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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-whilst-an-asylum-claim-is-considered/working-in-the-uk-whilst-an-asylum-case-is-considered
You will not normally be allowed to work while we consider your asylum application, except in these limited circumstances.
If you have been given permission to work as part of another form of leave, then as long as your application for asylum was made in time (while the original leave is still valid) you will usually be allowed to continue to work.
If you apply for asylum out of time (when you have no current leave in the UK), then the permission to work you had under your previous leave ended when your leave expired so you can no longer work.
Most asylum applicants are not allowed 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 keep the two separate.
A decision will usually be made on straightforward claims within 6 months. If you have waited longer than 12 months for us to make an initial decision on your claim, you can request permission to work.
If your application has been rejected, you can ask for permission to work if you have sent us more asylum-based pieces of evidence (further submissions) which are more than 12 months old. This will mainly affect people who have already sent in documents - if you send them now, then you are unlikely to be able 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 Visas and Immigration.
We will not allow you to work if you are responsible for any delay in us making a decision on your application or further submissions.
If you are homeless or do not have 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.