A Scottish council could become the first local authority to pilot proposed changes to the asylum process that aim to make life easier for both councils and those seeking asylum.
A taskforce, which includes Glasgow City Council and the Scottish government, has recommended allowing asylum seekers in Glasgow to work from six months after their asylum claim.
Under the current system, a limited number of asylum seekers with specific skills can request permission to work if their claim takes over a year to be processed, and permission is rarely granted.
The taskforce, which includes the Scottish Refugee Council and COSLA, also proposes allowing asylum seekers to be able to register in regional centres rather than forcing them to travel down to Croydon at their own expense.
A Regional Partnership Board with members including Glasgow City Council and Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership, could also be created. This would commission, monitor and report on ongoing work on asylum in the city.
‘When people come to our city looking for help, Glaswegians want to ensure we do everything we can to assist them,’ said Annemarie O’Donnell, chair of the Asylum Taskforce and chief executive of Glasgow City Council.
‘This piece of work has been carried out in an open and honest environment and I want to thank colleagues from the Scottish and UK governments, COSLA, Serco, Scottish Refugee Council and the West of Scotland Housing Forum for the way in which they have approached this.
‘I am confident that the recommendations in this report, and the work that we will now do together, will allow us to do much more to support some of the most vulnerable people seeking asylum in the UK and in our city.’