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What is the Application Registration Card (ARC)?

Updated: Oct 4, 2022



The Application Registration Card (ARC) is issued by the Home Office to individuals who claim asylum.


The ARC certifies that its holder is an asylum claimant and, as such, will be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom whilst their asylum claim is still pending. It also confirms whether the claimant has permission to work at the time of issue.


Cards with the remark “Work Permitted Shortage OCC” confirm that the holder is allowed to work whilst their asylum claim is in process, but they are restricted to working in jobs on the shortage occupation list (SOL), as published by the Home Office.


The SOL details skilled roles deemed by the UK Government to be in short supply of resources within the UK labour market. Due to the deemed labour shortage, a more lenient eligibility criteria is granted for workers. The list of roles on the shortage occupation list is regularly updated by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).


It is important to note that individuals issued with an ARC are not permitted to be self-employed, regardless of whether they are completing a role shown on the SOL.


The employer must ensure that they abide by the ARC remarks when employing individuals in order to mitigate penalties and fines.


Failure to meet their duties under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 could leave them liable to a civil penalty of up to £20,000, if the employer had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ that the individual was not allowed to do certain types of work.


To see which roles are on the shortage occupation list, please click on the link below:

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