Waiting isn’t Working – Cathy's Story

Image of Cathy

Every year, people are forced to flee their homes due to war or violence. Some people come to the UK to find safety and claim asylum. While they are waiting for the government to make a decision on their claim, they aren’t allowed to work. 

The current system is unfair – people can wait years for a decision, unable to work in all that time. It pushes people into poverty and isolation – it just doesn’t make sense! 

But don’t just take our word for it. Take Cathy’s. Cathy is an expert by experience - she’s living through the asylum process and knows how important it is to give people seeking asylum the right to work, especially in the wake of a pandemic.


Although people seeking asylum may often appear optimistic, it does not mean that we are not aware of what is happening. It does not mean that we are not affected by the situation. We do not at all undermine just how catastrophic the last months have been. 

As asylum seekers, we wish we could be more hands-on with our skills and knowledge, however small or great. But unfortunately, we do not have the right to work. 

Yet, amongst people seeking asylum in the UK, we have engineers, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, drivers, bankers, social workers, counsellors - the list goes on. But we have been left out and socially distant for a very long time. 

Not being able to work doesn’t just cripple us as asylum seekers, but the nation at large is missing out on all that could benefit from the help we could give. 

But I think we can all agree that now is the time to fight the good fight together and try and bring the much-needed stability into our economy and the UK. This is no time to discriminate. We are all affected, and our hope is that we stand in the cause of building back all the industries that have been impacted by the pandemic. 

We call out to the Home Office and the UK government to review the working restrictions for people seeking asylum. For the competent people and helping hands who can fill the gaps in different industries. We appeal to you to lift the ban. There couldn’t be a better time. In these desperate times, bringing asylum seekers on board not only in one sector but in all, could be one of the measures the nation so desperately needs and requires to stand tall.

Our sincere hope is that we stand together united, despite our differences, wherever you’re from, whatever the colour of your skin.


You can stand with Cathy and other people seeking asylum in the UK. Use your voice and sign the petition to Lift the Ban NOW!