Art. 17 and 18 of the Geneva Convention and its Protocol accord refugees lawfully staying in a host country the right to work and to engage in wage earning employment or self-employment. However, the Convention does not explicitly grant the right to work to asylum-seekers. It also does not prohibit the use of employment restrictions (to specific sectors, or regarding the duration of the work, or the priority for specific categories of persons).
In EU Member States, the scope of access to education and vocational training of third-country nationals depends on their residence or employment status.
Art. 11(1b) of Council Directive 2003/109/EC (Long Term Residents Directive) ensures that long-term resident third-county nationals enjoy equal treatment with nationals as regards access to education. Pursuant to Art. 11(3b) EU Member States may require proof of appropriate language proficiency for access to education and training. Access to university may be subject to the fulfilment of specific educational prerequisites.