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


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16 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 Naveen. The Home Office will be receiving a lot of applications for permission to work so it will probably take some time to hear back from them

    • 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

  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 .


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