ASYLUM SEEKERS RIGHT TO WORK RECOMMENDATION FROM MIGRATION ADVISOR COMMITTEE

Under the current immigration rules, Asylum Seekers can request the right to work if their asylum application has been pending for at least 12 months. If the right to work is granted, asylum seekers can only work in occupations on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). As we know, the jobs on Shortage List are limited in scope. Many Asylum Seekers have skills and qualifications that fall outside of the Shortage List and currently cannot utilise them until their asylum claim is approved at which point they gain full right to work in the UK.

MIGRATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON SHORTAGE OCCUPATION LIST AND ASYLUM SEEKERS RIGHT TO WORK

In their most recent Review of the Shortage Occupation List 2023, Migration Advisory Committee questions the value of restricting work to roles on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

According to MAC, the limitation was never the purpose of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) which is not suited to determining which jobs asylum seekers should work in.

You may also wish to read our previous blog about the most cent Review of Shortage Occupation List by MAC.

MIGRATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS RIGHT TO WORK

MAC recommends that, if granted the right to work, asylum seekers should be able to work in any job. This is a very significant statement from MAC.

If the Government does not see fit to accept this recommendation, then the next thing MAC recommends is that asylum seekers with the right to work should be permitted to work in any job eligible for the Skilled Worker visa route. The Appendix Skilled Occupations has a wide list of jobs that qualify for Skilled Worker visa. The list in the Appendix is much broader than the Shortage Occupation List.

CONCLUSIONS

MAC has made a bold statement recommending that Asylum Seekers should be permitted to work in any occupation or at least in any occupation that qualifies for Skilled Worker visa, not limited to Shortage Occupation List. This may be too much to ask for the UK government to agree. However, we need to wait and see what happens.

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