Asylum: Employment

Home Office written question – answered on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2020 to Question 92763 on Asylum: Employment, if she will publish the evidence that granting asylum seekers the right to work could act as an incentive for asylum seekers to come to the UK.

Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to Answer of 29 September to Question 92763 on the right to work for asylum seekers, what is the evidential basis for the policy that granting asylum seekers the right to work would cause migrants to bypass work visa rules by lodging asylum claims.

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

There is already published, independent evidence showing that good economic conditions and essential services can create an incentive for people to choose to go to a particular country illegally. This is because it is easier to work under such conditions – and we cannot ignore that access to the labour market is among the reasons that so many people choose to come to the UK illegally, rather than remain in any of the countries through which they transit.

That is why it is important to distinguish between those who need protection and those seeking to work here, who can apply for a work visa under the Immigration Rules. Our wider policy could be undermined if migrants bypassed work visa Rules by lodging unfounded asylum claims here.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. This is under review; it is crucial we take the time to get this right and we are listening carefully to the arguments and considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The Home Office will be happy to discuss the content of the review once it has been completed.

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