Asylum seekers will still not be allowed to work – Home Office review concludes

Various waiting times apply for applications made outside the UK. After you have submitted your application via website, the waiting time begins when you either attend an appointment to give your biometric information at a VAC (visa application centre) or when you confirm your identity utilizing an ID check App.

Please keep in mind that waiting time ends when you get a decision.

Asylum seekers in the United Kingdom will stay unable to work after a much-awaited Home Office review of the policy banning them from attaining employment decided that it needed “no further changes.”

Immigration Minister Tom Pursglove recently revealed that even with the widespread demands for the ban to be lifted – including from Tory ministers- it must stay in place. The non-removal of the ban would reduce the pull factors to the United Kingdom and ensure the country’s policies do not inspire people to do so and undermine the resident labour force.

In December 2018, Sajid Javid, the then-home secretary, informed the Parliament that he would like to review the ban after the conclusions by the Lift the Ban coalition revealed that permitting asylum seekers to work could generate £42m per year for the government.

Individuals who have been awaiting an asylum decision in the United Kingdom for above 12 months can apply for the right to work. However, they can only work on jobs mentioned in a limited list of professions known as the Shortage Occupation List.

The ‘Lift the Ban’ report suggested loosening the policy to permit asylum seekers to work after 6 months, with no constraints on access to the labour market.

In July 2020, Lift the Ban published a follow-up to the report with the exact policy recommendation with revised estimated benefits to the government of £98m per year. A further update in summer 2021 reviewed this to an additional £180.8m per year.

However, the Home Office’s review has stated that the financial benefits stemming from a relaxation of the right to work policy were probable to be “significantly lower” than the figures declared by Lift the Ban.

Mr Pursglove stated that it is essential that this policy continues to protect our immigration system from those lodging unfounded asylum claims and try to bypass work visa rules, especially at a time when dangerous voyages made by small boats are rising.

Deputy prime minister and justice secretary Dominic Raab’s remarked in September that removing the employment ban for individuals claiming asylum would let them make a “positive contribution” to the British economy and society.

Steve Baker, Tory MP and former chair of the European Research Group (ERG) echoed his comments, who stated that it was “madness” that the Home Office did not allow asylum seekers to work.

He further added that after three years of this review the Home Office nor its Ministers have been capable of putting together even the lightest piece of evidence that supports this awful and nonsensical policy.

Mr Baker pointed out that this ban creates misery for individuals who are often stuck for years in our asylum system and who could integrate and contribute to their communities.

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