This article considers the role of temporality in the differential inclusion of migrants. In order to do this we draw on research which examined the working lives of a diverse group of new migrants in North East England: Eastern European migrants arriving from 2004 and asylum seekers and refugees arriving from 1999. In so doing we emphasize both distinct and shared experiences, related to immigration status but also a range of other dimensions of identity. We specifically consider how dominant temporalities regulate the lives of new migrants through degrees, periods and moments of acceleration/deceleration. The paper illustrates the ways in which dominant temporalities control access and non-access to particular, often precarious forms of work – but also how migrants attempt to navigate such restrictions through their own use and constructions of time. We explore this in relation to three ‘phases’ of time. Firstly, through experiences of the UK asylum system and work prohibition. Secondly, for a broader group of participants we explore the speeding up and slowing down of transitions to and progression within work. Lastly, we consider how participants experience everyday temporal tensions between paid employment and unpaid care. Across these phases, we suggest that dominant orderings of time and the narratives which make sense of these represent non-simultaneous temporalities that do not neatly map onto each other.