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Right to work for asylum seekers


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UKBA has laid Statement of Changes CM7929 to give effect (or, at least, limited effect) to the judgment of the Supreme Court in ZO (Somalia) [2010] UKSC 36.

This was the case in which the Court held that an asylum claim is still an asylum claim for the purposes of the Reception Directive whether it is an initial claim or a subsequent claim. One of the consequences of this interpretation is that where UKBA fail to make a decision on a subsequent claim for asylum (usually called fresh claims, see this earlier post for some pointers on this subject) for 12 months or more, the applicant for asylum must be give access to the labour market, subject to some potential conditions.

Well, the conditions have been announced and the only jobs for which asylum seekers kept waiting for 12 months or more will be able to apply are those on the shortage occupation list maintained by UKBA, usually for the purposes of Tier 2 (general) applications in the Points Based System. This mainly consists of doctors, nurses and engineers but still includes ballet dancers, I see. Meteorologists are no longer required, apparently.

New paragraph 360 also states that UKBA will only consider applications for permission to work where the asylum claimant has not contributed to the delay in reaching a decision. No further meaning or explanation is provided here. In the vast majority of cases the delay is entirely caused by UKBA sitting on such cases for sometimes years on end, so this is a bit rich.

Self employment or setting up a business are both prohibited.

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.

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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.


3 Responses

  1. I’m not sure if you are aware but the following ad by google is a fraud – these guys have no address – they meet clients in a car park and are being investigated by the OISC – Needless to add, this ad undermines the decent work you are already doing.

    Ads by Google
    Are You An Asylum Seeker?
    Gain UK Entry & Remain Today! Enquire Online – We Are The UK No.1

  2. This is mind-blowingly inane. Surely most asylum claimants don’t have the skills required for this kind of highly specialised jobs?

    Can this be somehow challenged on the grounds that it effectively closes the job market for asylum seekers?

    Sorry if there are obvious answers to these questions or I missed a joke somewhere. I’m not a law practitioner, just a bystanding teeth-gnasher.