Asylum seekers to gain access to labour market sooner

Asylum seekers to gain access to labour market sooner

Helen McEntee

Asylum seekers will be able to seek work in Ireland six months after making their application for international protection under new rules announced today.

Applicants previously had to wait nine months to apply for permission to work. They will now be able to apply after six months and their permission to work will last for 12 months rather than six months.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said: “Since its introduction in June 2018, access to the labour market has had a very positive impact for international protection applicants and employers. To date, 6,006 permissions to access the labour market have been issued, including 4,569 permissions to Direct Provision residents.

“Giving eligible applicants the opportunity to work earlier, and extending their permission to work to 12 months, will help even more people to integrate into Irish society while providing for themselves and their families outside of the State’s directly provided services and supports. It also helps people to plan and prepare for their future if they receive a positive decision on their application for international protection.”

Access to the labour market for international protection applicants is provided for under the European Reception Conditions Regulations 2018 and work on the relevant legislative changes for the new measures is at an “advanced stage”.

Ms McEntee said: “The Department’s Labour Market Access Unit have begun issuing, on an administrative basis, 12 month permits for applicants of six months standing.

“This change has been implemented from Tuesday 26 January 2021 for all outstanding applications received on and after 18 January 2021. Therefore, the new administrative arrangements have been applied to all applications from that date.”

Where requested, the Department’s Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU) will re-examine any applications for permission to access the labour market which have been refused on the basis of a first instance decision being made in less than nine months.

Any applicant who has been refused permission in the last three months because insufficient time had elapsed since their application for international protection may make a new application enclosing all documents required under the new guidelines.

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