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In this video we will answer the all-important question asked very often by applicants seeking asylum in the UK is if they can work while their claim is in process.

The common rule is that asylum applicants in the UK are banned from working and from seeking jobs, but there are some exemptions.

The first exemption is where the asylum claim has been unresolved for over 12 months and the interruption in deciding the claim cannot be approved to the applicant themselves. Under the present situation where the UK Home Office decision-making process has been more and more delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and associated conditions such as shortage of workforce and sources, this exemption could become applicable for many Asylum Claimants.

In this condition, Asylum Claimants can apply to the UK Home Office for authorization to work. Then again, if allowed, any permission to work will be subject to limitations, which includes:

The asylum seeker can only work in a post which is mentioned on the UK Home Office’s “list of shortage occupations”. The list is diverse and includes scientists (comprising biochemists), architects, engineers, social workers, artists and a various of other occupations;

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The second exemption associates to people who look for asylum at a time when they previously had the right to work in the UK on the grounds of another visa and who submit an asylum claim before the end of their existing leave. In this condition, under UK Home Office rules and regulations, asylum seekers can carry on to work on the same conditions as afforded by their prevailing visa even after that visa ends (as long as the asylum application was submitted before the expiry of that orginal leave).

It is essential to notice that in respect of both exemption, authorization to work will only be provided till the final decision on the asylum claim.

Anyone who is presently an asylum seeker and desires to work should verify their Asylum Registration Card (“ARC”), which would mention whether they are allowed to work. An Asylum Registration Card (“ARC”) on the other hand does not grant a right to work, it just shows the presence of such a right. It also does not specify the grounds on which working rights was granted.


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