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Failed asylum seekers with pending fresh claims can now apply for work

Permission comes with implementation of judgment in ZO’s case
20th August 2010: Failed asylum seekers, asserting a fresh claim for asylum, can soon apply for permission to work. The permission comes with a proviso. Your further submissions must be outstanding for 12 months or more; and the delay is not because of your fault.

The permission comes with the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment in ZO’s case.

A lone vulnerable young single female, ZO had suffered terrible treatment in her home country of Somalia.  Initially refused asylum, ZO submitted a second claim based on previously unavailable evidence.

This second claim was highly likely to succeed.  Unfortunately, the claim was placed in a backlog of some 500,000 cases, some dating back more than 10 years, announced in July 2006 known as the ‘legacy’.  There was no guarantee that ZO’s application would be considered before mid 2011.

ZO was in limbo. She was not permitted to work and was reliant upon ‘hard case’ support, besides a meager level of support of food vouchers and hostel accommodation. But things changed for ZO and so many others like her with the Apex Court judgment.

The UKBA has asserted: As a result of the Supreme Court’s judgment of 28 July in the case of ZO (Somalia), we are obliged to allow failed asylum seekers who have made further submissions asserting a fresh claim for asylum to apply for permission to work if their further submissions have been outstanding for 12 months or more; and the delay is not their fault.

`Changes to the Immigration Rules giving effect to this judgment have been laid, and will come into force on 9 September 2010. We will begin considering applications from eligible failed asylum seekers under the amended Immigration Rules from that date.

`This judgment will primarily affect failed asylum seekers who initially claimed asylum before 5 March 2007, which means their cases are managed by our case resolution directorate; and have already made further submissions.

`We aim to conclude all of these cases by the summer of 2011, and are on track to do so. This policy will therefore only have a short-term effect, and anyone making a further submission now is unlikely to be affected by the judgment.

`The changes to the Immigration Rules will restrict the type of work that can be done by asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers who are granted permission to work. They will only be entitled to take up a job which is included on the list of shortage occupations published by the UK Border Agency.

`Asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers will not be allowed to be self-employed or engaged in setting up a business.

`These restrictions will ensure that, like other foreign workers, eligible asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers are diverted to occupations where a national shortage of skilled labour has been identified and thereby do work which benefits the UK economy. We will review this policy again next year’.

The Supreme Court had ruled that Article 11 of the EU Reception Conditions Directive should apply in some circumstances to failed asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights.

Interpreting the judgment, the UKBA had asserted: `Specifically, this means that failed asylum seekers who have made further submissions asserting they have a fresh claim for asylum which have been outstanding for 12 months or more will now be entitled to apply for permission to work.

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