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Asylum: Employment

Question for Home Office

UIN 58852, tabled on 19 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allowing asylum seekers to apply for employment in sectors which are experiencing labour shortages.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

22 October 2021

Our New Plan for Immigration works in the interests of the whole of the UK, by attracting the skills we need, whilst supporting the domestic labour market. Recognising the extraordinary circumstances business are currently facing, the Government is providing visas as a time-limited, temporary measure for the food and fuel sector.

We allow asylum seekers to work if their claim has been outstanding for 12 months or more, through no fault of their own. Those permitted to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

But it is important to distinguish between those who need protection and those seeking to work here, who can apply for a skilled work visa under the Immigration Rules. Our wider policy would be undermined if people could bypass work visa Rules simply by lodging unfounded asylum claims here and working whilst they are dealt with. It would also act as an incentive for more to travel into the UK via unsafe and dangerous journeys, rather than claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.

Answered by

Home Office
Named day
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