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Asylum Seekers and Permission to Work in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 10 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Asylum Seeker Uk Employment Supreme

Asylum seekers are generally not permitted to work in the UK whilst their claim for asylum is processed. UK asylum seekers may be entitled to receive financial support and be homed while their application is being considered. This entitlement usually applies to those asylum seekers who have no means of supporting themselves financially and would otherwise be rendered destitute if not given financial assistance by the state. Asylum seekers may also receive free medical treatment from the NHS whilst awaiting the outcome of their application.

Should Asylum Seekers be Allowed to Work?

Some people have argued that preventing asylum seekers from working is counter-productive and unreasonable. The rule places an additional financial burden on public resources which are already stretched. Asylum-seekers, who may be qualified to carry out useful employment, are prevented from providing for themselves and for any dependents who may be with them in the UK.

European Law and the “Reception Directive” on Asylum Seekers

Under a European law relating to asylum – known as the “Reception Directive” - asylum seekers can expect a certain level of treatment whilst their application is being considered. The law states that asylum seekers are entitled to have a “dignified standard of living” whilst their application is processed.

In accordance with the Reception Directive, the UK’s immigration rules state that an asylum seeker whose application has not been concluded within one year is entitled to receive permission to work in the UK whilst their application is being considered. This entitlement will not apply if the asylum seeker contributed to the delay in their application being processed and the permission only covers the period until their application is finally determined.

The UK Supreme Court Case on Asylum Seekers Working in the UK

A July 2010 ruling by the UK’s Supreme Court has, partly, qualified the rule which prevents asylum seekers from working whilst their application is being considered.

The case related to two asylum seekers who had previously had their application for asylum turned down by the UK’s Secretary of State for the Home Department. Both asylum seekers had appealed the refusal of their application for asylum and those appeals had also been unsuccessful. They had subsequently both made renewed applications for asylum. It was argued that these latest applications essentially represented a new and separate claim for asylum. When these applications had not been finally decided after one year the asylum seekers had applied for permission to work in the UK until these latest claims were concluded.

The Supreme Court case centred upon the question of whether an applicant making a second, or subsequent, application for asylum should be defined as an asylum seeker who was entitled to protection under the Reception Directive. The legal representatives for the UK government had argued that claimants making further applications did not necessarily come within this definition.

The UK’s immigration rules had said that an applicant making a subsequent claim for asylum was not entitled to be treated as an asylum seeker unless the Secretary of State had declared that their new application amounted to a “fresh claim” for asylum. The representatives for the applicants argued that they became asylum seekers – and entitled to protection under the European law – when they made their subsequent application and not when the Secretary of State decided whether it amounted to a fresh claim.

The Effect of the Supreme Court Decision on the UK’s Immigration Rules

The Supreme Court decided that there was nothing in the European law which prevented an applicant making a subsequent application for asylum from being treated as an asylum seeker. Consequently the claimants were entitled to receive permission to work until their new claims had been concluded.

This decision has forced a change in the UK’s immigration rules. However, the immigration authorities do not expect this change to have a long term impact on the entitlement of asylum seekers to work while their claim is being decided. They say that the change will only apply to asylum seekers who made their first claim for asylum in the UK prior to March 2007 and who have already made a second or subsequent claim for asylum which had not yet been finally determined.

Asylum seekers who do come within this exception will only be allowed to take up employment in a job which is included on the UK Border Agency’s list of “shortage occupations”. Further, asylum seekers are not allowed to undertake self-employed work or to start their own business.

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[Add a Comment]
parul - Your Question:
I came in the uk 2009. I claim political asylum 2010. refused first 2010. then I claim again fresh asylum.refused again 2015 and /2016. further submissions 2nd time Liverpool -28th June 2017.I'm waiting for decision.2012 to until reporting now.i have lot of health issue.I'm disabled women.i just want to know what happening about my case. I have legal aid solicitor and social worker and british Redcross support me.please reply my situation.thank you

