Currently, the LAR allows for access to the labour market for asylum seekers, if the determination procedure takes longer than 3 months from the lodging of the asylum application. The permit is issued by the SAR itself in a simple procedure that verifies only the duration of the status determination procedure and whether it is still pending.
In January 2018 the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy attempted to amend the law and condition the asylum seekers’ access to the labour market on numerous additional and unfeasible requirements, but the joint lobbying of the SAR, UNHCR and non-governmental organisations prevented the amendment from being voted, and preserved the status quo.
Once issued, the permit allows access to all types of employment and social benefits, including assistance when unemployed. Under the law, asylum seekers also have access to vocational training.
In 2019, the SAR issued 101 labour permits to asylum seekers pending status determination and reported 72 asylum seekers to have engaged in employment following the issue of the permit.
In practice, it is still difficult for asylum seekers to find a job, due to the general difficulties resulting from language barriers, the recession and high national rates of unemployment. No national agency collects statistics on the number of asylum seekers in employment.
 Article 29(3) LAR.
 Article 39(1)(2) LAR.
 Information provided by SAR, 15 January 2019.