Virginia, US

Feb 15 2018

Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers Available


The situation

Asylum seekers in Ireland can now apply for work authorization in Ireland while their asylum cases are pending.

A closer look

  • Process. The Department of Justice and Equality issued a booklet providing information on how asylum seekers can apply for employment permits under an interim scheme. Similar restrictions and permit conditions to other non-EU nationals may apply to asylum seekers, including labor market testing.
  • Impact for employers. Employers in Ireland can now consider asylum seekers for positions in their companies.
  • Impact for foreign nationals. Asylum seekers may apply for employment authorization while their asylum cases are pending.
  • Background. Following a Supreme Court judgment, the Irish government has been taking steps to grant eligible asylum seekers work authorization. The government has proposed to opt into a relevant EU Directive but since it will take months for the law to go into effect, authorities have implemented an interim scheme.


Looking ahead.

Fragomen will revert with any updates on the topic and answers to issues that are likely to arise from the interim scheme, such as:

  • The government has not yet released details on how an unsuccessful asylum application will affect the asylum seeker’s work authorization; and
  • Many asylum seekers do not hold passports in their possession; however, employment permit applications are likely to be refused if a copy of a valid passport has not been provided. Additionally, without a passport, asylum seekers will not be able to obtain a PPS (social security number) which would place them in an extremely high tax bracket that is largely unsustainable.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to