Asylum: Employment

Home Office written question – answered on 31st March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to grant asylum applicants (a) the right to work after six months waiting for a decision on their application and (b) access to English language classes from application.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Asylum seekers can work in the UK if their claim has been outstanding for 12 months, through no fault of their own. Those allowed to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, which is published by the Home Office and based on expert advice from the Migration Advisory Committee.

It is important to distinguish between those who need protection and economic migrants, who can apply for a work visa under the Immigration Rules. Our wider immigration policy would be undermined if migrants could bypass work visa routes by lodging unfounded asylum claims.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue and is under review. It is crucial we take the time to get this right. We are listening carefully to the arguments and considering the evidence put forward on the issue. Work on the review is ongoing.

After six months we provide a 50% contribution to the costs of English language classes for asylum seekers in certain circumstances. Those granted refugee status are entitled to access fully funded English language tuition if they are unemployed and in receipt of certain benefits.

Currently around half of those who seek asylum in the UK are found not to need international protection. Therefore, rather than invest in integration for those who may not qualify for international protection, this Government’s priority is to focus our efforts and resources to support those who most need it.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.