The Government has approved revised arrangements for international protection applicants to access work, including the reduction in the waiting period from 9 months to 6 months from the date of first application for international protection.
The changes were announced with the publication of the Report of the Advisory Group on the Provision of Support including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection Process. The changes follow a review by the Department of Justice of the labour market access provisions introduced under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations in 2018. Arising from this review and the work of an Inter Departmental Group of Senior Officials, chaired by the Department of Justice, on the services being provided to international protection applicants, several changes were approved. Other changes agreed, subject to the necessary legislative amendments being made, are:
- To increase the validity period of a permission to access the labour market from 6 months to 12 months, which is renewable.
- To remove the restriction on applicants for international protection who hold a labour market access permission from working for public health employers, subject to the necessary qualifications being held by such applicants;
- To expand access to the labour market to include those applicants who received a first instance recommendation before European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 came into force (30 June 2018), provided that they meet the criteria set out in the Regulations.
The Report of the Advisory Group on the Provision of Support including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection Process, recommended that the right to work should be granted to applicants who had not received a final decision on their application within 3 months, and that validity of the permit was extended to 12 months.
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