Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Information current as of July 2008

Since April 2000, asylum seekers (people in the process of applying for refugee status) have been allowed to volunteer. This includes whilst they are appealing against a decision to refuse them asylum, and those whose application has been turned down, but are registered with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for return to their home country when practical. Asylum seekers do receive a document saying that they must not engage in paid or unpaid work but this does not include genuine voluntary work. Home Office guidance states that care should be taken to ensure that activity undertaken by an Asylum Seeker is for a not-for-profit organisation, and does not amount to either employment or job substitution. It confirms that Asylum Seekers are entitled to receive out of pocket expenses just like other volunteers.

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