Asylum seekers may be given right to work in Glasgow

Asylum seekers could be given the right to work under changes to the system being proposed in Glasgow.

Scotland’s largest city welcomes the highest number of asylum seekers of any UK local authority area, and is keen to roll out reforms which would allow them to support themselves.

An Asylum Task Force set up last year, which includes representatives from the Home Office and the Scottish Refugee Council, has made a number of recommendations to assist the vulnerable group.

They include allowing asylum seekers to work from six months after their asylum claim has been submitted, until the final determination of their application.

Glasgow City Council said currently a very limited number of asylum seekers with specific skills can request permission to work. It applies only if their claim takes more than a year to be processed, and permission is rarely granted.

The task force also wants asylum seekers to be able to register in regional centres like Glasgow, instead of having to travel to Croydon, and an end to people being required to travel to Liverpool to make further submissions.

Council chief executive Annemarie O’Donnell, chair of the Asylum Task Force, said: “When people come to our city looking for help, Glaswegians want to ensure we do everything we can to assist them.

“This piece of work has been carried out in an open and honest environment and I want to thank colleagues from the Scottish and UK governments, Cosla, Serco, the Scottish Refugee Council and the West of Scotland Housing Forum for the way in which they have approached this.

“I am confident that the recommendations in this report, and the work that we will now do together, will allow us to do much more to support some of the most vulnerable people seeking asylum in the UK and in our city.”

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