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Asylum Seekers/Immigration

Home Department written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Jim Cousins Jim Cousins Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether asylum seekers from EU accession countries will be required to have an approved work permit under the Special Work Registration scheme before starting work on 1 May; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance issued to (a) employers and (b) jobcentres.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

From 1 May asylum seekers from the eight EU Accession countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) will be able to take up employment in the UK providing they apply to register under the new Worker Registration Scheme. They will not need a work permit. These arrangements apply equally to accession nationals who are already in the UK (including as asylum seekers) and to those who arrive in the UK on or after 1 May.

Workers who are required to register should apply as soon as they start a new job—not before—and within one month of taking up employment at the latest. Further information about the Worker Registration Scheme is available on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) website: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Guidance issued to employers is also available on the IND website at http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/default.asp?pageid=17 and available in hard copy from the Employer's Helpline on 0845 010 6677.

An Awareness Pack and guidance material has been prepared by Jobcentre Plus for use by its staff. This will be placed in the Library once the Regulations are laid before the House on 30 April.

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