Contacting the Home Office about permission to work

Legal Updates

image of the Home Office's permission to work policy document

We get a lot of people contacting us with queries about requesting permission to work from the Home Office, when you have been waiting a long time for a decision on your asylum claim.

As a reminder, the immigration rules allow for you to request permission to work (by default, people who have claimed asylum in the UK are prohibited from working) if you have been waiting for more than 12 months on your asylum claim “through no fault of your own”. This may be 12 months after initially claiming asylum, or 12 months after submitting further submissions to be considered as a fresh claim.

Almost everybody granted permission to work under this policy is only allowed to work in a job on the shortage occupation list.

Contacting the Home Office

Following two legal challenges, the Home Office has amended its published policy on granting permission to work. In this new document, they specify the contact details for requesting permission.

All applications for permission to work from asylum seekers or failed asylum seekers should be made by writing to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and should include the following information:

  • full name of the applicant, date of birth and nationality
  • Home Office reference number
  • a statement setting out the request for permission to work
  • contact details for the applicant and legal representative (if they have one)

Applications must be sent to the one of the following teams:

Asylum Casework Teams

Asylum seekers awaiting an initial decision on their claim should submit any request for permission to work via email to or by post to: Permission to Work Team, Asylum Operations, Department 139, The Capital, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9PP

Refused Case Management

Applications for permission to work from failed asylum seekers who have outstanding further submissions are dealt with by Refused Case Management and should be sent via email to or by post to: Permission to Work Team, Administrative Unit, Level 7, The Capital, New Hall Place, Liverpool, L3 9PP


47 comments on “Contacting the Home Office about permission to work

  1. christine nyandera on

    pls grant people leave to remain some of us we’re been in this country for 16 years no jobs ,house and we’re not claiming for benefits we don’t what that pls grant as work permit so we can work.what is the point of bringing people from outside the country when they many asylum seekers who are willing to work when they’ve given a chance. I will be glad to hear from us on xx

  2. Wasiq Ali on

    This is only not a solution just after 12 Month they allow to work according to SOL list because example out of 100 people 95 are not a able to do work according to SOL list because they dont have that high qualified skill according the job list so better is allow them to do any kind of work they can find just mention restrictions on that they must need to pay NI then make sense i think. otherwise is useless SOL list.

  3. RtR on

    Hi Naveen. If you have a look at the blog post you can find the process information there – you can see which team to contact depending on your situation and what information you need to include.

  4. Naveen on

    My asylum application has been more than 13 months now, I have applied work permit on 8th sept 2021 and it’s been a month almost, still now I haven’t got any response about my work permit. In this case what should I do to get work permit ASAP

    • RtR on

      Hi there. The Home Office do have the discretion to grant permission without restricting to the shortage occupation list – you may wish to explain why you think that should be applied to you when you apply for permission

      • Israil Nalgiev on

        But what reason is good for this purpose in your opinion? I just don’t understand which kind of reason should it be? Many thanks

        • RtR on

          Hi Israil. The Home Office have provided very little information about when they might use this discretion. Their guidance just says it will depend on the facts of the case. The only cases where it is clear it is more likely to be used is when the person applying is a victim of trafficking. It would be best to speak to a lawyer to try and get individual advice about whether your situation might allow for the discretion to be used.

      • Esther Nsiah on

        Hi please I’ve received a letter from asylum operations granting me permission to work. Please how do I contact my casework team for them to change my ARC card for me because I don’t know my casework team . Thanks

  5. Myra on

    Hi, how do you get Your NI number once you have been granted permission to work in SOL. Not sure who to ring and which number? Is there any information on it please would be very helpful?
    Thank you

      • Shamim on

        Dear all, why can’t permission to work be an automated system, imediately when ur year clocks, as long as your not to blame for the delayed system your granted with the permission to work. Its so frustrating to wait for another 2 months, some of us ain’t on benefits so people supporting us are really fed up of us. Please advice

  6. Maryam on

    Hi i was interviewed three years ago and still waiting for the decision
    i am pregnant and have to look after two children
    i am unable to do any job
    but my husband can do work
    so will he able to get the permission for work

    • RtR on

      Hi Maryam. This will depend on whether your husband has an asylum claim in his own right, or if he is just a dependant on your claim. If he is a dependant, the Home Office guidance says: “There is no provision in the Immigration Rules to grant permission to work to dependants of an asylum seeker or failed seeker even where the claim or further submission has been outstanding for more than 12 months. Where permission to work is granted to the main claimant caseworkers need to make clear that this permission does not extend to any dependants.”


    Hi my case has been pending over 12months and it is no fault of my own but I was recently refused permission to work when my solicitor applied . I currently volunteer for the local community I lived .

  8. baashe abdullaahi haji on

    i have been waiting for my asylum case, i need to request a work permit , however i am struggling how to apply, can any one be so kind to sign post me to the right direction.

    thanking you in advance

  9. Mansi sood on

    Hi actually I received letter for grant yo work permit but didn’t receive Arc card it’s being 2 months now I m waiting for the card also I didn’t receive the old arc card

  10. Sameer Kc on

    Hope my email finds you well.
    I had given assylum claim interview on 19th December at solihul, Stanford and also get allow to work paper. It’s been more than 2 weeks of that interview but I am not getting my ARC.Can you please help me with this

  11. Mabin Ghale on

    Can I have the sample letter/statement requesting for Permission to work for Asylum seekers to Home Office and filled up additional grounds documents?

  12. Yae on

    I’ve recently received new ARC card which stated that no work. But I’m work permitted student. Can the Home Office take my right to work just like that? I bet they are people who have the same issues as me. Thanks in advance.

  13. Arminlov on

    Hello, I have been in England for eight months and I want to apply for a job, but I don’t know what to do and where to start I know eight months is early, but unemployment and lack of money have caused me mental problems and I don’t like to be a person away from society.

    • RtR on

      Hello Armin, thank you for your message. It must be so difficult to feel like you are living in limbo and unable to do the things you would like to do as you wait for a decision. Unfortunately, you will not be able to apply for permission to work in the UK unless you have waited 12 months or more for a decision on your claim.

  14. Shah on

    Hi! I am awaiting for my substantive interview and after 2 months i will complete one year in Uk . I am just wondering if i can apply for right to work in UK myself or do i need to contact my solicitor ?

  15. Bilal khan on

    Hello ! Can i apply for provisional driving license with ARC Card work permitted (shortage)

    Thank You and i appreciate your reply

  16. Shahfaisal on

    Hi I’m waiting for my decision of my question, mark peppers and also I Been still 14 months in uk i need work permission. Thank you

  17. Ana on

    After i have read many of infos how to apply for permission to work i realized two ways:
    1- via email to
    2- by post to: Permission to Work Team, Asylum Operations, Department 139, The Capital, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9PP

    Am i right?

    Wanted to ask even for the template of email or letter. Is this ok:

    [Your Full Name]
    [Your Address]
    [City, Postal Code]
    [Email Address]
    [Phone Number]

    [Recipient’s Name]
    [Job Title or Department]
    [Home Office]
    [City, Postal Code]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name],
    Who am I and the reason why am i writing to them.

    The reason why i left my country

    My need to work

    Let them know I am aware of the legal obligations and restrictions placed on asylum seekers regarding employment

    attaching documents like: my asylum seeker registration or reference number and Proof of my identity and nationality.

    thanking them

    or should just tell that have been for more than 12 months in uk and need to work ?

    in the end wanted to ask if its better to apply by myself or to be done by a lawyer?

    Are there more chances to be accepted if i do by a lawer or its the same? Wanted to save some money thats why wanted to do it by myself


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