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question as we have no knowledge of the UKVI/Home Office administrative processes.
AboutImmigration - 10-Oct-17 @ 4:02 PM
I came in the uk 2009. i claim political asylum 2010. refused first 2010. then i claim again fresh asylum.refused again 2015 and /2016. further submissions 2nd time Liverpool -28th June 2017.I'm waiting for decision.2012 to until reporting now.i have lot of health issue.I'm disabled women.i just want to know what happening about my case. i have legal aid solicitor and social worker and british Redcross support me.please reply my situation. thank you
parul - 10-Oct-17 @ 3:31 AM
Hi dear ? My name is Soran Ihave been living in uk since October 2007 , my asylum application had refused on 2009 , since then I do my reporting evry month , Also I have no any criminal offence , and I still don't have permission to work , so please could give me some advice what to do and how to get permission to work , I have been living in uk for 10 years now ,looking fowrad for your replay
Ari - 14-Aug-17 @ 11:29 PM
Hi, My Name is Mumtaz im living in uk for last 6 years i applied assylum in june 2012, its 5 years now last time Home Office asked about my DVLA and National Insurance Number i thought they would give me a permission of work but they send it back the both things when i asked to my Solicitor she said might be they updated their system thats wht they asked about your id and insurance number before they asked about it , i already applied to ask for giving me a at least permission of work i am fighting for my case for last 5 years i dont know what i need to do because i didnt get any benefits from council not at all could you please advice me ? thanks
Taz - 27-Jun-17 @ 1:07 AM
I cameto the UK year 2000. I claim asylum same day arrived since refused me I report weekly butstill waiting after 17 years stillhoping one day forme and my partner is pregnant due in may so I needhelp help and advice next step, ,,,
Amjad - 29-Apr-17 @ 10:32 PM
i need dr our for a levels a card
ali - 9-Mar-17 @ 1:09 PM
Hi i am dependent of my mother who claimed political assylum my decision is pending for almost 2years. I will be 18 in 2 months. I wanted to know is there anyway i can have the decision from home office early?
Rae - 5-Mar-17 @ 1:53 PM
Shaxawan- Your Question:
Hi dear am com uk 2008 I com by asylum now I live here for 9 yaer I was do so many fresh clime a lot time the just refused me so I live here for long my live is not save in my country I can't go back and also I don't meak any problem in uk plz in need information wat can I do plz thanks

Our Response:
I can only suggest you contact one of the asylum help centres such as Migrant Help here which will be able to advise further.
AboutImmigration - 17-Jan-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hi dear am com uk 2008 I com by asylum now I live here for 9 yaer I was do so many fresh clime a lot time the just refused me so I live here for long my live is not save in my country I can't go back and also I don't meak any problem in uk plz in need information wat can I do plz thanks
Shaxawan - 16-Jan-17 @ 10:20 PM
Hello sir/madame. I've been in U.K. Now for 12 months and I'm working ATM but I forgot to take permission from home office! Would that effect my asylum seeker refugee?
Shanaz - 30-Dec-16 @ 9:51 AM
Hi My Name is Mumtaz i been in Uk for last 6 years and i claimed asylum 4/6 Or near about 5 years ago and whtever i applied home office refused everything even my fresh claim as well now i didnt get any support from council for last 1/6 Years is there any chance home office give me Permision for work ?
Taz - 22-Oct-16 @ 10:23 PM
Milad - Your Question:
Hi my name is milad I m from Gaza Phalstine I claim asylum in 2009 and I get refused I have been in UK for 8 years I make refresh claim in Liverpool and I get refused again I'm Christian and I really have people waiting too kill me back home can I get your advice please thanks

Our Response:
There is little we can advise on I'm afraid if you have been refused. You would have to seek further immigration advice from a qualified adviser.
AboutImmigration - 22-Sep-16 @ 12:26 PM
Hi my name is milad i m from Gaza Phalstine I claim asylum in 2009 and I get refused I have been in UK for 8 years I make refresh claim in Liverpool and I get refused again I'm Christian and I really have people waiting too kill me back home can I get your advice please thanks
Milad - 20-Sep-16 @ 10:51 PM
Kash - Your Question:
I came UK 2009 on student visa. My father was murdered in pk last year. I have life threat in pk now. If I apply asylum today. will my previous time period b counted towards long residence as in 2018 under asylum status

Our Response:
You can see more via Asylum Aid here which should tell you more about the process.
AboutImmigration - 16-Sep-16 @ 9:44 AM
I came UK 2009 on student visa . My father was murdered in pk last year . I have life threat in pk now . If I apply asylum today ... will my previous time period b counted towards long residence as in 2018 under asylum status
Kash - 15-Sep-16 @ 8:38 AM
Rahman- Your Question:
Dear. Sir I am Mr khan.i have Claim asylum in uk.i have been detained for 2 month. Fortunately I have accepted rule 35.for Helen bumper. Pre assessment. It was completely successfully good bhalf of me. And I have submitted documents for supported my case. But before I release from detain.my claim was refused but my solicitor said the home office made the decision wrong. They will give me new decision after medical expert pre assessment report. But my solicitor make for further submission bhalf of my case. ! My question is its possible for me to apply for work permission. May I eligible for the permission work. And what I need to do my case further. What is my case result ! Many thanks

