Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (477)

Robert Dowds


477. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views regarding the issue of asylum seekers and permission to work. [30684/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Section 9(4)(b) of the Refugee Act 1996 provides that applicants for international protection shall not seek or enter employment or carry on any business, trade or profession during the period before the final determination of their application. This prohibition is restated in the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill. The key concern in light of past experience is that both the asylum process and the wider immigration system could be undermined, by giving immigrants who secure entry to the State, on foot of claims to asylum, the same access to employment as immigrants who follow the lawful route to employment. There is an effective immigration and visa system in place for those who wish to lawfully migrate to the State for employment purposes. There are no plans to review the prohibition on the right to work for asylum seekers. Any change in public policy in this area would, inter alia, have to have regard to the very large numbers of people unemployed in this country.