February 2013 by Mark Harper, and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach.

I am today announcing the renewal of concessions to the Immigration Rules for Syrian nationals lawfully in the UK.

In light of the ongoing violent conflict in Syria it has been decided that the UK Border Agency should continue to operate some discretion to enable Syrians legally in the UK to extend their stay here.

Syrians in the UK with valid leave (or leave which has expired within the last 28 days) in specified visa categories will continue to be able to apply to extend their stay in that visa category, or switch into a different specified category from within the UK (with some restrictions) rather than being required to return home first. Those applying will still need to meet the requirements of the relevant visa category, pay the appropriate fee, and adhere to the normal conditions of that category - no access to public funds, for example. If a required document is not accessible due to the civil unrest in Syria UKBA may apply its discretion and the requirement to provide that document may be waived where appropriate.

These concessions will remain in force for one year from today. The Government continues to monitor the situation in Syria closely in order to ensure our response is appropriate and that any emerging risks are addressed.

I am placing a copy of the authorisation for this concession in the Library of the House.

Published 28 February 2013