Refugees have specific 'Refugee Status' documentation and a UK National Insurance number. Their specific immigration status is 'Refugee', awarded via the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, which no country has ever withdrawn from. This status has saved millions of lives around the world since 1951.

Refugees are permitted to work in the UK in any profession and at any skill level. (page 5 of guide below)

Refugees are not economic migrants and are not subject to the points-based system: where migrants are required to meet particular skill and experience levels and employers given sponsorship duties. Many employers are not aware of this specific immigration status and mix it up with 'migrant' or 'student' or 'asylum seeker'. Asylum Seekers are currently not allowed to work in the UK. Refugees are.

Very few people are awarded Refugee Status in the UK - it requires a very high level of proof and around 75% of applicants for Refugee status fail.

Refugees are issued by the Home Office with:

  • A Biometric Residence Permit (issued since June 2012)
  • All refugees are issued with a National Insurance number.

Refugee permission to work has a 5 year lifespan. They are then entitled to apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and then British citizenship. During this time, a refugee continues to have the same rights to employment and training as before. (page 6 of guide below)



Featured Articles
Joe Shahmoradian, Head of Recruitment (Apps UK), Capgemini
"At Capgemini we want to build a workplace that reflects the diversity of our clients and sound data shows that diversity of thought is what drives companies forward. Ultimately weknow diverse teams have a positive impact on company performance." Joe Shahmoradian, Head of Recruitment (Apps UK), CapgeminiCapgemini
Sharon Goymer, Resourcing Manager - Development Programmes
"Transitions opens up an avenue for us to recruit a diverse graduate workforce. There's an option for recruiting to more experienced roles too. There's a real demand in the UK for highly skilled candidates in cables and tunnels and this presents a real alternative to find international people without the complexities around international recruitment." Sharon Goymer, Resourcing Manager - Development ProgrammesNational Grid
Dawn Barker, Head of HR
“We gained a first-class civil engineer employee as a result of Transitions. The internship and intern was above our expectations.. The refugee community offers a good untapped market.“ Dawn Barker, Head of HRCrossrail
Barbra Carlisle, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Arcadis
“I am always interested to see what Transitions are up to – you play such an important role in enabling people to get back into (professional) work.” Barbra Carlisle, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, ArcadisArcadis
Bola Fatimilehin, Head of Diversity
“It is widely predicted that the UK will need more skilled engineers at both technician and graduate level. Transitions provides a credible source of engineers with the skills and experience to contribute to meeting this need. We encourage engineering companies to engage with Transitions to identify potential opportunities to meet their specific needs.“ Bola Fatimilehin, Head of DiversityRoyal Academy of Engineering
Corporate Responsibility Team
Transitions provides an invaluable service for its highly-skilled refugee clients and KPMG has been delighted to run a series of employability skills workshops with them for teams of our volunteers. These have been insightful, impactful, rewarding and beneficial for all involved. A great way to put your skills to good use!“ Corporate Responsibility TeamKPMG
Andrew Midgley, Managing Director
Transitions is a highly commendable service; its commitment to helping skilled refugee professionals into employment is admirable and invaluable. Going forward, we are excited to work with the service and do our part to help.   TXM Recruitment Ltd is a £60m turnover Group of Companies headquartered in Milton Keynes.“ Andrew Midgley, Managing DirectorTXM Recruit Ltd
Jen Smith, Group Head of Diversity
“Demonstrating a clear commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is an important component of being a modern, inclusive employer of choice. Working with Transitions really is a win win. Skill and talent are brought into your business that meet your business requirements. The team at Transitions have a rigorous matching service that makes it easy to support ready to work refugee professionals” Jen Smith, Group Head of DiversityCircle Housing Group
Karen Elgy, Sustainability Performance Manager
" I realised from our very first meeting the passion, expertise and proactive outlook .. takes to helping qualified refugees into full time employment. It is also clear that Transitions... is into the next stage of stakeholder engagement and that Transitions is making quite a remarkable impression on a range of stakeholders" Karen Elgy, Sustainability Performance ManagerEDF Energy
Kevin Bowsher, Diversity & Inclusion Manager
"Someone recommended Transitions as a great organisation. Everything positive that I'd heard, turned out to be true." Kevin Bowsher, Diversity & Inclusion ManagerNetwork Rail
Tarik Begic, International HR Adviser
"Transitions provide extremely valuable and commendable service. The help they provide to highly skilled professionals with a refugee status in the UK is invaluable and unique. In addition, Transitions offer an excellent resource for the employers who are looking for highly qualified, multilingual, skilled and experienced professionals." Tarik Begic, International HR AdviserBritish Red Cross
Toby Gould, Membership Manager
"Committed to getting refugee professionals into employment. ...skills at both finding the right person for the volunteer positions we have and in supporting the candidates to make sure they have the confidence for the role are clear. We have had open applications for 2 positions and hired Transitions' candidates as they had both experience of working in humanitarian environments and enthusiasm to take on the roles we were offering. We will continue using services at Transitions." Toby Gould, Membership ManagerRedR UK
Andy Gregg, Chief Executive
"Transitions run a very helpful service that our organisation was very glad to be able to benefit from." Andy Gregg, Chief ExecutiveCharities Evaluation Services (CES)
Richard Nimmo, Managing Director
"The work that Transitions are doing is something that we wanted to support as soon as we understood the work situation for refugees. The work status of refugees is not something I'd been particularly aware of and the average employer is not going to look specifically for refugees. Transitions provides a much needed role in promoting a group of highly skilled potential employees and in educating business people." Richard Nimmo, Managing DirectorBlue Ventures Marine Biology Research

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