Are you eligible to work in the UK?

Eligibility to Work in the UK

Employers in the UK are legally required to determine whether or not the people they hire are eligible to hold jobs in the country. Failure on the part of employers to comply with their immigration compliance duties as outlined in the prevention of illegal working regulations can result in enforcement action from the Home Office and, in some instances, criminal sanctions against the employer. This is despite the fact that it can be difficult for employers to stay current with their immigration compliance duties.


Who is permitted to seek employment in the United Kingdom?

A person has the legal right to work in the United Kingdom (UK) if they are either a citizen of that country or if they have been granted established status in that country. The right to work for those who do not live in the United Kingdom will be governed by their immigration status and any limitations placed on them by the grant of leave they were given.

For instance, individuals who are in possession of valid leave in accordance with a work visa are only entitled to engage in the kind of job that is permitted under their visa category for the amount of time that is provided in accordance with the visa.

Those who have been granted permission to stay indefinitely, on the other hand, are exempt from any immigration or employment restrictions imposed by the UK.

Any anyone who wishes to work legally in the United States must be able to demonstrate to a potential employer that they have the legal authorization to do so, regardless of their country, color, or immigration status. This covers citizens of the United Kingdom as well as nationals of the EU.

Employers are required to adopt a system for performing the mandated Right to Work document checks in a consistent manner, and this system may not discriminate against persons of specific nationalities or races nor may it apply just to such individuals.


Alterations to the paperwork that may validate a worker's ability to work in the EU

After the conclusion of the Brexit transition period and an additional six-month grace period, qualified EU citizens and the members of their families have until the 30th of June, 2021 to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme for either pre-settled or full-settled status.

After the first of July in 2021, EU citizens who are recruited will be required to provide evidence of their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or evidence of an acceptable work-based visa obtained under the points-based system. They are unable to demonstrate their eligibility to work by presenting either their passport or their National Identity Card.

In the event that a check on the employee's right to work reveals that there is a time restriction on the employee's ability to work in the UK, a follow-up check should be conducted well in advance of the day when the right to work will expire. This might be the case, for instance, if they only have a pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or if they have only been given a restricted permission to stay under the points-based system. Both of these scenarios are examples of situations that fall under this category.

The advice that was provided by the Home Office on the 31st of August 2021 states that individuals who are still awaiting a decision on an EUSS application will continue to have their rights to remain in the UK and work safeguarded while their application is being processed.

EUSS candidates may also use a "Certificate of Application" issued on or after 1 July 2021 in conjunction with a Positive Verification Notice obtained from the Employer Checking Service as evidence of their legal authorization to be employed. This line of evidence is admissible.


Online verification of employment authorization

Employers are permitted to, and in certain instances are required to, make use of the free online checking service provided by the Home Office in order to fulfill their obligation to carry out right to work checks on their workforce.

Prior to January 2019, employers were obliged to manually undertake checks, which included obtaining original papers, keeping copies of such documents, and completing internet checks when necessary.

Employers now have the option of using an online checking service as the only means for validating an employee's authorization to work in situations when the person possesses the following:

A biometric resident permit, biometric residence card, or biometric residence permission and card


Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Employers will only be able to verify the right to work status of Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders using the online service provided by the Home Office beginning on April 6, 2022. Physical BRPs, BRCs, and FWPs will no longer be acceptable as proof of right to work, even if the document has a later expiration date. This change will take effect across all three types of work permits.

Before an employer may request a check to be written from an employee, the person must first furnish the employer with a share code using the online checking service.

If it is not feasible for the employer to do the check online, then the employer should continue to rely on manual document checks.


You should also make use of the web service in order to examine the immigration status of an employee in any one of the following scenarios:

Due to the fact that they have an ongoing appeal, review, or application with the Home Office, the employee is unable to present you their documentation.

A Certificate of Application that is less than half a year old is held by the worker.

The worker is in possession of a valid Application Registration Card.

The worker was born in another Commonwealth country but has called the UK home since before 1988.

Note that in the event that you are requesting a check in situations in which the prospective or current employee has a Certificate of Application that is less than six months old or an Application Registration Card, you will be required to see the original version of the document. This applies whether the Certificate of Application was issued less than six months ago or the Application Registration Card.


Documents that may validate a worker's right to work

In order to fulfill your responsibilities, the only papers that may be used to check eligibility to work must come from the applicable guideline list provided by the Home Office. There are three different lists, and each one applies to a person differently based on their immigration status.


List A right to work document is issued to a person who already has the permanent right to work in the UK.

You will not be required to carry out any further Right to Work checks on this person after the initial pre-employment check because your organization will have a continuous statutory excuse for the full duration of the person's employment with you. This excuse will apply for as long as the person is working for you.

A passport that demonstrates that the holder, or a person specified in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies who has the right of residence in the UK.

A passport or national identification card that demonstrates that the holder, or a person mentioned in the passport as the child of the holder, is a citizen of a country that is part of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

A document or registration certificate that certifies permanent residence and is issued by the Home Office to a citizen of another country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

A Permanent Residence Card is something that is given out by the Home Office to family members of people who are citizens of countries that are part of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

A current biometric immigration document (biometric residence permit) that was granted by the Home Office to the bearer and indicates that the person identified is permitted to remain forever in the United Kingdom or that there is no temporal restriction on their stay in the United Kingdom.

A valid passport that has been annotated to demonstrate that the possessor is exempt from immigration control, that they are permitted to remain in the UK eternally, that they have the right of residence in the UK, or that they do not have a term restriction on their presence in the UK.

A current Immigration Status Document that has been issued to the holder by the Home Office and has an endorsement stating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or that they have no time limit on their stay in the UK, along with an official document that gives the person's permanent National Insurance number and their name that has been issued by a government agency or a previous employer. Both of these documents must be presented in order to be eligible for settlement in the UK.

A full birth or adoption certificate that was issued in the United Kingdom and includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder's parents or adoptive parents. Additionally, an official document that gives the person's permanent National Insurance number and their name that was issued by a government agency or a previous employer. Both of these documents are required.

A birth or adoption certificate that was issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or Ireland, along with an official document that gave the person's permanent National Insurance number and their name and was issued by a government agency or a previous employer. Both of these documents are required.

A certificate of registration or naturalization as a British citizen, together with an official document provided by a government agency or a past employer that gives the person's permanent National Insurance number and their name.

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