You will not normally be allowed to work while we consider your asylum application, except in very limited circumstances. This page explains what those circumstances are.
The majority of asylum applicants are not permitted to work while we consider their application. This is because entering the country for economic reasons is not the same as seeking asylum, and it is important to maintain a distinction between the two.
However, if you have waited longer than 12 months for us to make an initial decision on your asylum application, you may request permission to work. Currently, most new asylum applications receive a decision within 30 days.
If your application has been rejected, you may request permission to work if you have made asylum-based further submissions which have been outstanding for more than 12 months. This will primarily affect people who have already made further submissions. Anyone making further submissions now is unlikely to be become eligible to apply for permission to work.
If your case is being managed by a regional asylum team then please send your permission to work application to your case owner.
If you are given permission to work, you will not be allowed to become self-employed and you will only be allowed to take up a job which is included on the list of shortage occupations published by UK Border Agency.
We will give you permission to work only if you yourself are not responsible for the delay in us reaching an initial decision on your application or a decision on your further submission.
If you are homeless or without money to buy food (we call this 'destitute') you may qualify for free housing and financial help. Your case owner will tell you if you qualify for this. For more information, see Asylum support.
If you want to work voluntarily, without being paid, you should speak to your case owner.
It is against the law to beg.
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