Our Response:
As specified in the article, you cannot ordinarily work when you are claiming asylum in the UK, please see gov.uk link here for further information. We cannot predict your case result, as every case is different.
AboutImmigration - 16-Aug-16 @ 10:04 AM
Dear . Sir Iam Mr khan .i have Claim asylum in uk .i have been detained for 2 month . Fortunately I have accepted rule 35 .for Helen bumper . Pre assessment . It was completely successfully good bhalf of me . And I have submitted documents for supported my case . But before I release from detain .my claim was refused but my solicitor said the home office made the decision wrong . They will give me new decision after medical expert pre assessment report . But my solicitor make for further submission bhalf of my case . ! My question is its possible for me to apply for work permission . May I eligible for the permission work . And what I need to do my case further . What is my case result ! Many thanks
Rahman - 15-Aug-16 @ 1:08 AM
Tony - Your Question:
Hello there, I claimed an asylum a couple of weeks ago and I am now waiting for a invitation for the substantial interview from Home Office. I have been give temporary admission with the a monthly reporting condition. I am in a relationship with a british person since a couple of months. We want to move in together and get married. My question is are asylum claimants permitted to get married in UK? Do I have to get permission from Home Office in order to get married? It would be great if you can share you experiences if you have been in similar situation.Thank you in advance

Our Response:
If you wish to marry, you would first need to obtain a Certificate of Approval from the UKVI.
AboutImmigration - 8-Aug-16 @ 11:25 AM
Hello there, I claimed an asylum a couple of weeks ago and I am now waiting for a invitation for the substantial interview from Home Office. I have been give temporary admission with the a monthly reporting condition. I am in a relationship with a british person since a couple of months. We want to move in together and get married. My question is are asylum claimants permitted to get married in UK? Do I have to get permission from Home Office in order to get married? It would be great if you can share you experiences if you have been in similar situation. Thank you in advance
Tony - 7-Aug-16 @ 10:40 AM
Hi.. I claim assylum a year before thay raffused me on fasttrack thane apply for appeal which iz accepted. 2 weak before from court hearing my solecetr left tha case i been by self to court and told to judge i dnt have solicetr but thay cant hear me..nd i have some meddicaly dacoments which thay ignor and thay raffuse my case.. Someone tell me now wht ca i do please...
Xamee - 8-Jul-16 @ 9:23 PM
hello,im mostafa,and im persian,i came to england at 2010 ,i see myself as a political refuge who dosent have a country anymore.its not easy to say this believe me its the most sad exprince i had in my life that be away from home and my father and mother ,its hard to explain to them whats my situvation is cause even me myslef don't know what is happening to me,i cant contact them that much cause all i hear is cry and its stay with me and i cant ignore my father cry ,their old and i scare to not see them again and that makes me more down,i would do anything ,anything to see them again ,i have a accounting master degree and i was one of the best student in university ,i use to wake up everyday at 6:00am to reach my angles and chase my dreams ,i was a active happy person that everyone liked ,time changed the things ,now i dont have job no budget ,i dont have a bank account ,i cant go to college or study and be between people like a another human,i sleep in garage and i dont even have a id to prove who i am,its me and rats top of my roof only and there is nothing i can do ,im about to lost my hope and give up,i dont want to live like a animal anymore ,i want to get up early and go to work please i want to be someone .its been 6 years of best years of my life and i feel depresion is killing me cause noboddy is around me and dont want to be ,well i guess their right ,i had so many bad experince and they took my ambition and self steem away ,people talk to me and treat me like a rubbish and i dont have nothing to show who i am,please im tired atleast let me work ,let me go to college and have somthing to get up and be happy to see a new day ,please noboddy deserve to live like this and i never done wrong anything in my life ,i dont know why it turns out this way...
Mostafa - 5-Jul-16 @ 1:44 PM
hello,im mostafa,and im persian,i came to england at 2010 ,i see myself as a political refuge who dosent have a country anymore.its not easy to say this believe me its the most sad exprince i had in my life that be away from home and my father and mother ,its hard to explain to them whats my situvation is cause even me myslef don't know what is happening to me,i cant contact them that much cause all i hear is cry and its stay with me and i cant ignore my father cry ,their old and i scare to not see them again and that makes me more down,i would do anything ,anything to see them again ,i have a accounting master degree and i was one of the best student in university ,i use to wake up everyday at 6:00am to reach my angles and chase my dreams ,i was a active happy person that everyone liked ,time changed the things ,now i dont have job no budget ,i dont have a bank account ,i cant go to college or study and be between people like a another human,i sleep in garage and i dont even have a id to prove who i am,its me and rats top of my roof only and there is nothing i can do ,im about to lost my hope and give up,i dont want to live like a animal anymore ,i want to get up early and go to work please i want to be someone .its been 6 years of best years of my life and i feel depresion is killing me cause noboddy is around me and dont want to be ,well i guess their right ,i had so many bad experince and they took my ambition and self steem away ,people talk to me and treat me like a rubbish and i dont have nothing to show who i am,please im tired atleast let me work ,let me go to college and have somthing to get up and be happy to see a new day ,please noboddy deserve to live like this and i never done wrong anything in my life ,i dont know why it turns out this way...
Mostafa - 5-Jul-16 @ 1:25 PM
Hi, I'm Nihad Iraqi, Mosel, Nationality. I have been in UK Seine December 2008, 4 Or 5 Refuses. I did new fresh claim on 19//04/16 But still refuse, The Home office keep saying bring New Evidence I cant Understand if I don't have anyoneLeft over there how do I get new Evidence,The last Fresh Claim I did, I had No evidence. The Area I used to live in IRAQ is controlled by terrorists ISIS. How come 8 years still waiting. I know some people 12 years. The home office says You don't have partner and kids you must leave United Kingdom OK I am an asylum seeker no one want to be with me I have No job No budget no house, How can I live like that, I have got some very close friends please Nihad come with US We going for holiday I really don't want to let them know I am an asylum seeker, Because I feel so down. Please Help! I really Loveto work in right way. Like everyoneelse. thanks for your time :) Nihad 28/06/16
Khalid - 29-Jun-16 @ 1:49 PM
Hi , I'm Abdullah , I been in the UK for 6 years , came in 2010 as a student , I'm stateless from Kuwait which means I don't have a proper nationality. I applied for asylum before my visa expiredand I have done everything legally. my asylum been getting refused for the past 6 years. Furthermore, I been in a relationship with a British citizen for over 3 years and we been married and living together for a year now. Furthermore, Last year I was arrested facing deportation but I was granted bail and 3 days after I was arrested again and I was granted bail again. Now I'm being help at a detention centre again ( the third time) facing deportation again. I have a large British family in the UK and my mother is in the UK aswell but shes still waiting on her case to be decided. for the past 6 years I been in the UK I never been in trouble with the law and I have no criminal offences whatsoever. I have been in college for 5 years and I managed to obtain a couple of certificates. Looking forward to be hearing from you about any advice you could give me. Cheers
FailedAsylum - 4-Jun-16 @ 10:33 AM
eddy - Your Question:
I applied for asylum since 2012 and my claim is still pending and home office promising they gonna make a decision but they fail me several times and I have a British daughter which is nearly 2 years and my partner she's British citizen and she's the mother of my daughter we both leaving together nearly 2 year. honestly I don't know if home office will ever make any decision on my application. please I need advise

