• An international protection applicant can apply for permission to access the labour market six months after the date of application. Work permits are issued on a 12-month period and must be renewed at intervals. 
  • It is a criminal offence to work prior to this. 
  • Up until 2018 an asylum seeker could not work; however, this was successfully challenged in a Supreme Court decision in 2017.
  • Approximately 8,000 people have been given permission to work since 2018.
  • Many people in the protection process are employed as essential workers, doing vital work that supports our communities, including during Covid-19. 
  • The Reception Conditions Directive requires Member States to grant asylum-seekers the right to work within 9 months, or earlier, of applying for asylum but allows States to determine the conditions under which this right is conferred. 

To see how other EU member states apply the right to work visit the Asylum and Information Database.