Access to the labour market for asylum seekers

27 Jun 2018

New measures have been announced which will allow international protection applicants to seek access to the labour market following the imminent entry into force of the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive.

Key points:

  • The Directive comes into force in Ireland this week following the completion of a four month opt in process.
  • Under the Directive, asylum seekers will have access to the labour market nine months from the date when their protection application was lodged, if they have yet to receive a first instance recommendation from the International Protection Office, and if they have cooperated with the process.
  • Eligible applicants will have access to all sectors of employment, with the exception of the Civil and Public Service, An Garda Síochána, and the Irish Defence Forces.
  • Eligible applicants can apply to the Minister for Justice and Equality for a labour market permission. The Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU) of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), will process applications.
  • Permission will be granted initially for six months and will be renewable until there is a final decision on an individual’s protection application.
  • There is no charge for applying for a permit.
  • The Directive also includes provisions in relation to children’s rights, health, education, and material reception conditions, which include housing, food, clothing and a daily expense allowance. These other aspects apply to all applicants regardless of when they made their application.

Next steps:

The Department of Justice and Equality will launch an information campaign targeting applicants, NGOs, employers and trade unions with information on labour market access and eligibility arrangements. Further information will be provided on:

For more information:

See Department of Justice and Equality Press Release 

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