Lebanon on the brink of collapse

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice. 31 March 2021

Lebanon is on the brink of collapse and we have started seeing the first clients who wish to make applications to remain in the UK or for their adult relatives to come to the UK following the massive explosion last August.  We are assisting Lebanese nationals to join family members in the United Kingdom, or to remain here on the basis of their inability to integrate back to Lebanon given the humanitarian crisis. 

The explosion in August 2020 killed more than 200 people, injured several thousand and destroyed nearly a quarter of a million homes.  The country is also suffering from an unprecedented serge in Coronavirus cases which have overwhelmed the healthcare system and the financial crash which, according to the Independent Newspaper, has pushed more than half the country of 7 million people under the poverty line.  The country is already a home to 2 million vulnerable Syrian and Palestinian refugees and the absence of financial support programmes has sparked nationwide hunger demonstrations with clashes between protesters and security forces.  Currency has crashed so fast in recent weeks losing one third of its value. Grocery shops have closed and bakeries have cautioned they may have to follow suit.  Many pharmacies shut their doors and Banks have imposed informal controls on people’s savings and the Central Bank’s Foreign reserves are dwindling in a country dependent on imports of more than 80% of its basic needs. 

Public anger is such that many of its citizens believe that the problems they are facing and the blast in August stem from the same underlying cause.  The ineffectual Government and poor financial management provided by the ruling elite.  Lebanon has already endured 15 years of civil war conflict, and Lebanon’s continuing inability to form a Cabinet, Lebanon faces its hardest depression since the end of the Lebanese Civil War. 

At the moment we are representing an appeal of a Lebanese man who wished to join his family in the UK as a father and husband of a British national who cannot meet the financial requirements and whose request for the entry clearance officer to exercise compassion and to allow the application to be granted outside the Immigration Rules on the basis of a strong private and family life with his family has been refused.  We are also receiving an increased number requests from British nationals whose elderly relatives in Lebanon wished to make an application either for leave to enter or leave to remain as an adult dependent relative, citing the inability of these elderly relatives to fend for themselves or to obtain basic medical facilities in Lebanon.