Reduced waiting period for international protection applicants to access work announced

28 Jan 2021

The Department of Justice has announced new measures that will allow international protection applicants to seek access to the labour market six months after they make their application.

Previously, applicants had to wait nine months after making their international protection application before applying for permission to work.

Furthermore, an applicant’s permission to work will now last for 12 months, rather than six months.

Access to the labour market for international protection applicants is provided for under the European Reception Conditions Regulations 2018 and the Department reported that work on the relevant legislative changes for the new measures is at an advanced stage. Until that process is completed, from Tuesday 26th January 2021, the new arrangements are being applied to all applications on an administrative basis. The Department stated that where requested, the Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU) will re-examine applications made in the last three months, for permission to access the labour market, which were refused based on a first instance decision being made within less than nine months of application.

The initial Government announcement of revised arrangements was announced in October 2020. 

The new measures follow a review of labour market access for international protection applicants which was carried out by the Department of Justice, in parallel with the work of the Advisory Group (also known as the Catherine Day Group) on the Provision of Supports, including Accommodation, to Persons in the International Protection Process. The Advisory Group had recommended that labour market access be extended to anyone who had not received a final decision on their application, within 3 months of lodging.  Also that the right to work authorisation should be granted for 12 months and should be renewable

Applications for a labour market access permission are available online at: 

For more information, read our previous news story here