Asylum: Employment

Home Office written question – answered on 17th December 2020.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the oral Answer of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of 18 November 2020, Official Report, column 198WH, on the Government’s reasons for restricting permission to work for asylum seekers, whether her Department has made an assessment of a pull factor that would arise from changing the labour market rules for asylum seekers.

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

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.

Unrestricted access to employment could act as an incentive for more migrants to choose to come here illegally, rather than claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.

Although pull factors are complex, we cannot ignore that access to the labour market is among the reasons that so many people currently undertake the extremely hazardous journey across the channel in small boats. When so many lives are put in danger in this way, we cannot have a policy that raises those risks, whatever the number affected.

A review of asylum seeker right to work policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

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