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot advise on this as the Home Office has its own agenda when deciding such issues.
AboutImmigration - 12-May-16 @ 2:41 PM
I applied for asylum since 2012 and my claim is still pending and home office promising they gonna make a decision but they fail me several times and I have a British daughter which is nearly 2 years and my partner she's British citizen and she's the mother of my daughter we both leaving together nearly 2 year.. honestly I don't know if home office will ever make any decision on my application.. please i need advise
eddy - 12-May-16 @ 1:22 AM
I came under students visa in 2010 but later applied for asylum after a change in my circumstances. I was given permission to work and have worked since then. My claim was turned down and I exhausted all the rights of appeal. I however put in a fresh claim but when I went to submit this, the case worker that was dealing with my case stated that I should have stopped working immediately my visa ran out. I out rightly disagreed with her as the home office website had stated that I would continue on my previous visa conditions until my case was decided I had also researched and found out that I could continue working if the fresh claim is I'm relation to the previous one and that the presentations made would have made the decision maker make a different decision had this been served. To cut the whole story short, they to my ARC card and asked me to apply for another one. Do you think if I challenged this and put in the relevant submission from the UKVA website they would consider this?
Ada - 13-Feb-16 @ 7:41 AM
hi... i am asylum seeker, applied in 2012, my case rufused, then i did apeal, apeal was accpeted but still i did not recieve any reply from home office. its been 3 years now. i am really fedup and stressfull life. my girl friend is EU curizen. i contact my mp two time, then home office replyed. saying that my case is reconsider both time,i dont know what to do. please help me
romeo - 19-Dec-15 @ 1:13 AM
Ib - Your Question:
I'm ibrahim from Algeria I Ben 10 years in UK I came 20/04/2005 I Clem asylum I Ben refused new I'm homls I need play for permission to work. hawcan do this ? Thank you

Our Response:
Due to your circumstances I can only suggest you contact Asylum Aid to see if they can offer any help and advice - please see link here. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 10-Sep-15 @ 11:13 AM
I'm ibrahim from Algeria I Ben 10 years in UK I came 20/04/2005 I Clem asylum I Ben refused new I'm homls I need play for permission to work . hawcan do this ? Thank you
Ib - 9-Sep-15 @ 4:58 AM
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