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Volume 717: debated on Monday 8 February 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Christian and Mandaean refugees from Iraq (a) have requested, and (b) are awaiting a decision on, indefinite leave to remain; and whether they plan to permit those applicants to work or study at university while awaiting a decision. [HL1519]

The applications of Christian and Mandaean asylum seekers from Iraq are not reported on by the UK Border Agency and information on them could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost through the examination of individual case files.

Recognised refugees have access to the labour market but it is not our policy to allow asylum seekers to work. The only exception is asylum seekers who have been waiting 12 months for a decision where this delay cannot be attributed to them. Allowing asylum seekers to work in these circumstances is in accordance with the EC directive on the reception of asylum seekers. Asylum seekers can attend university or college courses but they generally have to pay overseas fees while their asylum claim is outstanding.