Right to Work

STAR is campaigning for the government to give people seeking asylum the right to work.


Since 2002 people seeking refuge in the UK have been denied permission to work. People often wait many months or years for a decision on their asylum claim and must live on £5 a day from the Government. Some people who have been refused asylum but cannot return home are not given any support at all and depend on friends and charities.

This means that people who have fled torture and persecution are now living in poverty and some are completely destitute. The sensible solution is to allow asylum seekers to work and support themselves.

STAR is calling on the government to give asylum seekers permission to work:

  • if they have been waiting for more than six months for their cases to be concluded
  • if they have been refused asylum but temporarily cannot be returned to their country of origin through no fault of their own

Giving asylum seekers permission to work would:

  • offer a route out of poverty for destitute refused asylum seekers
  • reduce the amount the government spends on asylum support
  • allow asylum seekers to support themselves and their families while contributing to the economy

Act now!

Ask your MP to support permission to work for asylum seekers either via email or by downloading STAR’s template letter to send to your MP:

Help us put pressure on the Government by contacting your MP.

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STAR resources

Additional information