Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Permission to work


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

Right to work

UPDATE: see this judgment.

There have been some interesting developments on permission to work for Legacy asylum seekers. Click here for the Story So Far.

I read in some stakeholder minutes recently that UKBA thought it had only be judicially reviewed once about failure to grant permission to work following the case of ZO (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 442 in the Court of Appeal. I thought this was very surprising at the time, and have now heard that there have been several successful judicial reviews. High Court judges are granting mandatory orders that UKBA grant permission to work. Judgment was given in one such case this week and I’ll post a link to it here once it is reported on BAILII.

This is a classic example of the Home Office wanting it both ways. UKBA lost the case and are so far having no luck appealing it. When UKBA win a court case but the appellants appeal, UKBA insist that the law is at stated in the judgment and will seek to remove people on this basis. When UKBA lose a case and try to appeal, they claim that the judgment should not be enforced. This particular example is even worse, though, as UKBA had the chance to apply for the judgment to be suspended pending resolution of any appeal but declined to do so at the proper time, only to resurrect the argument in individual cases later on.

The legal position is that anyone out there who has been waiting for a year or more for a decision on an asylum claim — whether a first claim or a fresh claim — can seek permission to work and can judicially review UKBA if permission is not granted.

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

Relevant articles chosen for you
Picture of Free Movement

Free Movement

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.